Creative Placemaking

MICA strives to deliver an integrative education that lasts a lifetime for its graduates and benefits society for years. This educational approach, which intersects with multiple fields and spheres, provides MICA students with a myriad of options throughout their careers. Our students develop creative expertise and fluid skills combined with the know-how of collaboration and confidence gained through cross-disciplinary projects and networks.

As part this effort, MICA is undertaking activities that reflect a deep commitment to building the field of creative placemaking in support of healthy, equitable, and sustainable communities. This work, which is central to the values, principles, and goals articulated in MICA’s Mission and Vision, has made the College an exemplar in the discipline among institutions of art and design education, and is demonstrated by recent recognition from ArtPlace America and the Kresge Foundation.

As President Hoi said:

“MICA is a leader of integrative education in art and design by preparing our students as next-generation creative professionals and change agents who can succeed and contribute in multiple platforms and in society at large. Creative placemaking is integral to MICA’s overall commitment to creative entrepreneurship, city engagement, and social justice. This exceptional ArtPlace America grant will further MICA’s mindful community partnership work in Baltimore that has been recognized by the recent ICIC/Kresge national report on The Overlooked Anchors. We are excited to build a national model approach for the field.”

Listen as  President Hoi joins the Free to Bmore podcast to talk about how art and artists can be changemakers in our society. 

Learn more about the ArtPlace America Grant

Learn more about the Kresge national report on The Overlooked Anchors.

ArtPlace America Grant

 In November, 2019, MICA became one of seven colleges and universities across the U.S. selected to receive grant funding from ArtPlace America in support of creative placemaking teaching, learning, and research for undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs.

The organization, which invited 24 institutions of higher education to propose work that integrates creative placemaking into higher education efforts, selected seven to receive funding. Including MICA, other recipients of the almost $2 million in grants include Arizona State University, The New School, the University of Florida, the University of Michigan, the University of New Mexico, and the University of Oregon.

 MICA, which received $510,000 in grant funding, will use the award to support the launch of Creative Placemaking @ MICA (CP@M). Educational approaches will include certificates, learning cohorts, and courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels. CP@M will also support the College’s ongoing creative placemaking work in Baltimore.

 Read more: Creative Placemaking @ MICA Press Release

 The higher education sector is an important participant in building the creative placemaking field, as noted by Ford Foundation Executive Vice President for Programs Hilary Pennington, who said, “Education is one way human beings can become more fully who they are meant to be. Art and culture are another. Through them, we most deeply connect to one another as people, and through that connection we can move beyond the inequality and prejudice that block a future in which all can thrive. These seven institutions of higher education are investing in future generations of leaders who will be equipped to help build that future through the kind of creative placemaking that connects us to each other and unites the arts and community life.”

The Overlooked Anchors

 As a national and international leader in art and design education, and its central location in Baltimore City, make it well positioned to undertake this work. A July 2019 report, The Overlooked Anchors: Advancing a New Standard of Practice for Art and Culture Organizations to Create Equitable Opportunity in America’s Cities, examines the potential for arts organizations to apply a framework long used by traditional anchor institutions—such as hospitals and corporations—to strategically leverage their organizational operations for community development and strengthening.  Funded by the Kresge Foundation and published by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), the report highlights four “notable examples of large arts and culture organizations” that have adopted these anchor-based approaches, including MICA.

 Key elements of the ICIC’s Strategic Anchor Framework include:


 “We chose to profile MICA because its deep understanding of the anchor framework and its nearly two-decade long anchor engagement stood out among the arts and culture organizations we reviewed. The prominence of MICA in anchor collaboratives is also notable because arts and culture organizations, even art colleges, typically do not lead such collaborations.”

Read the Full Report