Fort Lauderdale, FL, August 06, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- On Tuesday, September 16, beginning at 4pm, The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale celebrates its 40th anniversary with a nostalgic, but peaceful, "sit-in" reception commemorating the Florida design school opening its doors on the famous Fort Lauderdale Beach during the fall of 1968.
The year was 1968, and Spring Break defined Fort Lauderdale as the place to be for thousands of college students to converge on the beach for fun, sun, and partying. The intersection of Las Olas Boulevard and A1A was the center of the action, made famous in the movie Where the Boys Are. Across the street from the popular Elbow Room and The Button was a Holiday Inn.
This was no ordinary motel, the first floor belonged to The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, which opened on September 16, 1968, to welcome its first 55 students – girls were required to wear skirts or dresses, and guys had to wear dress shirts. Back then the diplomas were three: Commercial Art, Interior Design, and Fashion Illustration.
Fast forward 40 years to 2008, and The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, on 17th Street since 1985, has approximately 3,000 students (now wearing all sorts of clothing) pursuing 17 areas of applied arts education programs culminating with Bachelor of Science degrees, Associate of Science degrees, or diplomas. The staff and faculty combined which was 35 has now swelled to approximately 378.
“We’re all about providing creative arts education to launch careers,” says The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale President Chuck Nagele. “That has never changed since we first began 40 years ago. Our mission and commitment to our students remains constant to offer an education taught by professionals to help students graduate with the skills and training to begin their creative careers.”
It was a mixed “bag” in 1968.
average cost of a new house was $14,975
average new car was $2,822
one gallon of gas was 34 cents
a movie ticket was $1.50
a postage stamp was 6 cents
Oliver! won the Oscar® for the Best Picture
Richard Nixon was elected to replace Lyndon Johnson as president
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated
the Vietnam war raged on
Laugh In was the hottest show on TV
McDonalds sold the first Big Mac
Intel and Ralph Lauren were founded
Aristotle Onassis married Jackie Kennedy
the Beatles’ Hey Jude reigned at the top of the music charts
the Tigers beat the Cardinals in the World Series
the Celtics won over the Lakers
the Green Bay Packers took Super Bowl II title over the Oakland Raiders
Billie Jean King and Arthur Ashe were at the top of their tennis game
In ’68, the counter-culture influenced clothes with psychedelic images, photographers used film and a darkroom to process their pictures, interior design was space-age and modular, women wore long gowns and evening gloves in ads for household appliances, mechanical artists used amberlith to silhouette a photo, secretaries used typewriters, people smoked on airplanes, Saturday morning cartoons were a must-see, and coffee drinkers switched to Sanka.
Fort Lauderdale has reinvented itself since1968. Spring break is no longer a “happening” but college students still seek out the warmth of South Florida and many of them are enrolled at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.
“We have students from all over the world following their passions,” says Nagele. “They’re from as far away as Turkey, Japan, Peru, and Iceland. Of course, the majority of our students are from Florida. Since 1968, we have graduated over 13,000 students and many of them are extremely successful such as Venus Williams, world famous tennis star, who has her own line of clothing; Carol Guzy, photojournalist at The Washington Post, who has garnered three Pulitzer Prizes; and Perla Lichi, award-winning and internationally prominent interior designer, to name a few.”
The times have changed, but many things remain the same in Fort Lauderdale. The sun still shines bright on the 22 miles of amazing beaches lined with outdoor cafes, restaurants, and shops; South Beach, the Keys, and the Everglades are just a few miles away; and national sporting events, major shopping stores, and international entertainment satisfies every interest. Fort Lauderdale is still a stimulating atmosphere that inspires and motivates artists and designers, and after 40 years, The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale continues offering creative education taught by industry experts so students graduate with the skills and ability to pursue their goals in professional creative careers. That hasn’t changed.
About The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale
The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, established in 1968, awards Bachelor of Science and Associate of Science degrees, as well as diplomas. Programs currently offered are: Advertising, Animation Art & Design, Art of Cooking, Baking & Pastry, Broadcasting, Culinary Arts, Culinary Management, Graphic & Desktop Design, Digital Filmmaking & Video Production, Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising, Game Art & Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design, Interior Design, Media Arts & Animation, Photography, Residential Design, Visual Effects & Motion Graphics, Video Production, and Web Design & Interactive Media. The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale is approved for the training of veterans and eligible veterans’ dependents and is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students.