MICA Awarded $510K from ArtPlace America, Will Build Field of Creative Placemaking

The funding will help to expand community and organizational partnerships, as well as create a sequence of both undergraduate and graduate courses in creative placemaking.

MICA is pleased to announce it has been awarded $510,000 in grant funding from ArtPlace America to further its work in building the field of creative placemaking – a field that supports the furthering of healthy, equitable and sustainable communities.

ArtPlace America, which invited 24 institutions of higher education to propose work that integrates creative placemaking into higher education efforts, selected seven proposals to receive funding. MICA received the second-highest award.

The project will be based at MICA’s new Center for Creative Citizenship, and will include support for expanding community and organizational partnerships and creating a sequence of both undergraduate and graduate courses in creative placemaking at the College. The initiative will establish a national educational model for credentialing, professional development, scholarship and the generation of art-and-design solutions that support equitable, sustainable economic and community development initiatives in Baltimore and elsewhere.

 “An essential element of MICA’s Mission Statement is ‘THRIVE with Baltimore,’ and this important award will enable the College make significant progress toward that goal,” Kevin Griffin Moreno, director of strategic projects, said. “We are excited to partner with ArtPlace America and the other creative placemaking grant recipients nationwide to expand and strengthen the creative placemaking field. Creative Placemaking at MICA (CP@M) is more than a single initiative. It is a campus-wide approach designed to weave the principles and practices of creative placemaking through many different areas of the College.”

Developing the Next Generation of Leaders

 “Developing the next generation of leaders and establishing a knowledge base is work that higher education institutions and their faculty are uniquely qualified to do,” added ArtPlace Managing Director Sarah Calderon. “We are excited to have partners working across the country to make this happen.”

“MICA is a leader of integrative education in art and design by preparing our students as next-generation creative professionals and change agents who can succeed and contribute in multiple platforms and in society at large,” MICA President Samuel Hoi said. “Creative placemaking is integral to MICA’s overall commitment to creative entrepreneurship, city engagement and social justice. This exceptional ArtPlace America grant will further MICA’s mindful community partnership work in Baltimore that has been recognized by the recent ICIC/Kresge national report on The Overlooked Anchors. We are excited to build a national model approach for the field.”

An example of how artmaking can help forge a more equitable society, The Monument Quilt acts as a means to help survivors of sexual assault recover from trauma. Including more than 1000 squares of stories by survivors, it has been publicly displayed in 22 cities in the u.s. Here, MICA students and community members take part in The Monument Quilt project while on display in station north, near MICA's campus. An example of how artmaking can help forge a more equitable society, The Monument Quilt acts as a means to help survivors of sexual assault recover from trauma. Founded by Hannah Brancato ’07, ’11 and Rebecca Nagle ’08, it Includes more than 3000 squares of stories by survivors. Until the culminating display in Washington, D.C., last May, it was publicly displayed 50 times in 35 cities in the U.S. and in Mexico. Here, members of the Force Collective, including MICA alumni Melani Douglass, lead a processional through the Monument Quilt Project while on display in Station North in 2016, near MICA's campus.

A History of Placemaking at MICA

In July 2019, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) — supported by The Kresge Foundation’s Arts & Culture Program — published a national report called The Overlooked Anchors: Advancing a New Standard of Practice for Arts and Culture Organizations to Create Equitable Opportunity in America’s Cities. The report profiles MICA as one of four national arts and culture organizations doing robust work to drive more equitable, economic growth in their communities. MICA is the only higher education institution among the four exemplars.

MICA has long undertaken activities that reflect a deep commitment to building the field of creative placemaking in support of healthy, equitable, and sustainable communities. Central to the values, principles and goals articulated in MICA’s Mission and Vision, this work has made the College an exemplar in the discipline among institutions of art and design education, and is demonstrated by recent recognition from ArtPlace America and the Kresge Foundation.