Fun facts about Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design


Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD) is a prestigious art and design college located in the heart of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It has a rich history and a reputation for producing some of the most talented artists and designers in the country. MIAD offers a range of undergraduate programs in the areas of fine arts, communication design, illustration, industrial design, and interior architecture and design. In this blog post, we will explore some fun facts about MIAD that you may not have known.

Fun facts about Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

MIAD is the oldest art school in Wisconsin

MIAD was founded in 1974 as the successor to the Layton School of Art, which was established in 1920. This makes MIAD the oldest art school in the state of Wisconsin. The Layton School of Art was known for its innovative approach to art education and attracted many talented artists to its faculty. MIAD has continued this tradition of excellence and has built upon the strong foundation laid by the Layton School of Art.

Today, MIAD is a vibrant and dynamic community of artists and designers who are passionate about their craft. The college has a diverse student body, with students from all over the world coming to study at MIAD. The faculty at MIAD are all practicing artists and designers, which means that students are learning from professionals who are at the top of their game.

MIAD is located in a historic building

MIAD is housed in a beautiful and historic building that was once home to the Milwaukee Road Railway Company. The building was constructed in 1913 and is a stunning example of the Beaux-Arts architectural style. The building was designed by the renowned architectural firm of Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, who also designed the Boston Public Library and the Newberry Library in Chicago.

The building was renovated in the 1990s to accommodate the needs of an art and design college. Today, the building is a state-of-the-art facility that includes studios, classrooms, galleries, and exhibition spaces. The building also features a 500-seat auditorium, which is used for lectures, concerts, and other events.

MIAD has a strong focus on community engagement

MIAD is committed to engaging with the local community and promoting the arts in Milwaukee. The college has partnerships with many local organizations and businesses, which allows students to gain real-world experience while they are still in school. MIAD also hosts many events and exhibitions that are open to the public, which helps to promote the arts in the city.

One example of MIAD’s commitment to community engagement is the college’s partnership with the Milwaukee Art Museum. MIAD students have the opportunity to work with the museum on various projects, including designing exhibitions and creating marketing materials. This partnership allows students to gain valuable experience and exposure to the art world.

MIAD offers a unique program in User Experience (UX) Design

MIAD is one of the few art and design colleges in the country that offers a program in User Experience (UX) Design. This program is designed to teach students how to create digital products that are user-friendly and intuitive. The program combines design principles with research methods and technology to give students a well-rounded education in UX design.

The UX Design program at MIAD is led by Professor James R. Friedman, who is a nationally recognized expert in the field. Under his guidance, students learn how to create user-centered designs that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional. The program prepares students for careers in a wide range of industries, including technology, healthcare, and finance.

MIAD has a strong alumni network

MIAD has a strong network of alumni who are working in a wide range of fields. Many MIAD alumni have gone on to have successful careers as artists, designers, and entrepreneurs. Some notable MIAD alumni include Melissa Cookston, a world-champion barbecue pitmaster and cookbook author; Tia Richardson, an illustrator and graphic designer who has worked with clients such as Nike and Coca-Cola; and Reginald Baylor, a painter and fashion designer whose work has been exhibited nationally.

MIAD’s alumni network is a valuable resource for current students, as they can connect with alumni for mentorship and career guidance. The college also hosts events and networking opportunities that allow alumni to stay connected with each other and with the college.

MIAD is committed to sustainability

MIAD is committed to promoting sustainability and reducing its environmental impact. The college has implemented a number of initiatives to achieve this goal, including using renewable energy sources, reducing waste, and promoting alternative transportation options.

MIAD’s campus is powered by 100% renewable energy, including solar and wind power. The college also has a robust recycling program and encourages students to reduce waste by using reusable materials and products. Additionally, MIAD promotes alternative transportation options, such as biking and public transportation, to reduce the number of cars on the road.

MIAD hosts a popular annual fundraiser

MIAD hosts an annual fundraiser called the Creative Fusion event, which is one of the most popular events in Milwaukee’s art and design community. The event brings together artists, designers, and art enthusiasts from across the city for a night of art, music, and food.

The Creative Fusion event features a silent auction of artwork created by MIAD students, faculty, and alumni, as well as work donated by local artists and businesses. The event also includes live music, food and drinks from local vendors, and a showcase of student work.

The funds raised from the Creative Fusion event go toward supporting student scholarships and other initiatives at MIAD. The event is a testament to the strong community support that MIAD enjoys in Milwaukee.


Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design is a unique and dynamic college that is committed to excellence in art and design education. From its historic building to its strong alumni network, MIAD has many fun facts that make it a special place. Whether you are a student, a faculty member, or a member of the community, MIAD offers a wealth of opportunities to engage with the arts and to become a part of its vibrant community.