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

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 >

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 >

Makers Respond: Jane Prophet and Rebekah Modrak Launch Artists and Allies

April 21, 2020

Jane Prophet and Rebekah Modrak organize to create needed PPE for Detroit's front-line workers. Read More >

Witnessing History: 2020 Roman J. Witt Resident Courtney McClellan Reflects

April 13, 2020

2020 Roman J. Witt Resident Courtney McClellan reflects on her performance-activated installation at UMMA. Read More >

Class of 2020 Spotlight: Ashley Moon (MDes ‘20)

March 15, 2020

Ashley Moon's (MDes '20) thesis project empowers high school students to speak out on the issues they care about. Read More >