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North America’s Independent Art School Consortium Brings Together Students, Schools, and Opportunities

AICAD LogoThe Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) represents 42 top art schools across the US and Canada, offering support through many value-added initiatives. AICAD’s benefits extend to students, teachers, and schools with activities ranging from hosting conferences to overseeing internships and international exchange programs. In addition, the organization acts as an information source on legislation, policy, and institutional data analysis and distribution.

Member schools benefit greatly from the networking opportunities initiated by AICAD. “One of our goals is to connect and strengthen the member institutions to each other. They recognize that they are stronger as a group than they are individually,” commented Executive Director and President Deborah Obalil.

Graduate Teaching Fellows for Diversity

When students graduate from an AICAD member school, the networking and connections don’t stop there. The organization recently launched a fellowship program for MFA graduates, placing them as teaching fellows at one of the member schools. The program hopes to strengthen faculty diversity across the member institutions.

Latin American students are welcome to apply to the fellowship program, and AICAD hopes to strengthen partnerships with Latin American art schools through its international affiliate program. Also open to international industry partnerships, AICAD member schools often provide students opportunities work on research and design projects for corporate partners such as Motorola.

Creativity for a Cause

AICAD is proud to work with member schools on initiatives that support sustainability and skill-building in both local communities and developing countries. Students have worked on design projects that tackle clean water and transportation issues, as well as initiatives like community gardens. “Many artists are interested in tackling the world’s greatest problems and impacting serious issues in their communities. We have a number of programs that facilitate students to do that,” stated Ms. Obalil.


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