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What makes art necessary? What limits its expression? What is possible? Students of Art & Public Policy engage in an activist exploration of the relationship between art and society, and the role of the artist in civic life.

In this department artists and those working in connection to art and culture, activists, scholars, and community builders, examine the political implications and social significance of their work, and the work of other practitioners historically and today. Our curriculum integrates theory, research, practice, and analysis with rigorous political investigation and daring inventiveness. We offer an intimate, intensive one-year master’s program and an undergraduate minor.

What is the transformative nature of art? Who has power and what kind? How do we need to shift culture? How do we honor and support creative and cultural life in our multiple communities? How do we re imagine what sustainable can mean? What are the artistic and social movements that have come before and what are the tools and innovations that can help us understand, reveal, and create change today?

These are some of the intersecting questions our students and faculty address. Each question leads to others, and to intensive dialogue, listening, discovery, making, and often intervening.

The time has come to train unique arts activists — capable of activating critical and creative dialogue between art and the world, and committed to reshaping how art is produced, perceived and received.

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Randy Martin

Founding Chair