(Philadelphia, PA) – Moore College of Art & Design and the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program are excited to announce a unique partnership to provide innovative, collaborative-style teaching across two new graduate programs at the College – an MA in Social Engagement and an MFA in Community Practice.
The new graduate programs are expected to launch in 2015, and will help Moore establish itself as the region’s educational center for community arts practice. Moore, the first and only visual arts college for women in the United States, currently offers three coeducational graduate programs: an MA in Art Education, an MFA in Studio Art and an MFA in Interior Design.
Moore and Mural Arts will officially announce their partnership tonight (Monday, March 24, 2014) at 6 pm at the College with brief remarks by Moore President Cecelia Fitzgibbon and Jane Golden, Executive Director of Mural Arts, before a lecture by San Francisco-based digital artist Jenny Odell, co-hosted by the two organizations.
“These programs are ground breaking in their approach to curriculum development in the level of collaboration between an academic institution and a community-based organization,” Fitzgibbon said. “The partnership capitalizes on the strengths of Mural Arts as a leader in social practice and Moore as a leader in arts education. This will lead to an optimum experience for the students and serve to strengthen Philadelphia’s reputation as a laboratory for art that engages communities.”
“Mural Arts is extremely proud to partner with the prestigious art institution of Moore College of Art & Design,” Golden said. “We believe that students should be able to study all aspects of art, from technique to history to public art as a tool for social change, and this new collaboration will provide these opportunities.”
With the MA in Social Engagement and the MFA in Community Practice, Moore intends to build strategic, multi-year partnerships with non-profit organizations and civic and public entities. A significant feature of these programs is the shared course work focused on theory, applied research and policy studies of how engaging in the creation of art can unite and transform communities. The most unique feature is the planned partnership with Mural Arts.
As part of the partnership, coursework in both graduate programs will be taught by Mural Arts, including a required four-week practicum, Philadelphia as a Laboratory, that uses the active community-based arts sector in Philadelphia as a laboratory for the MFA candidates.
The MA in Social Engagement is focused on the study of socially- based art practices grounded in the theoretical discovery and critical examination of community-based works within a social context. Candidates will work collaboratively to define intersections of contemporary art and society.
The MFA in Community Practice approaches art-making within the context of social practice in the public sphere. Candidates will work in a “learning hub” to learn the differences between solo practice and working within groups to create art as they acquire a refined understanding of the challenges and opportunities of creating project-based public work.
The partnership will also include the creation of the Jane Golden Mural Arts Scholarship, giving two high school seniors who have participated in the Mural Arts Program’s Education Program a scholarship to Moore if they meet the application and acceptance criteria.
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Moore College of Art & Design educates students for careers in art and design. Founded in 1848, Moore is the nation's first and only women's art college. Moore's student-focused environment and professionally active faculty form a dynamic community in the heart of Philadelphia's cultural district. The College offers ten bachelor of fine arts degrees for women. Coeducational graduate programs were launched in summer, 2009. In addition, Moore provides many valuable opportunities in the arts through The Galleries at Moore, continuing education programs for professional adults, the 91-year-old acclaimed Young Artists Workshop for girls and boys grades 1-12, The Art Shop and the Sculpture Park. For more information about Moore, visit www.moore.edu.
The Mural Arts Program is the nation’s largest public art program, dedicated to the belief that art ignites change. For 30 years, the Mural Arts Program has united artists and communities through a collaborative process, rooted in the traditions of mural-making, to create art that transforms public spaces and individual lives. Mural Arts engages communities in 50 to 100 mural and public art projects each year, including a restoration program that maintains the collection. The murals also create unique project-based learning opportunities for thousands of youth and adults in the Art Education for Youth, Restorative Justice, and Behavioral Health programs. The Mural Arts Program has created over 3,600 murals and works of public art, earning Philadelphia international recognition as the “City of Murals.” Each year, 11,000 residents and visitors tour the Mural Arts Program’s outdoor art gallery, which has become part of Philadelphia’s civic landscape and a source of pride and inspiration. For further information, call (215) 685-0750 or visit www.muralarts.org. Follow along on social media at: twitter.com/muralarts, youtube.com/phillymuralarts, or on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/MuralArtsPhiladelphia.