The program provides you with a thorough grounding in theory and practice, beginning with coursework that highlights the relationship between the artist, art, and community. Real-world experience that integrates independent artmaking with community-based projects provides you with the opportunity to investigate how artists help communities articulate their own unique creative identity, and how these communities, in turn, inspire the students' own creative expression.
With an emphasis on educational programming, 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. Track 1 students participate in the Community Art Collaborative (CAC) AmeriCorps program at MICA. 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 the 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.
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.
Who Should Apply
The M.F.A. in Community Arts is designed for students with demonstrated ability in art forms that connect to community, including but not limited to: visual arts, theater, creative writing, dance/movement, graphic design, photography, and film. Interest in community-based work or education is a prerequisite.