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MKE: On the Creative Map

(pronounced ‘mill-e-wah-que’)

A rich heritage, a thriving culture, and long history have created myriad references and nicknames for Milwaukee.  “MKE,” “The Brew City,” and “The Good Land” are only a few of the common phrases used to describe the 30th most populous city in the United States.  Once the home of four of the world’s largest breweries, “The Brew City” characterizes one of Milwaukee’s dominant industries. A unique yellow brick abounds in downtown warehouses, homes and other buildings, evoking the name “Cream City.” Numerous summer festivals have Milwaukee coined as “The City of Festivals,” and the season includes Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival.  But, there are other characterizations of Milwaukee, such as being named a 2013 Top 12 ArtPlace in America, and the 6th best college destination for mid-sized metropolitan areas.

‘Walk Around Milwaukee’ video: more at

Milwaukee has other distinct features, often described in a single breath as a small city and big town. The atmosphere is friendly and down-to-earth with a subtle Midwestern charm (think America’s Heartland), and there is a genuine sense of community. And while the general attitude is small-town oriented, Milwaukee has many attributes that you’d find in a large city, such as professional sports teams, museums and galleries, and an incredible variety of restaurants and retailers. Friendly, livable and affordable, the city embraces college students, with several colleges and universities close to the downtown area.


Milwaukee Skyline

Lake Michigan provides a spot to cool off during the warm spring and summer months, and is a great place to bike, run, or rent a paddleboat. In winter, the lake is quietly beautiful, with frozen sheets of slowly moving ice, and Lafayette Hill nearby for sledding. Milwaukee’s Lake Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of New York’s Central Park, and has miles of beaches and adjacent parks.

Once known as a brewing and manufacturing mecca, Milwaukee has truly become a dynamic, contemporary city with strong support for the arts. The Historic Third Ward is one of the fastest-growing residential, commercial, and creative areas in Wisconsin. The internationally renowned Calatrava expansion of the Milwaukee Art Museum, in large part funded by the community, is a sight to behold. The museum graces the lakefront and is within walking distance of MIAD. Theater companies and dance troupes thrive here, as do music groups of every variety. Public sculpture can be found along the Riverwalk and in many places throughout the city. Milwaukee also hosts highly popular, quarterly Gallery Nights, with galleries and museums staying open late to feature discussions with artists, designers, and curators.

So, if you’re looking for a place on the creative map, MKE is it.


View more images in the Milwaukee Image Gallery

For more information on Milwaukee:

**We acknowledge that in Milwaukee, we live and work on traditional Potawatomi, Ho-Chunk, and Menominee homelands along the southwest shores of Michigami (Big Lake), part of North America’s largest system of freshwater lakes, where the Milwaukee, Menominee, and Kinnickinnic rivers meet and the people of Wisconsin’s sovereign Anishinaabe, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Oneida, and Mohican nations remain present.**


Emerging Technology Center hosts Technique of the Week

During the fall 2023 semester, the Lubar Emerging Technology Center at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) hosts “Technique of the Week” demonstrations for students, faculty and staff. MIAD community members are invited to attend presentations on everything from 3D scanning objects to fermentation to Minecraft. Most recently, attendees played pinball on a handmade virtual pinball machine.

Inaugural Latine Student Exhibition announces winners

Four students were honored at the inaugural Latine Student Exhibition, on view at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) until October 13, 2023. Coordinated by rhi anderson-martinez, executive director of equity and inclusion at MIAD, the exhibition highlights and celebrates the art and design skills of MIAD’s Latine students during Hispanic Heritage Month.

MIAD Fine Art faculty selected for national Olmsted panel

Brad Anthony Bernard, professor of fine art at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), will participate in a panel discussion about Frederick Law Olmsted at the 2023 annual conference of the Olmsted Network in Milwaukee. An accomplished muralist, Bernard designed a mural depicting Olmsted which will be displayed at a public mural and sculpture garden in Milwaukee.

MIAD alum designs Kohl’s collection for Hispanic Heritage Month

For this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month, Whitney Salgado ’15 (Illustration) produced a variety of surface designs for Kohl’s textiles. The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) alum, who also earned a minor in Communication Design, works as a freelance digital painter and illustrator.