Community Art and Service

France-Merrick Fellows

France-Merrick Fellows are leaders of the Community Art and Service Program. They propose a year-long project with a community site of choice and oversee, facilitate, and execute a collaborative vision of this endeavor. For the academic year 2020-2021 the FMF cohort has six students from across all academic departments at MICA: Savannah Imani Wade, Sarah Heerey, Laurel Stewart, Lazaro Garcia, and Jenny De La Cruz.


You can also check out the projects that our 2019-2020 cohort (Mira Joseph, Ruby Waldo, Yael Bloom, Laurel Stewart, Saloni Shah, and Thea Ferdinand) organized last academic year:


Mira Joseph +
Pride Center of Maryland


The Rainbow College Alliance works to provide a space for all college students throughout Maryland to unite, collaborate, express, and form a bond with each other. Through this club we hope to support students in any way they need, from advocacy in their campus to having a night where they can unwind and meet new people. The Alliance wants to form a network of people so they can rely on each other and have a place to explore their gender, sexuality, and expression.

Teen Art Group is a weekly arts and crafts club at the Maryland Pride Center that offers LGBTQ+ youth a space to create, meet, and explore together. Participants can learn new skills, play art games, or simply work on their own projects.



Ruby Waldo + 
Neighborhood Design Center


At the Neighborhood Design Center, I have been developing a series of conversations and activities to encourage residents to share their experiences, stories, and opinions of public light in Baltimore and in particular in the Station North Arts District. As we listen and share stories, we gain a more informed understanding of the role and impact street lighting has as infrastructure in the city. By the end of the project, NDC will propose a new lighting plan for Station North to the city of Baltimore.



Thea Ferdinand + 
Baltimore Youth Arts


This will be Thea's first semester at Baltimore Youth Arts as a Frances Merrick Fellow. Baltimore Youth Arts supports young adults through mentorship, classes, and training in creative fields and entrepreneurship. With a focus on individuals in the justice system, BYA values the arts as a vehicle to build community and leadership opportunities for youth. This semester, I will be a studio assistant and mentor for students in a textile and painting class. As a FMF, I hope to encourage community and collaboration between artists, students, and faculty in the classroom. 



Yael Bloom + 
Living Classrooms, Patterson Park


The quilting club at Living Classroom’s Patterson Park House is an opportunity for middle school students from the surrounding neighborhood to learn new skills and have fun with fiber art at their regular after-school program. Each week we explore new materials and sewing patterns to create bags, shirts, and accessories. We also work on quilt squares to add to an ongoing collaborative quilt project. We also participate in some of Living Classroom’s other educational programs and events for children and families to help further their mission of disrupting cycles of poverty and increasing health and wellness in Baltimore city.



Laurel Stewart + 
MAKE Studio


Make Studio empowers artists with disabilities to grow as professionals with visibility and voice in their communities. We create opportunities for everyone to connect through art. I wanted to put a focus on professional development for the artists during my time as a France-Merrick Fellow. Incorporating artists into the curation process for outside shows and working with new materials to enhance versatility and craftsmanship were rewarding ways in which participants opened doors as professionals through art.




Saloni Shah + 
Bolton North/Baltimore Design School


Bolton North Weekly Art Classes is a way for senior residents to create and engage in a wide variety of craft activities. This project aims to bring residents together and create a fun creative environment for them to converse and introduce new ideas and skills. 

BDS-MICA-ABWA Pen Pal project is an exchange between students from Baltimore and students from Mumbai. This exchange hopes to introduce students to new cultures and bridge walls that exist due to a lack of communication and stereotypes. Through regular communication through email and some guided questions or themes of discussion, this exchange will help students build connections and community on an international platform.


If you want to know how to get involved, click here.