Created in 2004, the Community Art Collaborative (CAC) AmeriCorps program is the only program of its kind in Maryland that links artists, communities, and institutions of higher education. Housed in the Center for Creative Citizenship at MICA, this program places community artists in year-long residencies with nonprofits, schools, and community centers in Baltimore City. The work of CAC member artists provides youth and adults with the benefits of after-school arts-based learning experiences and strengthens neighborhoods through community art projects. The Community Art Collaborative (CAC) AmeriCorps program is funded in part by a grant from the Maryland Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism (GOSV), and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
Questions about the CAC program? Feel free to reach out to the CAC Program Manager, Sarah Edelsburg at Sedelsburg@mica.edu.
Universal Connection is an online collection of artistic and wellness resources for youth, that have been developed, created, and discovered by Members of the Community Art Collaborative (CAC) AmeriCorps program. Since mid-March, CAC Members have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with a tremendous sense of innovation, creativity, ingenuity, and flexibility. They have found new ways to serve youth and families in Baltimore City, despite the challenges that the pandemic situation poses. CAC Members have been identifying resources; discovering new free software; creating videos; and leading online classes. The resources that they have developed and discovered can be found on this website.
When schools and educational programs closed for in-person programming in mid-March, Community Art Collaborative Members sprung into action. Some CAC Members immediately began hosting art-making workshops on Instagram Live and Facebook Live, so their students could connect with them from home. Some examples include workshops led by CAC Member Chris Johnson at Greenmount West Community Center (IG Live) and CAC Member Gen Fraser at Port Discovery (FB Live).
Other CAC Members began creating their own "How To" Art Making Videos that could be shared on their Host Site's website and YouTube Channels. They thought brilliantly about how to design simple and creative projects that young people could make at home, with basic materials. You can see some of those videos on the Jubilee Arts, Access Art, and Open Works pages of this website.
CAC Members also identified that many of their K-12 students did not have any art-making supplies in their homes. They quickly began working with their Site Supervisors to create “art kits” that could be shipped to or dropped off at students’ homes. Several CAC Host Sites began arranging food distribution days, and CAC Members volunteered to hand out art supply kits together with boxes of food. By May, almost half the group (6 out of 13 Members) were teaching live online classes with K-12 youth on Zoom and Google Classrooms. Starting this summer, almost the entire group (11 out of 13 members) will be teaching online virtual classes for youth.