December 14, 2016

ArtCenter College of Design Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant to Inspire Next Gen Mobility Designers at Petersen Automotive Museum

Designers help youth explore new career pathways in demo studio


ArtCenter College of Design is the only organization in California to receive a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant in the design category to inspire youth to explore design as a career. The grant will support ArtCenter's new demonstration studio at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Throughout the year, ArtCenter Transportation Design students engage with K through 12 visitors and their families in the interactive studio by sharing experience, creating sketches and making digital renderings or 3D models. The popular family destination attracts more than 400,000 museum goers annually.

“This NEA grant is key to realizing our vision to inspire the next generation of industrial design innovators by engaging with thousands of kids, teens and families visiting this dynamic learning space each year,” said Stewart Reed, chair of ArtCenter’s Transportation Design undergraduate and graduate departments. “We’re grateful for this recognition as we move forward, especially because this project has meaning for Southern California since it celebrates the region's famed ‘car culture’ and its great influence in both artistry and industry.”

The Art Works grant of $30,000 to the College was announced as one of more than $30 million in grants approved by Chu in the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. The Art Works category focuses on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts and the strengthening of communities through the arts.

“The arts are for all of us,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “By supporting organizations such as ArtCenter College of Design and its educational program at The Petersen, the NEA provides more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts, whether in a theater, a town square, a museum or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer.”

Leading the initiative to raise awareness of mobility career opportunities among youth is a core team of individuals with deep experience in automotive design, nonprofit administration, education, museum operations and youth audiences. Stewart Reed is collaborating with Jay Sanders, executive director of undergraduate Transportation Design; Frank Saucedo, director of Advanced Design at General Motors Design; Jordan Meadows, an ArtCenter Transportation Design instructor and Terry Karges, executive director of the Petersen Automotive Museum.

The NEA funded project, The Design Demonstration Studio: Inspiring Tomorrow's Car Designers, joins two of America's most powerful forces in mobility design education: ArtCenter College of Design, a global leader in industrial design education; and the Petersen Automotive Museum, one of the world's premier automotive museums. Together, ArtCenter and the Petersen will jointly program the public demonstration studio geared toward exposing youth audiences from all backgrounds to career paths in industrial design.

In December 2015, the Petersen opened a dramatically remodeled new facility that continues to receive worldwide attention for its architecturally daring exterior of red and silver steel ribbons. The museum's interior was also completely rebuilt and now includes a special 3-room, 2,000-square-foot design studio operated by ArtCenter. The studio allows talented, up-and-coming designers from ArtCenter's Transportation Design program to interact with the public and demonstrate key aspects of designing automobiles—exteriors and interiors. ArtCenter students will serve as docents in the space via extracurricular internships. Visitors will gain a thoughtful understanding of what car designers do and engage in meaningful conversations with the students. While the museum is outfitted with an abundance of the latest interactive technologies, the ArtCenter studio will be the primary place where visitors can consistently have human interaction. The NEA grant will help scale up and pilot a full-time schedule of operation of the studio to test optimal hours, presentation formats and conditions.

For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, visit

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About ArtCenter: Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. ArtCenter offers 11 undergraduate and seven graduate degrees in a wide variety of industrial design disciplines as well as visual and applied arts. In addition to its top-ranked academic programs, the College also serves members of the Greater Los Angeles region through a highly regarded series of year-round educational programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for both its ties to industry and its social impact initiatives, ArtCenter is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status. Throughout the College’s long and storied history, ArtCenter alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.

Teri Bond, Media Relations Director
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