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President Samuel Hoi Receives Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellowship

Posted 10.02.17

Samuel HoiPresident Samuel Hoi was just named a 2017-2018 Art of Change Fellow by the Ford Foundation. The fellowship program recognizes "visionary artists and cultural leaders in creating powerful works of art that help advance freedom, justice and inclusion, and strengthen our democracy," according to a statement released by the Foundation.

This year's cohort of 25 fellows includes dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, writer Sandra Cisneros, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, composer Mohammed Fairouz, cultural leaders Lori Pourier and Carlton Turner, and artist Fred Wilson, among others. A full list of this year's fellows can be found at fordfoundation.org.

"It is a profound honor to be recognized as a Ford Art of Change Fellow," said Hoi. "Arts educators, especially those of us on the administrative side, seldom receive attention as cultural leaders and social change makers. The Ford Foundation's bold commitment to highlight such an inclusive range of Art of Change Fellows sheds wonderful light on the full spectrum of creative efforts that contribute to a more just society. I am deeply inspired and humbled to be among the incredible leaders acknowledged by this fellowship program."

Hoi has a consistent and distinguished history of innovation in expanding the platform for and impact of art and design education, and promoting equitable pathways to education and opportunity. Since joining MICA in 2014, President Hoi has spearheaded significant initiatives to advance opportunity and equity in the arts, both at MICA and in the greater Baltimore community.

He has instituted a large-scale and inclusive creative entrepreneurship program, which encompasses the first major venture competition for art and design students (UP/Start) and an entrepreneur-in-residence program at makerspace Open Works, as well as a campus-wide integration effort for diversity, equity, inclusion and globalization. President Hoi also conceived and helped create the Baltimore Creatives Acceleration Network (B/CAN) project, a citywide network of entrepreneurial support for Baltimore's creatives regardless of socio-economic, gender, generational, geographic and disciplinary boundaries.

"My medium, so to speak, is art and design education. All my initiatives not only serve but require the extensive partnership of campus and external communities. My work is inherently collaborative and reciprocal," Hoi added. "Therefore, I share this honor with numerous others with whom I have worked and from whom I have learned. I am particularly grateful to be at MICA, where the campus community is guided by a powerful mission to empower art and design students to forge creative, purposeful lives and careers in a diverse and changing world."

Art of Change Fellowships recognize artists who seamlessly blend artistic brilliance with commitment to social justice, and pursue their creative lives in a spirit of generous collaboration. This year's cohort includes choreographers, organization leaders, poets and writers, musicians, filmmakers, visual artists, and theater makers - all of whom are also in some way cultural organizers.

The yearlong fellowship comes with unrestricted stipends of $50,000 for individuals and $75,000 for collaborative teams. Fellows will create work that explores questions of freedom and justice, which they will showcase in late 2018.

"Art is essential in a free and flourishing society. Artists are the visionaries who can shine light on complexity and possibility, and inspire us to make those societies more just and more beautiful," said Elizabeth Alexander, the Ford Foundation's director of Creativity and Free Expression, in a statement. "This fellowship recognizes an extraordinarily diverse group of brilliant artists and innovators whose works embody social justice, and enables them to come together and collaborate toward a more just and inclusive future."

This page was last updated on 10/10/2017.