Graduate Programs

Community Arts (MFA)

The M.F.A. in Community Arts program prepares artists to use their artmaking as a means of civic, youth, and community development, activism, education and more.

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. 

Program Overview

Track 1

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 as part of an AmeriCorps or another residency. 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.

Track 2

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 visual arts. Some experience in community-based work is a prerequisite. additional Studies in sociology, psychology, urban studies, or other related fields may further strengthen the application.

Workshops at the U.S. Embassy in Baku with Community Arts students Anne Kotleba '12 and Natalie Tranelli '11, sponsored by the U.S. State Department.


Ken Krafchek

Rachael Shannon

Open Hearts

Edgar Reyes

Ashley Minner
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MFACA Special Series

POWER Speaker Series

Students participate in and help to design and implement this speaker series that addresses the concept and reality of "power” — that which impacts us all, everyday…all over the world. This 20-week investigation provides a uniquely civil, yet aggressive investigation addressing a myriad of power-related topics, issues, and perspectives. Hosted by MFACA at MICA PLACE in East Baltimore, everyone is welcome to contribute as part of this inclusive set of discussions.