October 9, 2014

Social Design (MA) Community Arts (MFA) Curatorial Practice (MFA)

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)
Elizabeth Brady (MFA, Community Arts), Urban Reflection 4 (detail).

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is breaking new ground in developing graduate programs that will prepare artists and designers as change agents—connecting talent and passion with civic engagement for the purpose of solving problems, changing lives, and making life measurably better for individuals and communities.

For artists who are committed to social change through real world application, these graduate programs give students the opportunity to integrate hands-on civic and social engagement with theoretical exploration, art-making and partnership development.

The MFA in Community Arts (MFACA) program prepares artists to use their art making as a means of civic, youth, and community development, or to teach at the post-secondary level. Real-world experience on community-based projects is integrated with independent studio-based art making. Students discover firsthand how artists and their work help communities articulate their own history, culture, and needs—and how that community in turn inspires the artists’ own creative expression.

The first MFA of its kind in the country, MICA’s MFA in Curatorial Practice degree program prepares students to expand the role of curators in connecting art, artists, and communities—engaging audiences more effectively by developing more relevant, timely, and accessible exhibitions in both traditional and non-traditional venues. Through both collaborative and individual projects and interaction with acclaimed faculty, visiting artists, and curators, students learn to manage projects, coordinate cultural assets, connect institutions and audiences, and negotiate with artists and organizations.

An innovation in design education, the MA in Social Design program prepares designers to assume leadership roles in social change. Rooted heavily in active collaboration with communities, partners, sponsors, and peers, students learn to use design to solve problems, change lifestyles, raise awareness, and influence public policy—and to measure the impact of their work.

The need for creative individuals to use their talent to make a positive difference has never been more urgent.

Learn more about how to apply for one of MICA’s transformative programs in the art of activism by visiting

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 48 states and 61 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. Redefining art and design education, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.

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