MAD is the educational component of the non profit arts group Arts Initiative Tokyo (AIT), founded in 2001. MAD stands for Making Art Different, and was begin as a pilot program in 2001. At that time, we felt that there was a strong need for discursive spaces for contemporary art in Tokyo which were different to traditional art universities. Museums at that time did not offer much in the way of adult education for people with a serious interest in modern and contemporary art either. MAD began as a small initiative offering courses in curating contemporary art, introductions to modern and contemporary art and a course for practicing artists.
Since 2001 we have grown to become one of the oldest and successful privately initiated schools art aimed at a non specialist audience. The vast majority of our students are working people, with an age range from twenty to sixty and beyond. Most are working people and professionals, although we increasingly also receive many people of retired age as well as some students.
Our commitment remains to broaden the appeal and interest in modern and contemporary art in Japan through small scale, in depth lectures and discussions. Over the 15 years we have offered courses, many former students have gone on to work professionally in the arts field as gallerists, curators, educators and artists as well as many who have travelled abroad to continue their studies.