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Milwaukee’s thriving art and city life garner national, international acclaim

In a move that delighted Milwaukeeans, National Geographic recently named the city one of the top 25 places to visit in the world. Recommended alongside locations from Greece to Laos, Milwaukee’s spot on the list may come as a surprise to some. But as residents will attest, Milwaukee is a city uniquely defined by its thriving community and vibrant arts scene.  

National Geographic’s annual “Best of the World” travel destinations list highlights Milwaukee in its new Community category, which it says aims to “spotlight destinations where people make places better for locals, the environment and visitors, and to showcase homegrown, rooted, locally relevant and engaged places to visit.” In a related article, Nat Geo goes on to commend Milwaukee’s “close-knit creative community” and its Historic Third Ward arts district. 

Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward is itself no stranger to acclaim. This past July, it was voted the country’s fourth best arts district in the 2022 USA Today “10Best Readers’ Choice Awards.” USA Today’s panel looked for inspiring arts districts that culturally enrich their cities and communities with “revitalized and renewed urban spaces… big-name museums with architecture as impressive as the art housed within, or streets lined with small galleries and studios interspersed with trendy cafes.” With Third Ward attractions ranging from a “staggering number” of art galleries, museums and performing arts spaces to world-class restaurants and cozy cafes, the recognition is both appreciated and well-deserved. 

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, located in the thriving Historic Third Ward, plays a vital role in Milwaukee’s flourishing creative community. President Jeff Morin says, “…I believe strongly that the M in MIAD matters. We see our work in service to the community, and we are committed to making Milwaukee and MIAD more equitable and vibrant places to explore and launch careers, and to attract new ideas and talent to Milwaukee’s creative industries.” 

Schedule a visit at MIAD today (and stay a while to explore the Historic Third Ward!), learn about MIAD’s galleries and read more about National Geographic’s “Best of” list!

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