WHAT IS SPQ?
Social Practice Queens (SPQ) is a unique MFA concentration bringing together the resources of an academic research institution, Queens College (City University of New York: CUNY), with the long-standing community-based activism of the Queens Museum.
The new MFA concentration in social practice integrates studio work with social, tactical, interventionist and cooperative forms. SPQ’s goal is to initiate interdisciplinary projects with real world outcomes rooted in CUNY’s rigorous departmental offerings (e.g.: urban studies, environmental science, public policy, experimental pedagogy, social theory) in tandem with the Queens Museum’s ongoing community-based activities.
Every semester there is seminar that introduces students to the contemporary theory and methodologies emerging in the nascent field, as well as to develop their understanding of critical theory and how it relates to their future role as cultural producers.
SPQ seminars are often team-taught, partnering QC Art Department faculty experienced in social practice, with professors in adjacent disciplines, including the QC Urban Studies department, or with professionals outside the university system.
From the beginning, students are encouraged to develop real-world projects to serve as long-term practicums reflecting the ideas, theories and methodologies they encounter across their various SPQ seminars.
Student-led projects can be developed in tandem with the Queens Museum’s ongoing community-based initiatives, giving students access to the formidable expertise, resources, and networks of the museum’s community organizers and arts administrators.
The QC Studio Art MFA curriculum is a two-year program that requires a total of 54 credits distributed as follows: 30studio credits over four semesters; 6 art history credits over two courses; 6 seminar credits over two courses, 6 elective credits over 2 courses; one 3 credit writing seminar and one 3 credit class on contemporary issues.
All students have the opportunity to complement their studies with courses by leading academic experts in related fields of study throughout the CUNY system, like urban studies, sociology, history, philosophy, economics, law, planning, and environmental studies.
SPQ students have taken courses in CUNY’s Graduate Center, the Brooklyn College Art Department, and City College.