Visual Art & Social Entrepreneurship SL Course
Social entrepreneurs are innovators who focus on designing and creating concrete products and services that address social needs and problems. Unlike scalable startups the goal of a social entrepreneur is to seed awareness of organizer collaboration and effective business models for creating micro-enterprise. The Chesapeake Arts Center (CAC) located in the middle of the community will serve as a secure place to foster, stimulate and sustain the “culture” of place through the management of an accessible maker-space and workshop. The culture of Brooklyn-Curtis Bay (southeast Baltimore City) and northeast Anne Arundel County is fragmented and complicated by the quickly shifting industries that have left community members without jobs to sustain their residency in the area. Over the past two decades, there has been a gradual brain drain in the area that has resulted in a place stressed by few public resources, services and higher-level jobs.
Economic opportunities are necessary to promote arts and culture within any community. ART 422 Social Practice in Place seeks to create a safe and creative place with tools and resources that offers participants training opportunities for UMBC students and community members to learn how to sustain and maintain a micro enterprise, aka cottage industry.
This course introduces the students to a range of interdisciplinary community arts, maker culture and examples of entrepreneurial case studies. These examples embrace civic agency-based methods that will be applied to approach projects in this transitional urban/suburban border community. Students, participants and stakeholders will identify and manage logistical problems inherent in budgeting, design, fabrication, testing and implementation of entrepreneurial solutions that can be modeled within the semester timeframe. Access to maker-space tools and materials will be available during the semester.
– identify specific community need by utilizing data of Dr. Marina Adler/UMBC study that focuses on the Filbert Street Community Garden, Curtis Bay, Baltimore City*.
– provide a research-based model of a successful micro-enterprise (cottage-industry) business plan for Brooklyn-Curtis Bay and north Anne Arundel County
– participants to emulate access simulation techniques to develop lateral thinking skills for product innovation
– test product concept with a community focus group
– organize stakeholder and community participants in order to present process and product concept
– follow-up to reassess and reflect on product feasibility to apply residents’ knowledge gained from experience
– educate targeted users for marketing and alignment of product
– place product with businesses, organizations and other consumers – establish product support with maintenance by designated participants
– harness social capital to improve community empowerment and
– increase a localized knowledge base at CAC to sustain participant involvement for future projects.
See below for the full syllabus: