It’s a fancy word for ‘welcome to school, here’s some inspiration.’
Today was the introduction to orientation (if there can even be such a thing) for incoming graduate students. This amounted to free snacks, a tour of the surrounding area, some free time to get to know each other and and presentations by four inspiring folk (and more snacks).
The presentations given by MICA President Sammy Hoi; Michelle Antoinette aka Love the Poet; Ben Stone, Executive Director, Station North Arts and Entertainment Inc.; and Dr. Leslie King Hammond, Graduate Dean Emeritus, was centered around the theme of Baltimore.
They spoke on identity, what it means to find and listen to yourself, the importance of work to find that during grad school and learning to capture that identity so that you can carry it beyond the walls of MICA and into whatever you build for yourself after graduation.
They spoke of community and the cultural and emotional apex that Baltimore finds itself at now. We are here at moment when there is significant opportunity for Baltimore to begin to fix/address decades (centuries old) institutionalized segregation and racism.
And they lauded the opportunity that Baltimore provides for artists to engage with communities and neighborhoods. For all graduate students, not just MASD students, they encouraged taking advantage of as many opportunities as possible while here, to finding how your art and career can have social impact.