Liberal Studies at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design

Liberal Studies at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design


[MUSIC PLAYING] You know, I think
liberal studies at MIAD is in some ways the glue that
holds everything together in the students’ experience. Without the liberal
arts curriculum, it would be more of just
professional training program. And we are what makes it a
full bachelor of fine arts. We are the part of
the education at MIAD that helps students to sort
of place themselves out into the world. We see students across
the college every year for four years. Everybody gets to be
meshed together, which is fabulous for all of us. Because it’s you may have
a fine artist over here, an industrial designer there. When they get out into
the world after MIAD, they’re all colleagues. And this is where
those relationships and those understandings of
the importance of every type of creative work get exposed– –and they’re hungry
for that conversation. They really want
that conversation. We’re going to take a
look at what’s going on and kind of post
what’s happening today in our country against what
was happening in and Antigone, for example. So we make those
kinds of connections. Then we move a little
forward and ask, what does it mean to witness history? What does it mean as a
young artist or designer to be an artist who is
involved in the action? Not that every
artist or designer is going to go out and
do social justice work. And it isn’t necessarily
about just one way of making commentary,
because perhaps it is something perhaps you want
to go into industrial design and design something that
could inherently change the world for the better. And perhaps that is how
you envision your future. And so these are
stepping stones that you can use through your
liberal studies curriculum to kind of foster that language. I think our classrooms
generally are very collaborative environments. They’re are places where people
are learning together, building communities of learning. These are not set lecture
classes where do you come in and the teacher starts
to talk and everything. It’s all about the experience. Then there’s a
dialogue or some type of experience in the
classroom to further the discussion, the ideas. As they leave MIAD,
they are going to be making the
history of their times through the work that they do. They can’t avoid that. So it’s a very exciting thing
to get them to engage with it and think about the importance
of the work that they do. We are our nimble curriculum. And it allows us– –That’s a great word, nimble. I like that. –Yeah. It allows the faculty
the opportunity to try something new. I don’t know that
you’re going to find that in a bigger college. So there’s a real
listening to students, to what they want,
to what they need, to what’s happening out in
the culture and the ability to coalesce that. I love being in the classroom. And it is the moment that
you walk in the classroom and you have the engagement
with the students, you post a question, and you
get them started talking, and you don’t know where the
question is going to lead. It is much more important
to have the discussion than it is to memorize a
series of dates and pictures. And I’d rather see the
students think about the ideas, contemplate hard concepts, and
come to me with more questions than they do answers. And that is the best
part of what I do. The basic active mind
of inquiry, research, critical thinking that
we have always taught and that are fundamental
to liberal studies –are still there,
absolutely still there– –20 years, 20 some years ago
when I first came to MIAD, this was the
drumbeat we had been. It’s the drumbeat we have now. They have to learn to take
themselves very seriously as learners, as thinkers, as
writers, and as Leslie said, as citizens. That’s the growth of
a college education. And I think that’s something
that we do extremely well here. You should come to MIAD
because we want you to be here. We will pay attention to you. We will figure out with you
what it is you want to do. And we will help
make that happen. It will be a great experience. MIAD is genuinely a creative,
collaborative community. And I think that
when you become part of this community,
the opportunities for growth and for really
discovering the very best in yourself, your
very best potential, the opportunity are just vast. You should come
to MIAD if you’re interested in exploring
yourself in the company of a bunch of other people who
want to share that with you. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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