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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.**


MIAD Gallery at The Ave celebrates opening

The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) celebrates its first offsite gallery during its grand opening on April 6, 2023 from 6 – 8 p.m. MIAD invites the public to attend the event and to explore the new Gallery at The Ave, located at 301 W. Wisconsin Ave in The Avenue near the 3rd Street Market Hall.

First-Year Exhibition 2023 winners announced

Four winners and three honorable mentions were selected at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design’s (MIAD) First-Year Experience Student Exhibition opening reception on Friday, March 24, 2023. Renato Umali, Mariah Tate Klemens and Gabrielle Banzhaf, the three jurors, commended all the participating students for their strong work.

Communication Design senior lands Nike Internship

Catherine Currie ’23 (Communication Design), a senior at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), was selected for the highly competitive graphic design internship at Nike. The internship will take place over 10 weeks this summer at Nike’s headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.

MIAD Defines 2023: Day of play

For the 2023 iteration of MIAD Defines, the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design dedicated Tuesday, March 21 to playing. With the aim to connect, converse and learn across majors, years and disciplines, this year’s MIAD Defines was a resounding success.

Peter Barrickman selected as NSP: Fine Arts full-time faculty

Following a national search, Peter Barrickman has been selected as the newest full-time faculty member in New Studio Practice (NSP): Fine Arts at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD). An internationally recognized artist, Barrickman also co-founded Mazzzagine, a publication dedicated to supporting artists and fostering collaboration.