19 June 2009

School’s in session!!

School is 5 minutes away by car, a quick drive not on the highway and across a beautiful yellow bridge (shown here during the winter).

Classes started on Wednesday, June 17th, with an orientation of our summer structure and an introduction to my 16 classmates and 6 faculty.

Thursday started at 830am with a tour of 4 community sites in Baltimore, ending in a BBQ at 6pm. The sites we toured: Martha's Place/Jubilee Arts Center, Creative Alliance, The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland, and The Stadium School Youthdreamers. 9 presentations were given on community organizations where we would serve out our internship in the Fall/Spring. Our placement and match day is July 9th.

Today we met community artist George Ciscle and had a school-wide MICA orientation. This weekend is our last weekend of rest . . .

My program is a 13 month intensive, roughly 2 years completed in one.

Here’s a brief synopsis of my year ahead, as provided by MICA:

Summer Session I Internship: students partner with a fellow Master of Arts in Community Arts (MACA) grad student and implement real community-based, arts programming for youth, 3 days a week for 5 weeks. Additionally, MACA students collaborate with peers, students, and community members to design and implement a celebratory public event on MICA’s campus mid-July.

August Reading Month: No classes. The expectation is to complete a significant amount of work including a combined visual and writing assignment encapsulating the summer’s work, and the reading of a number of books.

September Training Session: Mandated Americorps training, discussion of books from the previous month with guest lecturers and faculty and staff.

Community Art corps Residency: Beginning mid-September, students work 32 hours a week—paid—at a previously decided community arts residency, Fall and Spring. Students spend an additional 10 – 12 hours in the classroom, while also completing homework and studio assignments.

Documentation: MACA students design and implement an annual exhibition of work produced in collaboration with their host residency organizations; showcasing artwork, teaching portfolio and thesis.

Art making Courses and Thesis: Students are expected to skillfully manage their busy schedules and find time to make their own artwork, which is regularly presented throughout the year to colleagues and faculty.

Readings: MACA students read various essays, articles, and 15 – 20 assigned books.

Written Assignments: Clarity of thought is essential. Willingness and ability to communicate with others is imperative. Students complete at least three major writing assignments during the course of the year.

Self-evaluation & communication with others: MACA students articulate their own personal goals for learning even as these goals grow and evolve. Students are expected to proactively communicate on a regular basis with faculty, colleagues, and supervisors.

Community-building: Students must demonstrate an active interest in all matters related to community building, both in and out of the classroom.

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