From volunteering at local organizations to designing adaptive devices for Milwaukee Public School students with special needs, MIAD students seek to positively contribute to our community and world.
MIAD students complete thousands of volunteer hours each year with more than 200 Milwaukee area nonprofit organizations. All students are required to complete Service Learning prior to graduating. Students volunteer at organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Milwaukee, Hope House, Habitat for Humanity, Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Center, Journey House, Islands of Brilliance, the Milwaukee Public Museum, Riverwest Food Pantry, Next Door Foundation, Urban Ecology Center and the Wisconsin Humane Society.
Professional Projects with Milwaukee-area Businesses
Opportunities for students to engage with business clients and gain professional experience are woven into the curriculum. One example: Wisconsin-based Carmex worked with MIAD Illustration students to create digital artwork for a new social media campaign. The artwork featured students’ personal versions of comfort and living as their authentic selves while using Carmex lip balm. The Carmex team selected five winners from the 120 student participants to showcase in its campaign. Carmex also hired students through the MIAD Innovation Center to create videos for the campaign.
Empathy through Product Design Collaboration
Through a collaboration lasting more than 20 years, MIAD students annually have worked with the individual Milwaukee Public School (MPS) students with special needs to learn how to help them meet daily challenges and design solutions to improve their lives and make school a little easier. Students have designed interactive learning devices, specialized grips for children to hold markers, painting and technology tools, and more.
MIAD Innovation Center
MIAD students work on projects for Milwaukee area business, nonprofit organizations and entrepreneurs through the MIAD Innovation Center. MIAD students applying emerging technologies in new and different ways to provide solutions to clients. Students have created illustrations for Ink 360’s unique 360-degree printing technology, designed 50th anniversary interactive displays for the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts and designed a sponsorship recognition wall for the Milwaukee Ballet’s Baumgartner Center for Dance.
MIAD Creativity Series
The MIAD Creativity Series brings distinctive and internationally renowned creatives to Milwaukee from a broad spectrum of the visual arts to enrich the experiences of MIAD students while engaging the community in new ways of thinking about, and appreciating, the arts and the world of design. MIAD Creativity Series speakers have included Strange Fire Collective, Titus Kaphar, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Jaime Hayon, Guerilla Girls, Mark Rios, Robert Sabuda, Asher Isralow and more.
MIAD Creativity Series: Engaging Students and the Community
The MIAD Creativity Series welcomed Titus Kaphar to campus in early 2020 to present a talk to community members on “Making Space for Black History: Amending the Landscape of American Art” and to work with MIAD first-year students and Milwaukee Public Schools high school students. During his visit, Kaphar inspired students to reimagine history and literally paint a more inclusive picture. As a result, first-year students in a MIAD art history class studied contemporary artwork that rejects Western thoughts and analyzed the story of historical pieces using methodologies such as the critical race theory and postcolonial theory. Students created Pecha Kucha presentations to culminate the course.
Exhibitions at MIAD’s Frederick Layton Gallery and Brooks Stevens Gallery of Industrial Design reflect contemporary and historical trends in fine art and design. With a focus on diverse, innovative and interdisciplinary practices across art and design, MIAD presents dynamic exhibitions featuring work by regional, national and international professional practitioners. The exhibits are complemented by educational programs open to the Greater Milwaukee community.
Gallery Night MKE
MIAD participates in the quarterly Gallery Night MKE where community members can discover local galleries, art and artists.
MIAD Holiday Sale
A holiday tradition held annually during the first weekend of December, the MIAD Holiday Sale is the community’s opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind art and design work created by MIAD students and alumni. Work in all media is available — from sculptures, paintings and lamps to cards, jewelry, furniture, ceramics and more. Proceeds from the MIAD Holiday Sale support the nearly 150 participating students and alumni, and benefit MIAD student scholarships.
Evening, weekend and/or summer courses at MIAD provide 300 high school students access to college-level instruction and introduction to emerging technology, a public exhibition and a portfolio for use in applying to colleges, and education on robust career pathways and financial resources.
Future Designers Program
MIAD addresses the nationwide and Milwaukee challenge of diversity in design fields through Future Designers. The Future Designers program brings design experiences, technologies, career pathways and curricular enrichment to more than 375 Milwaukee high-school students and their teachers annually.
MIAD Continuing Education
MIAD offers Continuing Education programs to ignite curious minds in our community. Examples of courses offered include digital photography, figure drawing, acrylic painting, 2D animation, laser cutting, oil painting and more.
Creative Educators’ Institute
Each summer, MIAD hosts K-12 art and design educators from around the country to earn continuing education credit through professional development courses in new art and design trends, emerging technology and more.