The Museum of Art and Design (MOAD) dates back to 2005 with the creation of exhibits within downtown Miami'a historic Freedom Tower. Thanks to the support of college personnel and local philanthropic organizations, Miami Dade College expanded the collection and established a formal museum in August, 2012. The museum reopened in the spring of 2018 following renovations that included the creation of additional gallery space. From offering a space for students and local artists to the formal creation of MOAD, the museum has become Miami Dade College's leading institution dedicated to the presentation and exhibition of visual art and design. With a growing collection of nearly two thousand works and more than 17,000 square feet of exhibition space, this museum is becoming known within and beyond the Miami art community for exhibitions by emerging artists as well as major figures in modern, postmodern and contemporary art. The institution is also known for its efforts to support artists who explore the intersection of design and social issues relevant to Miami, including race, immigration, and inclusion.


  • The Freedom Tower. Credit: MOAD @ MOD
    The Freedom Tower. Credit: MOAD @ MOD
  • Museum educator, Ambar Alfaro providing tour of Pop Art for GO GO MOAD! Program, 2014. Credit: MOAD @ MOD
    Museum educator, Ambar Alfaro providing tour of Pop Art for GO GO MOAD! Program, 2014. Credit: MOAD @ MOD
  • Museum map. Credit: MOAD @ MOD
    Museum map. Credit: MOAD @ MOD
  • The expansive lobby of the Freedom Tower as seen in the 1920`s. Credit: MOAD @ MOD
    The expansive lobby of the Freedom Tower as seen in the 1920`s. Credit: MOAD @ MOD
  • The Miami News facilities as seen in the 1940s. Credit: MOAD @ MOD
    The Miami News facilities as seen in the 1940s. Credit: MOAD @ MOD
  • A piece titled ‘Greenprint,’ one of the works in the new exhibit called ‘By the People: Designing a Better America.’ Credit: Jose A. Iglesias
    A piece titled ‘Greenprint,’ one of the works in the new exhibit called ‘By the People: Designing a Better America.’ Credit: Jose A. Iglesias
  • The museum is located within Miami'a Freedom Tower, constructed in 1925 and designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2008.
    The museum is located within Miami'a Freedom Tower, constructed in 1925 and designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2008.

Constructed in 1925 as a home for The Miami News, Freedom Tower was modeled after the Giralda Cathedral Bell Tower in Seville, Spain. The Freedom Tower was operated by the U.S. government as a reception center for Cuban refugees from 1962 to 1974. The building is significant because it represents the important story of the Cuban migration to America and resettlement during the Cold War. It remains one of South Florida's most distinctive historic buildings and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2008.

MOAD provides open, critical, and collaborative frameworks for artistic experimentation and interdisciplinary risk-taking that explores the intersections of art, design, and other art forms with cultural action. It also provides its patrons and visitors access to unique cultural, historical and educational exhibitions that enrich the greater community while building and preserving an expansive permanent art collection, Freedom Tower archives, and newly established design collection. The Museum advances Miami Dade College’s core values, contributing to the intellectual life of the college, engaging students and audiences from the community and the world beyond.

In May 2018, the main floor reopened following extensive renovations and the creation of a pair of companion galleries. The long-established Cuban Exile Experience and Cultural Legacy Gallery will debut an improved and expanded permanent exhibition, including new immersive elements. Another permanent new gallery will show pieces from the renowned Kislak Collection of artifacts, books and historic documents from the early Americas.

The MDC Permanent Collection contains over 1,900 works in all mediums and genres, including painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, video, film, installation and public sculpture. The collection was established in the 1960s at the individual campuses, with the first formal institution of a "collection" at MDC North Campus. MDC's Permanent Collection is known for works by emerging artists, under recognized artists, as well as major figures in the modern, postmodern, and contemporary art. Among the greatest strengths in the collection are pieces within movements of Minimalism, Pop Art of the 60s & 70s, Conceptual Art and Contemporary Latin American Artists.

History. Miami Dade College. Accessed May 13, 2018. http://www.mdcmoad.org/about/history.aspx.

MDC's Museum of Art and Design to Open Renovated Galleries with New Exhibitions, New Mission and New Identity. Miami Dade College. . Accessed May 13, 2018. https://news.mdc.edu/press_release/mdcs-museum-of-art-and-design-to-open-renovated-galleries-with-ne.... Press Release.

MDC Permanent Art Collection. Miami Dade College. Accessed May 13, 2018. http://www.mdcmoad.org/mdc-collection/default.aspx. 

Vazquez, Neil. MDC's Museum of Art + Design Reopens With Two Shows After Renovation. Miami New Times. April 06, 2018. Accessed May 13, 2018. http://www.miaminewtimes.com/arts/mdc-museum-of-art-design-reopens-with-by-the-people-and-this-situa.... 

Viglucci, Andres. One of Miami's best kept secrets is this museum — and it's ready to break out. Miami Herald. April 06, 2018. Accessed May 13, 2018. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/downtown-miami/article208122879.html.