It was odd timing this week to have a visiting student visit us in our double cohort class time. With the semester’s end fast approaching, I have been wrestling with what I would tell my friends and familia back home about what I have been doing these past four months…and I was still finding it difficult to describe to one’s who weren’t there.
But taking this prospective student to lunch with a second year cohort member was enlightening in more ways than one. This prospect had great questions that I hadn’t really considered and don’t know if I would have asked if I was in the same set of shoes.
- “What would you describe your program as in one word?”
- My answer: “Overwhelming”
- Miranda’s: “Raw”
- “Knowing what you know now, would you do this program again?”
- My answer: (in my head, she asked it directly to Miranda, so I simply answered silently): “Of course!”
- Miranda’s: “Errrrr…I don’t know”
I was so shocked by this — I learned more and more about other cohort member’s motivation for this program over the days — and I thought when I finally unearthed the major of “Community Arts” I found “my thing”…it was so analogous with all the things I was looking for and had yet to find. So learning that mayhaps there were students who didn’t necessarily want to do Community Arts, but were more hoping for a straight MFA, more of an art education focus/political social activism focus, or just were in love with the simple idea of having a hood was kinda mind blowing for me.
After reflection I wish I could tell that prospective student and my Arizona kin…
- Community Arts should be something that truly resonates with you because it will be a truly personally evolution of heavy critical thinking and liberatory pedagogy (i.e. non-traditional to anti- usual education/art education practices — so it is not heavily academic or normally rigorous in the way undergrad was…) but I believe at it’s core it is structured to be a paradigm shift…and it will be difficult to measure your personal growth while still navel gazing.
- You will look at and unearth all of your forms of privilege — racial, socio-economic, gender, sexual orientation — so that you can be more empathetic and strategic in your actions in all forms of education.
- The Community Arts at MICA is a very well honed net to catch or support you as you make the attempt(s) to jump these precarious socially active trapeze — and you will fall, no one lands them all on their first try.
And although I feel that is a very specific answer…but it still feels like word soup (AKA what did I just say). I have to boiler plate this “elevator speech” of what MFACA is. So still TBD.