MICA Awarded Top Honors in National Democracy Challenge

In 2018, MICA’s voting rate of registered students increased nearly 40 percentage points, and the number of eligible students registered to vote increased nearly 30 percentage points.

Members of the MICA community pose Tuesday, Nov. 12 at the ALL IN Democracy Challenge awards ceremony. The College received two awards Tuesday.

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is pleased to announce it has been recognized by the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge for its excellence in promoting civic engagement through voter participation during the 2018 midterm elections. The recognition underscores the College’s commitment to its foundational mission of empowering students to make the world they imagine. 

With over 560 participating schools across 1053 campuses, ALL IN is a national, nonpartisan initiative that inspires, supports and celebrates colleges and universities working to improve civic learning, political engagement and voter participation.

MICA was honored with two awards — the Champion Award, for having the highest registration rate of all participating campuses, as well as the Best in Class Award for small, private, four-year institutions for our Campus Action Plan. Recent graduate Maddie Wolf (General Fine Arts BFA) was also recognized with the Honor Roll, and was one of only 10 students selected across the country to receive this honor.

“We are honored to be recognized for our early efforts to institutionalize voter engagement and civic action throughout our campus, mirroring a priority that has long been held with members of the MICA community,” Abby Neyenhouse, director for the Center for Creative Citizenship, said. “Along with the founding of the Center for Creative Citizenship, this award is a testament to the renewed commitment of our institution to critically examine our community engagement efforts and include civic voice; to remind each student of their potential and ability to become an informed global citizen and change-agent in Baltimore and beyond; and to make the voting process easy, fun and accessible for all members of our community who are allowed that right.”

MICA’s voting rate of registered students increased nearly 40 percentage points — 14 percent in 2014 to 51.7 percent in 2018, according to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement research study. 

But it’s not just voting rates that climbed at MICA. The number of eligible students registered to vote also increased substantially, from 68.6 percent in 2014 to 95.2 percent in 2018. And MICA’s voter turnout is ahead of the average — by more than 10 percentage points.

“MICA’s commitment to integrative and multi-disciplinary education for artists and designers means that our students are developing as change agents and leaders in the creative fields and in society at large,” MICA President Samuel Hoi said. “They are fluid thinkers with a broad and nuanced understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing our city, our nation and our world. Civic engagement is a natural expression of the kind of contributions our students embrace and enact. We are proud and honored that MICA’s educational approach is affirmed and recognized by ALL IN.”

The awards were presented Tuesday afternoon at the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge’s second biennial awards ceremony, where select higher education institutions, educators and students were recognized.

“We couldn’t be more proud of the outstanding recipients of this year’s ALL IN Challenge awards for their contributions to improving democratic engagement,” said Jen Domagal-Goldman, Executive Director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. “The rise in voter participation and engagement on college campuses in last year’s midterms and what’s sure to be a high turnout in 2020 can and will undoubtedly be tied to the hard work of the dedicated students, faculty, administrators, and partner organizations that are part of the ALL IN Challenge network.”