Press Releases

MICA, T. Rowe Price partner for third annual Grassroots DesignFest, continue work with local nonprofits to bring change, ‘thrive with Baltimore’

WHAT: MICA Grassroots DesignFest, sponsored by T. Rowe Price and supported by volunteer associates

WHERE: MICA’s Brown Center, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave., Baltimore, Maryland.

WHEN: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., with a closing reception at 4 p.m., Saturday, March 7

DETAILS: Street parking is available as well as behind the nearby MICA Store at 1531 Malster Avenue. The day will begin with registration from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. followed by opening remarks from John Brothers, president of the T. Rowe Price Foundation and Sammy Hoi, president of MICA. From 8:45 a.m. through 12:15 p.m., designers and nonprofits will meet and then designers will work while nonprofits workshop. After breaking for lunch at 11:45 am, designers will continue to work through the afternoon, and the nonprofits will continue to workshop. The closing reception will begin at 4 p.m.

BALTIMORE — For the third year in a row, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and T. Rowe Price, the Baltimore-based global investment manager, will host Grassroots DesignFest, an event where undergraduate and graduate students from schools around the region, as well as local professionals, will team up with T. Rowe Price’s design and technology professionals to work with local nonprofit partners on branding concepts, logo designs, graphic identities and other design projects.  

The nonprofit participants work on issue areas including arts and culture, education, human services and social justice. The daylong event presents an opportunity to contribute to the social change movement in Baltimore while collaborating face-to-face with other designers and nonprofits. 

But bringing change doesn’t stop at the end of the day — many of the nonprofits keep designers on, sometimes as interns, others as volunteers, to see the projects through.

“High-quality design services can be difficult for nonprofits to build into their budgets,” says Sheri Parks, vice president of strategic initiatives at MICA. “Through DesignFest, they can see how trained artists and designers can enhance their ability to serve the community. For students, it's a great opportunity to work alongside design professionals and learn about the ways that nonprofits are serving the city. DesignFest is an example of how MICA is embodying its commitment to ‘Thrive with Baltimore.’” 

DesignFest was the brainchild of the T. Rowe Price Foundation’s president, John Brothers.

“Baltimore is home to amazing creative talent, some of whom we’re proud to employ among our 5,000 Baltimore-based associates,” says John Brothers, president of the T. Rowe Price Foundation. “The opportunity for them to work on solving nonprofits’ challenges is a win-win for the nonprofit community, our associates and the students who are gaining real-world experience. We see this event as a great way to continue our work to help to make Baltimore’s nonprofits stronger, provide hands-on and meaningful volunteer opportunities for our associates and support Baltimore’s creative talent.”

This year, participating students come from MICA, Stevenson University, Bowie State University, Towson University and University of Baltimore.

Participating nonprofits include: Association for the Public Defender of Maryland; Citizens Policing Project; Community Mediation Program, Inc., d.b.a. Baltimore Community Mediation Center; Conflict Resolution Center of Baltimore County; Improving Education Inc.; Made In Baltimore; Maryland Dental Action Coalition; Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts; Muse 360 Arts; Organizing Black (formerly known as Black Leaders Organizing for Change); Ready At Five; Roberta's House; Southeast Community Development Corporation; Star-Spangled Banner Flag House; TALMAR; The Fuel Fund of Maryland; The Intersection, Inc.; The Royal Theater and Community Heritage Corporation; and Farm to Prison Project.

For more information, visit