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Record number of high school students see art and design career possibilities through MIAD Pre-College

MILWAUKEE … July 24, 2019 – Through all the ups and downs she’s faced in life, one constant for Roxi Copenhaver has been art. “I realized at a young age that I want to make art for a living,” says the native of Thorp, Wis. “As long as I can make art, I’ll be happy.”

Roxi CopenhaverRoxi’s creativity helped her weather a tumultuous home life, and a high school art teacher became, in Roxi’s words, “like a mother to me.” Roxi’s art teacher suggested that she apply to the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design’s (MIAD) summer Pre-College Program.

Open to high school students and taught by MIAD faculty, the Pre-College Program provides students the opportunity to create art and design work and experience a college-level curriculum in such areas as Illustration, Industrial Design, Contemporary Studio Practices, Interior Architecture and Design, Photography, Drawing, Painting and Graphic Design. Students from outside of Milwaukee live in the college’s residence hall, TWO50TWO, during the program.

Roxi is one of the record 181 students enrolled in this summer’s Pre-College Program at MIAD.

Many students receive scholarships to attend the program. In fact, more than 40 percent of Pre-College attendees who receive a scholarship are from low-income families.

After Roxi submitted her application to the program, she worried about the cost. She applied for a Pre-College DPI scholarship – and held her breath.

“When I did [got the scholarship], a weight lifted off my shoulders,” Roxi says. “I wouldn’t be here now, growing in all the areas I want to grow in, without my scholarship,” she says.

Getting the most from MIAD Pre-College

MIAD’s Pre-College offers a two-week Core Studio Concepts program for beginning and/or intermediate students interested in exploring two areas of art study, as well as a three-week Advanced Studio Concepts program for students ready for intensive college work in one area of art study. Students in the Advanced program receive three college credits to MIAD.

Roxi workingRoxi is studying Painting and Illustration in the Core Studio Concepts program, and learning approaches to artmaking that never dawned on her before.

“MIAD has opened my mind,” says Roxi. Before coming to Pre-College, Roxi says, “I couldn’t sleep I was so nervous.”

Thorp, in north-central Wisconsin, has roughly 1,600 residents. Roxi wondered how would she would fare in the big city after growing up in a rural environment.

Just fine, it turns out.

“It’s a very calming environment, with diverse, accepting people,” says Roxi, who lived in the TWO50TWO residence hall across the street from MIAD during the program.

Participating in MIAD’s Pre-College Program makes a huge difference in the lives of students like Roxi. “I get to do what I do best.”

About MIAD
MIAD offers an accredited Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program in five majors – Communication Design, Illustration, Industrial Design, Interior Architecture and Design and New Studio Practice: Fine Arts – and has 18 academic minors, including Arts Management, Furniture Design and Digital Media Production. Graduates work at companies and organizations such as Kohl’s, Fiskars, GE Healthcare, Google, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee Tool, Trek and more.


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