Goddard launches new BFA in Socially Engaged Art

How can art engage communities to facilitate meaningful social change?

The greatest potential of art today lies not in the “masterwork,” either as a luxury commodity or a durable monument of individual creative impulse, but in the deliberate co-creation of unique social circumstances and new possibilities for engagement.

“Goddard College has a long history of graduating artist-activists, and we are excited to offer the new BFA in Socially Engaged Art degree supporting the development of artists who engage in their communities to create meaningful social change,” said President Robert Kenny.

The BFA in Socially Engaged Art (BFA-SEA) supports undergraduate artists to create new work that engages with communities to catalyze meaningful social change. Faculty and students from the performing arts, visual arts, craft practices, and narrative media come together to develop collaborative projects around real issues.

Otto Muller, faculty member in the new program, said, “Art has the power to shift perspectives, and this new BFA in Socially Engaged Art offers opportunities to critically explore the ethical and imaginative use of this power, and develop practices of art-making that are rooted in social justice and the co-creation of new possibilities.”

Based in participatory art, social practice, arts activism, and community-based art, the BFA-SEA supports artists in:

BFA students are encouraged to experiment with a range of mediums, conceiving purposeful and relevant projects and then developing the necessary artistic techniques for realizing them over the course of the design process. In this way, the elements of composition, form, and material practice are always approached in relationship to a student’s intention, context, and concept.

Located within the Undergraduate Studies Program, this degree-track also incorporates a broad range of expertise in the Social Sciences and Humanities (e.g. Critical Race Theory, Gender Studies, Disability History, Alternative Economies, Environmental Justice, etc.) to support students in ethical research design and practice.

The BFA in Socially Engaged Art is now enrolling students for the Fall 2018 semester.

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