MA in Social Engagement


This specialized masters program will prepare candidates to critically examine the effectiveness and impact of socially-engaged art practices and explore the ethics, authorship and the history of community-based art. Candidates will also explore the historical, theoretical and cultural influences that inform social practice and engagement.

Candidates will study under the guidance and direction of experts currently working on socially engaged projects in the public sphere. Beginning in the first term, a six-week summer intensive, candidates will have access to Philadelphia’s vibrant community of culturally diverse practitioners and projects through Moore’s partnership with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program.



Art today is boundless – the skills of image-making, the crafting of material into new forms, the framing of ideas and focal points, the research that exceeds the limits of disciplines, the gestures that make experiences and objects beautiful, the poetics that capture and then release such complexities – and it is exhilarating. And yet so many aspects of how it is taught, where it takes place, and who facilitates it from raw material to the direct experience to the reflection and historicization remain stuck and bounded.

I was drawn to art because I want to undo that stasis in the world and the imagination through crafting, formulating and even answering challenging questions. Doing that as part of a unique learning community at Moore is one of the ways I have chosen to go about that. In many ways that makes running a graduate department much like a project. We have hired some of the most thoughtful and talented people to work in this program as faculty, created partnerships with public art organizations in Philly and rural artist residencies in Ireland, and found ways to bring additional thinkers, organizers and artists together with our candidates through symposia and visiting critics. And then come the potential candidates, who have to decide if Moore is right for them.

Deciding to go to graduate school is bound up with many of life’s most challenging questions: what is a graduate education worth; am I ready for the intensity of school after years away from school; what will happen to my other responsibilities and commitments when I am in class all day; what will I do after school; what art worlds do I want to be a part of; how should I navigate concepts like ‘the creative economy’; is my work serious enough; am I committed enough?

Making art today is, similarly, bound up with many of life’s most challenging questions: What can art do; what audiences should I address; what are the limits of art; can art save lives; what is contemporary; what is universal; what is useful; what is pleasurable; what is ethical?

We will do a great deal of growing, asking, making, learning and asking together – I look forward to it and to working with you and your questions.

In Tandem,
Daniel Tucker, Assistant Professor & Graduate Program Director Social & Studio Practices department