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Community Arts

Bachelor of Arts


The Community Arts program fosters students’ involvement, engagement, and service within the local arts community. In this interdisciplinary program, students learn both traditional and new media techniques, grounding them in practical applications. In the classroom, they gain a foundation in western and global art history and are introduced to community arts history and concepts. The program emphasizes social justice through arts applications. The 45-credit major starts with core studio requirements that familiarize students with various materials and concepts used to understand the nature of visual language. Students then take studio courses to enable a general and versatile art skill base. Students are also encouraged to add electives in theatre, graphic design, or specialize within studio arts. All community arts majors at Concordia take the foundational community arts class and during their final year, complete 8 credits of an internship. Students will be prepared to pursue a variety of career options upon graduation, from advanced degree in the arts to a variety of art-centered careers within community development and engagement. As a community arts major, you will be taught by an experienced faculty of active professionals with close ties to the vibrant Twin Cities art community. You will have complete facilities for ceramics, photography, digital art, printmaking, sculpture, as well as painting and drawing.


Course Length

44 Total Credits


On Campus

Career Introduction

Community artists, organizations and art projects reflect the values and concerns of the local community through inclusive community building, in-reach and outreach. They seek to engage with the people of various communities through collaboration, participation, relationship building and social interaction using creative art practices.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that the arts and culture sector contributes $12.2 billion to Minnesota’s economy, representing 3.5% of the state’s GDP—a larger share than some other industries in the state. A new study, Creative Minnesota: The Impact and Health of the Nonprofit Arts and Culture Sector found that 1269 nonprofit arts and culture organizations support the equivalent of 33,381 full time jobs.

In the Twin Cities metro area, many arts organizations flourish in ceramics, textiles, printmaking, photography, book arts and others. Community arts majors may seek out positions as project managers, volunteer coordinators, outreach specialists, fundraisers, and art educators within these organizations.

Community art majors also pursue advanced degrees within fine arts, Master of Fine Arts, Art Therapy and Art Education.

The skills a student learns in community art also prepares them for general careers that value problem solving, communication, creativity, planning and management, manual expertise, visual literacy, and teamwork and collaboration.

Meet Our Faculty

Keith Williams

Professor of Art and Art History

Cate Vermeland

Professor of Practice, Art & Design

John DuFresne

Chair, Department of Art & Design, Professor of Practice, Art & Design

Career Spotlights

Arts and Engagement Specialist

This position will assist with developing positive programs and partnerships with community organizations to increase opportunities for teens/youth to participate in positive leisure time activities that provide safe and supervised activities for teens. This position will work with the Youth Services Manager to create, implement, and enhance youth engagement and public art opportunities for youth in the City’s civic and social infrastructure

Arts and Production Coordinator

The Arts and Production Coordinator assists with planning, coordinating, and implementing performances by our performing arts students, coordinating administrative planning and technical needs: staffing, lights and sound, production equipment, staging, set up/tear down.

School Partnership Coordinator

The School Partnerships Coordinator is responsible for coordinating administrative aspects of the school partnerships department and the Music for All (MFA) project. The position also manages the day-to-day functions of the School Partnerships program and coordinates specified events and recitals.

Additional Roles
  • Nursing Home Activities Practitioner
  • Coordinator Visiting Artist
  • Community Theater Manager
  • After School/Summer Arts Program Coordinator
  • Community Center Activities Director or Program Manager
  • Community Arts Engagement or Education
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Communications and Social Media
  • Studio Manager
  • Coordinator of Programming and Engagement Operations
  • Director of Community Education and Outreach

Program Outcomes

Become familiar with the history of community arts and understand how it relates to local and contemporary community concerns, trends and initiatives.

Connect professionally with community artists, and arts organizations.

Acquire skills needed to initiate community arts events.

Understand the process of community engagement through identifying community assets and resources.

Gain collaborative skills and methods for developing these skills in communities.

Career Support

Internship with local arts organization, capstone experience to create a professional portfolio for career readiness