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Moore’s MA in Socially Engaged Art supports and serves the interests of graduate students who are committed to examining and working on the relationship between art and society. It is focused around a vibrant community of creative people including (but not limited to) arts administrators, curators, writers, community organizers, and artists who are open, curious, highly motivated and collaborative. Critical dialogue with faculty, visiting artists/critics and other graduate students are key components within group and individual critiques, seminars, lecture courses and in independent advising. This program is unique for its cross-curriculum with socially-engaged studio art MFA candidates and emphasizes rigorous and committed study and practice for those seeking to facilitate art experiences.

Equally emphasizing art practice, theory and research - the faculty who teach in the MA represent studio art, social practice, cultural criticism and other hybrid and expanded practices. Our curriculum is responsive to a range of interests and emerging issues in the arts, and is designed to develop and support our students to have satisfying, sustainable, ethical, diverse and life-long careers in the arts. The school’s history informs a thoughtful career and professional practices curriculum running throughout both years that strives to model a wide range of trajectories for a life-long creative practice. MA candidates spend the first semester focusing on skill development and experimentation and they conclude that semester with the presentation of a thesis question that will guide their work into the second semester. They are are expected to write a 25 page thesis that can be theoretical or developed alongside a project. Students are introduced to a wide range of organizations and methodologies for work ranging from Moore’s unique partnership with Mural Arts Philadelphia, the largest public art agency in the country, to occasional and project based collaborations with community groups and individuals.

Thesis topics have ranged from the positive impact of arts participation to placemaking and aesthetics. Examples of past MA Students' research include:

Art History/Visual Studies/Curatorial Studies

  • Documentation and exhibition in socially-engaged art

  • The role of aesthetics in socially-engaged art

The Expanded Field of Art Education

  • Afterschool socially engaged art that listens to teens

  • Impact of interpersonal relationships on arts participation

Cross-Disciplinary Research

  • Strategic partnerships in Creative Placemaking

  • Blending art and social work in foster-care to encourage independence