A note from the program director

Ju-Pong Lin

Ju-Pong Lin

In Goddard’s Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts program, artist means many things: social interventionist, difficultator, legislative artist, potter, painter, opera-mythologist, artist-herbalist-medicine woman, healing artist.

Our alumni take their learning from Goddard into tenured faculty positions, hospitals and treatment centers, public schools, museums, municipal and state institutions, and community arts organizations located in cities, barns, forests, and even the Outback.

Our MFA program, you will find, is like no other. Participating in our residencies may feel more like an extended artist retreat than an institution of higher learning. What I’ve discovered in my 10 years here – first as a member of the faculty, and now as the director of this program – is that the Goddard MFA is a unique community of learning artists, where colleagues, students and staff discover and grow alongside one another.

Goddard College has been honing this low-residency, experimental mode of learning and advising since 1963, and our MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts is one of the oldest low-residency arts programs in the United States. We are committed to ethical engagement, equity, and ecojustice, and we remain committed to a boundary-liberating view of interdisciplinarity. These lived values distinguish us from other MFA programs.

We embrace ethical engagement, social equity and ecojustice as a commitment to holding space for a wild diversity of views—the practice of asking questions that move us beyond conventional codes of ethics. We encourage each other to question those ethical codes and embrace ethical engagement as itself a persistent question. As for that eight-syllable word, interdisciplinarity, you’ll find as many ways of parsing and playing with it as there are artists in the community. We challenge each other to dig deeper than the now established multidisciplinary and interarts traditions, to query the epistemologies or ways of knowing accepted in the academy, and to invent creative, arts-based methodologies of exploration and innovation.

This community is truly a dynamic, ever-expanding, rhizomatic root system of artists, creative educators, inventive thinkers and social change instigators. Learning with this community is challenging, often surprising, and almost always joyfully transformative.

I’ve come to see the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts as my beloved community, and I welcome you into this “collective of unicorns,” as Greg Tate of Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber called us in his remarks at the March 2015 Commencement in Port Townsend.

We invite you to shape your own learning and future as an engaged artist, and we look forward to sharing the path with you on this leg of your journey.