About Stamps

Social Engagement

Banner image: Social Engagement

Successful 21st century artists and designers are socially aware, entrepreneurial, and deeply connected to the communities where they live and work.

“Engaged creative practice” is a phrase that the Stamps School uses to describe the rich collaborations that happen when artists and designers work in honest, meaningful ways with community partners. Together, they generate creative work; discover fresh approaches to policy; and address real-world challenges in innovative ways. Engaged social practice is a core component to the Stamps School's undergraduate curriculum. This approach helps students build a solid understanding of the agency they possess as artists, designers, and visual communicators — and how to use that agency to impact the world around them.

All engaged creative practice efforts share a unifying mission: to help Stamps students, staff, and faculty generate collaborative, reciprocal, and mutually beneficial creative projects with community partners locally, nationally, and internationally.

Socially engaged projects allow the Stamps community to:

  • Respond to a need or set of needs in a particular community or communities
  • Facilitate connections among diverse groups and disciplines
  • Broaden participants’ experiences and understanding of the world
  • Broaden participants’ view of the role of art and design in the world
  • Put theory and practice together through hands-on collaborative projects or public interventions

Recent Engagement Stories

Creative Adaptations: Exhibiting During the Pandemic

February 9, 2021

Stamps Professor Nick Tobier finds ways to spark "stumbled upon joy" through window-scape exhibitions. Read More >

Stamps Students Bring Art Projects to Families at Home

January 27, 2021

Stamps students create a website full of original, kid-friendly art projects for families to do at home. Read More >

Finalists Announced for Envision: The Michigan Artist Initiative

September 18, 2020

Finalists have been announced for Envision: The Michigan Artist Initiative, a new awards program organized by Stamps Gallery. Read More >

SparkVotes Initiative Clarifies and Celebrates the Voting Process

August 25, 2020

A non-partisan, peer-to-peer creative campaign energizes student voters and untangles the voting process. Read More >

A Message from the Dean

June 2, 2020

A message to the Stamps community from Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design Dean Guna Nadarajan. Read More >