MIAMI (Nov. 10, 2016) – Florida International University’s College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) has partnered with The Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation Inc., to create an incubator aimed at giving FIU art and design students the tools and support needed to turn their ideas into profitable businesses.
With funds from a recent $831,000 gift from the Ratcliffe Foundation, CARTA will open the Ratcliffe Arts + Design Incubator at FIU at the university’s Biscayne Bay Campus in North Miami. It will be among the most innovative arts entrepreneurship spaces to be housed at a public university in South Florida.
As conceived by CARTA’s Department of Art + Art History, the incubator will bring in two designers who will be led by department chair Jacek J. Kolasinski, a new-media artist and associate professor of visual arts. The designers will operate their own on-site studios, with students — Ratcliffe Fellows — shadowing them. The designers will mentor the fellows, co-design products for university and external clients, and oversee the fellows’ development of startup businesses or patents. The first cohort of 15 fellows will start working in the incubator in Fall 2017. Each fellow will receive a full scholarship covering tuition for their year in the incubator.
For art and design students, experiencing the process of getting a product out the door in a supported environment is critical preparation for producing in creative fields after graduation, said CARTA Dean Brian Schriner.
“CARTA recognizes that technological advances have profoundly altered creative practices,” Schriner said. “The Ratcliffe Arts + Design Incubator at FIU will prepare students with the technical and creative skills needed to be competitive in the 21st century’s global, creative economy.”
The Ratcliffe Foundation has funded educational programs for entrepreneurs at colleges in the past, but to Carole Ratcliffe, the incubator is a great fit at CARTA and a great addition to the entrepreneurial ecosystem that already exists at FIU.
“This project has the right momentum at the right time and is so unique in that it makes the most of the assets and resources that FIU has,” Ratcliffe said.
The Ratcliffe gift will fund the incubator for a three-year period, including $450,000 in scholarships, two designers who will teach courses in graphic and object design, a monthly lecture series, state-of-the-art technology, office space, accessible meeting space, a small business library, market research assistance, legal and accounting support, seed capital programs, and training.
About The Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation, Inc.:
Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe established their Foundation in Florida in 2003. The Ratcliffe Foundation has invested in entrepreneurial education and programs, including Up/Start MICA at the Maryland Institute College of Art and the Entrepreneurial Studies Institute at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland. Philip and Carole started the Foundation after Philip’s extensive career in business and real estate. Philip was the founder of the Metropolitan Maintenance Company and owner of the Maryland Management Company. He passed away in 2009, survived by his wife, Carole. Carole, a yacht consultant, owned and operated Bay Shores, Inc., a marine sales and construction company in Maryland, before moving to Florida.
About the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts:
Florida International University’s College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) educates the designers and artists who will shape our future. Its interdisciplinary curriculum provides students with experiential learning opportunities that prepare them for gainful employment. Our fully-accredited academic departments take advantage of our South Florida location by engaging in innovative problem-solving initiatives with our local and global communities. CARTA has distinguished degree programs in Art + Art History, Communication, Journalism + Media, Architecture, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Music, and Theatre. In 2016, FIU’s prestigious School of Journalism and Mass Communication integrated with CARTA, resulting in the School of Communication + Journalism. This strategic partnership combines the power of the arts and of communication to foster interdisciplinary research and degree offerings that better prepare students for the 21st century’s information, technology, and innovation economies. CARTA has over 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students and state-of-the art educational and performance facilities, such as the Paul L. Cejas School of Architecture Building, Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center, FIU Broadcast Studio, Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication, and CARTA Miami Beach Urban Studios + CARTA Innovation Lab. For more information about FIU CARTA, visit http://carta.fiu.edu/.
Florida International University is classified by Carnegie as a “R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity” and recognized as a Carnegie Community Engaged university. It is a public research university with colleges and schools that offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in fields such as business engineering, computer science, international relations, architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida’s anchor institutions, FIU contributes almost $9 billion each year to the local economy and is ranked second in Florida in Forbes Magazine’s “America’s Best Employers” list. FIU graduates are consistently among the highest paid college graduates in Florida and are among the leaders of public and private organizations throughout South Florida. FIU is Worlds Ahead in finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission with multiple state-of-the-art research facilities including the Wall of Wind Research and Testing Facility, FIU’s Medina Aquarius Program and the Advanced Materials Engineering Research Institute. FIU has awarded more than 220,000 degrees and enrolls more than 54,000 students in two campuses and centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell, FIU@I-75, the Miami Beach Urban Studios, and Tianjin, China. FIU also supports artistic and cultural engagement through its three museums: Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, the Wolfsonian-FIU, and the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. FIU is a member of Conference USA and more than 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. For more information about FIU, visit http://www.fiu.edu/.
Company Name: FIU-College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts
Contact Person: Lilia Silverio
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