Katie Avila Loughmiller

  • Lecturer, Theatre


MFA, Art & Public Practice, Otis College of Art & Design
BA, Individualized Major: Cultural & Gender Studies Through the Arts Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University


Katie Avila Loughmiller is an interdisciplinary social practice artist, writer, educator, curator and activist. Avila Loughmiller has been recognized for her work by Milwaukee Repertory Theatre's SHEro Award (2020), the City of Milwaukee's Vel R. Phillips Trailblazer Award (2021) and Milwaukee Magazine's Unity Award (2022).

She is the co-founder and director of LUNA (Latinas Unidas en las Artes), a collective turned business that supports and equitably pays Latinx artists. She has co-hosted the comedy radio show/podcast, We Heard We’re Funny, airing live on Riverwest Radio since April 2017. She is a founding member of Heard Space, a multi-media performing arts collective led by women of color. From 2020-2021, she co-founded and co-facilitated Milwaukee Action Intersection, a social justice organization rooted in healing, engagement, resource sharing and education.

Avila Loughmiller's individual artistic practice has allowed her to perform across the country and also participate in artist residencies, most notably, Santa Fe Art Institute, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center and Wildacres Residency Program.

She served as the Arts Project Coordinator for the Milwaukee Public Library overseeing the two year National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant at the Mitchell Street Branch from 2018-2019. Avila Loughmiller has taught in various educational settings in South Africa, New York City, Los Angeles, Boston. At UWM, Avila Loughmiller directed the workshop production The Day the Music Came Back by Alvaro Saar Rios in Fall 2020 and has been teaching Theatre & Social Change and Storytelling since Spring 2021. She is currently directing This is Modern Art by Idris Goodwin and Kevin Coval, which will run March 9-13, 2022.

In addition to teaching at UWM, she currently serves as the Coordinating Producer on a feature-length documentary film about art critics called Out of the Picture and as the Storyteller and Content Creator at Colorful Connections a social enterprise that helps leaders create inclusive workplace cultures, while supporting the advancement of the underrepresented and underestimated.

Avila Loughmiller received her undergraduate degree at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University and completed her Master of Fine Arts degree in the Public Practice program at Otis College of Art & Design.