Social Practice Queens, Spring Semester
Queens Museum
Above: Barrie Cline and Jaime Lopez, Workers Pavilion Project at Corona Plaza, August 24, 2013, 2013, mixed media installation. Photo courtesy of the artists.
Above: Barrie Cline and Jaime Lopez, Workers Pavilion Project at Corona Plaza, August 24, 2013, 2013, mixed media installation. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Queens Museum of Art
NYC Building
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Queens, NY 11368

Social Practice Queens (SPQ) is a unique MFA concentration bringing together the resources of an academic research institution, Queens College (City University of New York: CUNY), with the long-standing community-based activism of the Queens Museum.

The new MFA concentration in social practice integrates studio work with social, tactical, interventionist and cooperative forms. SPQ’s goal is to initiate interdisciplinary projects with real world outcomes rooted in CUNY’s rigorous departmental offerings (e.g.: urban studies, environmental science, public policy, experimental pedagogy, social theory) in tandem with the Queens Museum’s ongoing community-based activities.

SPQ is looking for students seeking to learn more about the relationship between art and social action, and also those already active in this area who wish to further concentrate their practice through a unique collaboration between a highly-regarded research university and a major New York City art museum known for its commitment to community engagement.

SPQ, which takes place within a context of a 54 credit MFA, represents an unparalleled value, especially for residents of New York. The enrollment deadline for the Spring 2014 semester is November 15.

Program Components

SPQ Seminars
Every semester there is seminar at QC that introduces students to the contemporary theory and methodologies emerging around social practice.  SPQ seminars are often team-taught, partnering QC Art Department faculty with professors in adjacent disciplines, including the QC Urban Studies department, or with professionals outside the university system.

SPQ Projects
From the beginning, students are encouraged to develop real-world projects to serve as long-term practicums reflecting the ideas, theories and methodologies they encounter across their various SPQ seminars. Student-led projects can be developed in tandem with the Queens Museum’s ongoing community-based initiatives, giving students access to the formidable expertise, resources, and networks of the museum’s community organizers and arts administrators.

For the past eight years the Queens Museum has sought to thoroughly integrate socially-engaged art in partnership with a coalition of over 40 local stakeholders in Queens (with a particularly strong network in Corona) in a sustained and dialogue-based fashion in ways that few museums have tried. Queens Museum staff makes themselves available to introduce SPQ students to the nuances of Corona, Queens, suggest relevant community partners with which to collaborate, provide advice on permitting and other logistics, make relevant introductions to municipal agencies and elected officials, as well book museum space for larger collaborative meetings, public events, workshops, or happenings, as the museum’s schedule and technical capacity allows.

SPQ Studio
Besides their individual studios on the Queens College campus, SPQ students share a collaborative studio space within the Queen Museum’s new artist studio program. The SPQ Studio serves as a public headquarters for students’ ongoing projects. The shared studio gives students a space for collaborative brainstorming and organizing around their projects, as well as access to the community of social practitioners working with the museum on special commissions, exhibiting, or participating in its public programs.

For more information, please visit

October 19, 2013