Art, Education, & Community Practice


Core Program Modules

Students take foundational courses in the three core program modules:

Module 1: Contemporary Artistic Practice
This module addresses the expanding field of visual arts practice in the United States and internationally.  Students are engaged with the art and ideas of artists working in the public sphere as well as with the history of visual artistic practice including political/activist, public, and performance-based art. They will also be exposed to artists working today and to opportunities to learn from artists who have engaged with public audiences through socially driven, community-based projects.

  • What are the historical precedents for artists working in the public sphere and what are the possibilities and challenges of public work today?
  • In contemporary art, what is the spectrum of artistic practice that attempts to engage and involve public audiences?
  • What new models and tools for art-based interventions are possible today? 

Module 2: Educational Theory
Providing a firm grounding in educational theory, the program envisions the artist/educator as one who is able to apply pedagogical practices to diverse artistic endeavors. Educational theory will provide a solid understanding of critical pedagogy from Freire to Giroux. Students will consider educational theory in public, community-based, informal and virtual/media-based contexts, as well as from domestic and international perspectives.

  • In what ways can education—within a school or classroom context, as well as beyond—be considered a form of public pedagogy?
  • What are the developmental, social, and political implications of education as a public act?
  • What are current theories in education that support the idea of teaching as a public act as well as an artistic act?
  • In what ways do educational and artistic practice intersect in their use of pedagogical strategies?

Module 3: Social Activism
Overlaying the artistic and educational modules is a focus on social activism and community engagement. Coursework will explore the politics of working in local, global, and virtual contexts. Within this module students will learn about methods of engagement from educational and artistic practice in order to inform social practice.

  • What are interventionist strategies that engage and mobilize community members to enable social transformation?
  • What are the politics and possibilities of community formation?
  • What role can artists, community organizers & organizations, and activists play in community-based work and empowerment?
  • What kinds of pedagogical practices support meaningful social engagement in relation to local and global contexts?

Students also choose elective courses from across the university to customize their degree focus and experiences.

Terminal Integrative (Capstone) Project

Working under the supervision of the Program Director and a faculty mentor, students will design and implement a community-based project informed by their individual art practice, their core and elective coursework, and the cultural or organizational context in which they will be working. In collaboration with NYC-based cultural and educational organizations, students will be encouraged to use different methodologies that combine intuition, social, conceptual, and cultural ways of knowing and being in order to develop and implement an art project that allows for social transformation.

Degree Requirements

*Sample Guided Elective courses for Community Practice may include:ART GE 2915 Graduate Projects in Studio Art: Anarchy and Imagination
ARVA-GE 2392 Urban Development in the Visual Arts
ARTED-GE 2015 Contemporary Art and Critical Pedagogy
ASPP-GT 2028 Creative Response: Public Interventions
ASPP-GT 2001 Issues in Art Politics
SOC-GA 2153 Social Movements Course Descriptions

Detailed descriptions of all courses for the MA - Art, Education, and Community Practice (30-34 credits).

Contemporary Artistic Practice4 credits


Art and Ideas: What is Social Practice Art?

4 credits

Educational Theory3 credits min


Critical Pedagogy, Artists, and the Public Sphere

3 credits

Social Activism3 credits min

ARVA-GE 2121

Praxis in Contemporary Art and Community Museum Partnerships

3 credits

Guided Elective*12-16 credits


Guided Elective

3-4 credits


Guided Elective

3-4 credits


Guided Elective

3-4 credits


Guided Elective

3-4 credits

Terminal Integrative (Capstone) Project9 credits


Research in Art Education

2 credits

ART-GE 2010

Internship in Studio Art

6 credits


Final Project

1 credit

Total Credits30-34 Credits