MIAD Overhauling Campus Center
Planning to improve campus center, expand scholarships and grow its student body.
As part of a $10 million fundraising campaign, the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) is working to improve its campus center, expand its scholarship offerings and grow its student body.
“We were busy during [the COVID-19 pandemic] and now we are going public with many of those things,” said Stacey Steinberg, MIAD’s executive director of marketing & communication in an interview.
Last year, a portion of the fourth floor was reconfigured into a home for the Lubar Centers for Innovation and Emerging Technology. Students work directly with outside companies on paid projects in the space. The first floor also gained a flexible gallery space to host a rotating series of community events and student exhibitions.
“We really want MIAD to feel like it’s the creative hub,” said Steinberg.
Now, the main entrance is being reconfigured from a security desk and hallway into a admissions and welcome center.
“It kind of generates the feeling of ‘this is the place for me’,” said Steinberg of attracting new students and community partners. Multiple people affiliated with MIAD discussed with Urban Milwaukee the bustling, creative nature of the work going on in the building, but how the entryway long undersold or actively hide that activity.
MIAD is working to grow its people and programs alongside its place. The university has raised more than $7 million towards the effort to date.
Sixty-three percent of the Wisconsin students at the school are first-generation college students and 18% are of Hispanic descent, said Steinberg. Like Marquette University and others, MIAD is working towards a 25% Hispanic student body and the federal Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) designation that comes with it.
Part of growing the student body, said Steinberg, is maintaining strong art and design programs, while the college is also expanding its scholarship offerings and quickly growing a pre-college education and internship program. Targeted at high school students, MIAD launched its design internship program in 2021 with a single employer, Hanson Dodge. This year, with five partners, MIAD drew 85 applicants for 45 slots. The year-long program is specifically targeted at exposing underrepresented populations to careers in art and design, with transportation provided to the employer and to the school for class.
The college’s growth is expected to have a ripple effect locally. “About eight out of 10 students stay in Milwaukee for their first job,” said Steinberg.