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Overview

The M.F.A. in Community Arts (MFACA) program serves artists for whom community arts, social engaged practices, and/or community-collaborative activities are integral to their own personal artmaking. MFACA combines the skills, knowledge, and competencies with intensive on-the-ground, real-time practice necessary for artists to realize, refine, and apply their personal artistic voice, undertake research on individual and social/cultural content and context, and develop new art forms. In theory and practice, MFACA is grounded in the principles of social justice.

Track 1

With an emphasis on educational programing, students use their first year in the program to engage youth and adults in meaningful, out-of-school, arts-based and community-based learning experiences as part of an AmeriCorps or other residency. Alongside this work, Track 1 students also use the first year to pursue their individual art practice in relation to the community. A full-time artmaking emphasis occurs during the second year.

Opportunities & Advantages

Students looking forward to a full-time or part-time career in community-based education will design, develop, implement, and/or expand arts-based educational programming for youth and adults, create and plan arts-based events in community, and support the institutional, managerial, and fiscal health of a host organization.

Students who are U.S. citizens are invited to apply to AmeriCorps through MICA's Community Art Collaborative (CAC) AmeriCorps Program and receive a living stipend, educational award, and other benefits. MFACA students opting to join CAC-AmeriCorps will begin working at community arts organizations in Baltimore in October and will work at those organizations through mid-August.

Track 2

With an emphasis on socially engaged art practices, projects, programs, and/or activities, students following Track #2 define their own community-based residency as a way to pursue their individual artmaking. This series of investigations reflect their development as artists in relation to the community during both program years.

Opportunities & Advantages

Students wishing to emphasize their own artmaking and practice during MFACA's first year may define their own residency partnership(s).

Students advance their own practices by designing, developing, and implementing arts-based projects, programs, happenings and/or events supporting community organizing, community-building, advocacy, activism and other change initiatives that ultimately support the integrity, needs, and well-being of a host organization, group, or community.

Students selecting this path are not eligible for AmeriCorps or related support, although they have the opportunity to travel or work to raise funds throughout the summer months between their first and second year.

Second-Year Benefits & Advantages (Tracks 1 & 2)

During the second year, all MFACA students pursue their art practice in whatever form it may take—with any and all partners—towards goals co-created with their collaborators. Additionally, thesis-related, arts-based MFACA courses and general studio electives ground these investigations in theory and practice.