October 13, 2015

New MA in Social Practice and Public Forms: a dynamic, field-based study for art in the expanded field

California College of the Arts (CCA)
Ilyse Magy, By-Products of the 2013 CCA MFA Show: Two Months of Material Collected from the Graduate Fine Arts Studios Making the Show Zero Waste, 2013. Installation.

Inaugurated in 2005, the Social Practice Workshop at California College of the Arts (CCA) was the first Master’s level curriculum of its kind in the United States—and since then, the field has continued to evolve and expand.

Building on its leadership in this field, CCA will offer an entirely new MA degree program beginning in fall 2016. The program is designed to support artists and community-oriented designers whose working methods cross the boundaries between contemporary art and the public realm, including long-term research, site- and community-specific strategies, and political engagement.

The curriculum immerses students in the discourse of a socially engaged arts practice, providing opportunities to work contextually in a variety of public spaces, including urban environments and community locations, as well as online social spaces and institutional structures. The program also affords students with the opportunity to supplement their individual projects with coursework in critical theory, travel-based curriculum and individualized study with professionals working across the spectrum of media and practice. Full-time students can complete the program within one calendar year.

The MA in Social Practice & Public Forms is specifically for creative practitioners who are ready for a deeper immersion in the theory and practice of public art, and who desire substantive field experience and critical research. This degree provides a platform to produce professional-level public artwork or community-engaged projects that can serve as a central portfolio piece for pursuing future grants and residency opportunities. Opportunities in this field include public art commissions, residency-based projects, private/institutional commissions, employment within museum engagement programs, and community-based educational work.

Beyond the curricular engagement with CCA’s Social Practice faculty, MA students will also benefit from close access to CCA’s world-renowned Center for Art and Public Life. The Center is dedicated to facilitating collaborations among CCA students, faculty, and community partners. It funds student-proposed projects, organizes cross-disciplinary courses, and coordinates “externships” in which students are paid to embed and work in outside organizations.

Resident Faculty:
Amy Balkin
Susanne Cockrell
Ranu Mukherjee
Ted Purves

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