AIGA Education Spring Programming Review

Education & Mentorship: Spring Programming Preview
AIGA Colorado’s Education & Mentorship team has been busy lining up a full season of student programming for the first half of 2015. Designed to engage with and provide development opportunities for our student members, these programs also provide many opportunities for professional designers to share their knowledge and experience with students by taking on the role of mentor. Have a look through our programming preview below. If you’d like to volunteer for any of the programs as a design mentor, please contact Amber Atkins, our VP of Education & Mentorship.

Robert W. Taylor Scholarship & Professional Grant
Robert W. Taylor was AIGA Colorado’s first Fellow, who dedicated his life to mentorship, and the practice and appreciation of good design. This scholarship, funded in part by the Chaircuterie auction, is awarded to one or two exceptional design students each year, with the application and review process managed by Cindy Sewick, AIGA Colorado’s Scholarship Chair. To apply, students are required to write an artist statement and show a portfolio of their work, which are reviewed by the AIGA Colorado board. Short-listed candidates are interviewed at Clarkson Creative, and the winner(s) are presented at an AIGA event – this year’s winner(s) will be announced at the Gala in June. The winning candidate(s) take a place on the AIGA Colorado Advisory Board, and donate design time to create student-facing communications for AIGA. More information will be coming soon, and the deadline for submissions will be in early February, with the winner(s) selected in early March.

Created to help professionals find funding for additional training and development, our Pro Grant program helps professionals attend conferences, participate in learning new skills or finish an unfulfilled passion project. Professional Grant Chair Brandon Roth organizes the submission and selection process, while the winner(s) work with an advisory board member to see the project through to fruition. Proposal submissions will be due in early February.

In March, we’ll kick off the Elevate college mentor experience, which pairs college-level design students with professional designers. During this six-week program in March and April, the student and mentor collaborate on a poster design that gives voice to a social issue of their choosing, which will later be featured and sold at the Poster Show. This year’s Design Slam winner, Nicolas Osborne from AIMS Community College, won a student spot in Elevate as part of his grand prize. Would you like to mentor a design student through the creation of a poster for a good cause? Contact Amber Atkins for more information.

The Review
The Review is the student networking event of the season with approximately 120 people involved on the day. Taking place in the second half of April, it’s a co-sponsored event between the Art Director’s Club of Denver and AIGA Colorado. Students pre-register for the opportunity to have their portfolios reviewed by industry professionals, bringing two copies of their books or an iPad presentation to share and to receive feedback. The breakdown is approximately 60% students, 40% professionals, and we attract student groups from as far as Wyoming, Kansas City and the Western Slope. Professionals are asked to pick out the stars of the day, who interview with a selected panel of board members from both professional organizations for the chance to win a $1000 scholarship or additional prizes, including a one-year Creative Cloud subscription, magazine subscriptions and gift cards. We always need mentors for the Review, and it’s a great opportunity for professional designers to keep in touch with the industry’s up-and-comers. Contact Amber Atkins for more information.

Giving Voice
Next up is Giving Voice, a mentorship program that pairs professional designers with students living with disabilities. Giving Voice is comprised of three lunchtime meetings where the pros and students collaborate on a poster that gives voice to a societal issue that is meaningful to the student. The posters are available for sale later at the Poster Show. Anyone interested in mentoring for Giving Voice can contact Amber Atkins for more information.

The Poster Show
The Poster Show is the culmination of our Education & Mentorship programming, bringing together the output of several programs. Hosted by VSA of Colorado/Access Gallery, the Poster Show showcases and offers for sale the posters created in the Elevate and Giving Voice programs, as well as including posters from the international Posters Without Borders. The proceeds from this event are split between VSA of Colorado/Access Gallery and AIGA Colorado.

Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy
Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy is an under-served Denver-area middle school that has partnered with AIGA for a number of years. The goal of the program is to provide monthly one-hour speakers or studio visits to the students, where the speaker talks about their story (personal or the company story), talks with the students about the impact design can have, and guides the student through a workshop activity that emphasizes design thinking. This three-tiered system seeks to Expose the students to the designer/studio, Educate them about the importance of design, and Engage them in using design thinking to solve a problem. It’s a clear and simple format for both the students and mentors. Professional designers interested in visiting or hosting the students can contact Amber Atkins for more information.


In addition to all of this, AIGA Colorado is working on options to establish and fund additional student groups. Do you want to be a design leader in your student community? Launch an AIGA student chapter at your school! Find another way to get involved? Contact Amber Atkins for more information.

By AIGA Colorado
Published November 26, 2014
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