Partnerships – PSU Art & Social Practice


In the Fall of 2016, the program began a weekly conversation partnership with inmates at the Columbia River Correctional Facility (CRCI). The Monday afternoon meeting has resulted in many rich conversations on art, community, and conceptual practice, as well as collaborative projects between artists at CRCI and artists in the MFA Art + Social Practice Program, including a collectively-designed mural, letter-writing projects, and a talent show. This partnership is evolving and ongoing over time.

Conversation Series

A weekly conversation series is hosted by the students in the Art and Social Practice MFA program at PSU. Each week, students interview faculty, students, staff and community members about their work and its relationship to Social Practice.

Click here to visit the archive and listen to past conversations.



The Art + Social Practice MFA program has been working in partnership with MLK Jr. School, a K-8 public school in NE Portland, on socially engaged projects since Fall of 2013. Projects included installations, art classes, events and other programming. The program also holds a weekly MFA class in a classroom within the school. Over time, the program has moved toward deeper engagement and partnership with the school administration, teachers and students. This work has lead to the development of the King School Museum of Contemporary Art (KSMoCA) is a contemporary art museum within the walls of MLK Jr. School. The museum was created as a collaborative project by Lisa Jarrett, Harrell Fletcher, and students of Portland State University’s College of the Arts. The project creates an unusual pairing between early education and internationally renowned artists and their work.

Program Trips

The Art & Social Practice program takes an annual research trip as an opportunity to expand our knowledge of and connection to artists, organizations, communities, and economies in other parts of the world.

In June 2017 we visited Berlin. We participated in a series of workshops with artists around the city and curated our own socially engaged art event.

In January 2016 we visited Mexico City.  We participated in a 2-day workshop intensive with Pedro Reyes, watched a personal screening of Yoshua Okón’s newest work, discussed DIY publishing with Cráter Invertido, drank Mezcal with Paul Ramirez Jonas, exchanged critiques with students at SOMA, and toured a Leon Golub show with curators at Museo Tomayo.

In November 2015 we traveled to Los Angeles.  We presented the Reference Points series at MCASD, slept in Wagon Stations at AZ West, visited Allison Agsten at the Hammer Museum, met with Mark Allen at Machine Project, ate lunch at Chris Johanson’s studio, workshopped an idea with Miranda July, and engaged with Halprin scores at Fritz Haeg’s last public program at Sundown Dome.


Past Partnerships

Among its many partnerships and projects, the program has done work with Mildred’s Lane, Creative Time, Fluxus Projects, the King School, the Buckman School, the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Folk Art, the Hammer Museum, the California College of the Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Whitney Museum of American Art, Bétonsalon in Paris, apexart in New York, and Smack Mellon in Brooklyn, among other venues.

From 2009-2014, the program produced annual intervention called Shine A Light  at the Portland Art Museum. From 2010-2013 students from the program worked in collaboration with Jen Delos Reyes to produce Open Engagement.

From 2009-2014 the Art & Social Practice program obtained an off-campus classroom space from the City of Portland in order to be able to engage more directly and easily with the broader community. The project space and classroom, called Fieldwork, was on the corner of Jefferson and 11th St. Each year students had the opportunity to use that space for projects of their own design, the archive of which can be found here.

British Council Artist Exchange

The Arts and Social Practice Fellowship was a program initiated by the British Council in exchange with alumni from the Art & Social Practice program.   The reciprocal exchange program offers fellowship grants to socially-engaged artists in the US and UK. Fellows are offered residencies of 2-3 weeks with host organizations in Portland and the UK. Each residency is self-determined by the artist whose practice involves public interaction and addresses contemporary social issues through the lens of arts and culture.

2015-2016 Fellows
Travis Sousa (Portland)
Davina Drummond & Yara El-Sherbini (UK)

2014-2015 Fellows
Travis Neel (Portland)
Phobie Davies (UK)