facebook pixel

Students, staff & faculty can login to access personalized content.

Parent & Guardian Access is located here.

Please enter your login info

Forgot your password?

[Skip to Content]

National Community Arts

MICA has a long history of creative community engagement and is dedicated to the development and advancement of community arts.

Posted 02.15.08 by MICA Media Relations

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) will host a national convening to advance the field of community arts, March 16-18, 2008, on the college campus located at 1300 Mount Royal Avenue, Baltimore, Md. Funded by the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the National Community Arts Convening & Research Project will provide a platform for college and university faculty and students and community-based practitioners to meet and share resources and models for best practices in the field; define and solve current challenges facing the field; identify and discuss new research and generate new ideas; develop strong leadership; and cultivate new partnerships.

Research and other writing generated through the community arts convening project will be published online in spring 2008 on the Community Arts Network (CAN) website and the Community Arts Convening project website at www.mica.edu/communityartsconvening.

About the Keynote Speaker: Liz Lerman, founding artistic director of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, will serve as the keynote speaker. Choreographer, performer, writer, educator, and speaker, Lerman is described by the Washington Post as "the source of an epochal revolution in the scope and purposes of dance art." Her dance/theater works have been seen throughout the United States and abroad. In 2004, Lerman conducted a three-week collaborative exploration at MICA involving honors students, science advisors and Dance Exchange members to create artistic solutions to challenges, discoveries and ethical questions raised by scientific inquiries into the mystery and scope of human genetics. Her aesthetic approach spans the range from abstract to personal to political, while her working process emphasizes research, translation between artistic media, and intensive collaboration with dancers and communities. Several company members will join Liz in her presentation and serve as dialogue participants and resources throughout the convening.

About the conference: The convening is a forum for discussion surrounding texts submitted by college and university faculty and administrators, students of community arts, and community-based practitioners (community members, artists, activists, organizers and others dedicated to social change, community empowerment/building, and the arts).

Submissions were received and approved through an editorial review process, with specific efforts made to include a diverse group of community arts theorists and practitioners and the goal of initiating publications of the best thinking from groups of individuals currently shaping this field. Based on text submissions, the editorial review board identified four key themes to be discussed at the convening:

Theme #1: Critical Pedagogy in the Academy Essays grouped under Critical Pedagogy in the Academy examine the ways teaching and learning are being redefined as the struggles between aesthetic canon and diverse community values take place within the academy. The history of higher education and the arts is the context of many of these reflections that include concerns with a socially engaged curriculum, service learning, and the mentoring of students in community settings.

Theme #2: Partnerships: Campus and Community Essays grouped under Partnerships: Campus and Community examine issues of power, collaboration, equity and sustainability within institutional partnerships. The writings reveal new models of reciprocity and the importance of shared curriculum and community pedagogy. The values of activism and community service are critical to the context of collaboration and partnership between community and university.

Theme #3: Community Practices: Values, Beliefs and Aesthetic Forms Essays grouped under Community Practices: Values, Beliefs and Aesthetic Forms examine the building of community and the role of cultural knowledge and community voice. Community values and practices are the foundation for understanding the power of public memory and community history shaped by diverse artistic and aesthetic practices. Much of this work can be distilled into principles and guidelines.

Theme #4: Community Arts and Artist Essays grouped under Community Arts and Artist examine the role and history of the artist in the community. The values of folk forms, community aesthetics and other expressive forms are an important context for the mentoring, training and preparation of artists. In these models of collaborative art, community programming development and policies are critical elements.

MICA's Commitment to Community Arts: MICA has a long history of creative community engagement and is dedicated to the development and advancement of community arts models at several levels. Through its Master of Arts in Community Arts (MACA), under the umbrella of the College's national Center for Arts Education, MICA prepares graduate-level students in the art of building community through collaboration in the arts. Since 1998, through the nationally renowned Community Arts Partnership program (CAP), MICA has supported ongoing community-based art projects that enrich the lives of children and families, unify and strengthen neighborhoods, and provide valuable professional development and social engagement experiences for MICA students. Through MICA's graphic design, environmental design, illustration, and fine arts departments, students and faculty engage in real-world projects in collaboration with communities that focus on public health education, urban development, historic preservation, and empowering Baltimore communities and the surrounding region.

Editorial Review Board: The editorial review board consists of community arts practitioners from prestigious colleges and universities across the country who are actively engaged in the research and advancement of community arts within higher education. The board included Ron Bechet, Xavier University of Louisiana; Lori Hager, University of Oregon; Marina Gutierrez, Cooper Union; Ken Krafchek, Maryland Institute College of Art; Sonia Manjon, California College of the Arts; Amalia Mesa-Bains, California State University Monterey Bay; Paul Teruel, Columbia College Chicago; and Stephanie Woodson, Arizona State University. For more information on the National Community Arts Convening and Research Project, please visit www.mica.edu/communityartsconvening or call 410.225.2300.

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 52 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.