Community Arts Practices

Community Arts Practices (CAP) at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture offers an interdisciplinary opportunity to engage communities’ intergenerational stories, histories and cultures to creatively address contemporary challenges and to reimagine our collective future.

During a time when society at-large is being examined through multiple crises surrounding race, health, economy and climate, among other issues, CAP offers what few undergraduate programs provide today: socially-engaged art making that emphasizes the creative process and object as well as their social implications.

Deeply-rooted in Tyler’s larger mission and values, CAP exists at the intersection of art, academics and activism. Students bring a range of backgrounds and interests—from urban and environmental studies, to racial justice and community development, to LGBTQIA+ studies and more—and integrate these aspects into their work.

Guided by an award-winning faculty of practicing, community-based artists, students perform community-focused research and collaborate with community members on project designs that range from traditional to experimental to innovative. Their interdisciplinary site-specific installations, performances, multimedia productions and public art exhibitions address complex community issues, stimulate dialogues and garner critical acclaim.

CAP students learn invaluable critical and technical skills to make positive change through active citizenship in areas they care about, and develop a greater sense of responsibility, empathy, inclusivity and leadership. These attributes and experiences prepare students for graduate programs in their areas of interest and successful careers.

Fieldwork, internships and partnerships
Students tackle today’s most complex social, political and economic challenges through direct engagement with Philadelphia’s vibrant neighborhoods, including partnerships with families, organizations, housing developments, activist campaigns, local artists and more to create art based on the lives, stories and shared experiences of the city’s diverse communities.


  • Tyler Alum Phoebe Bachman (BFA '14) Featured in The Philadelphia Citizen

    As an an artist and project manager for The People's Budget, an evolving Mural Arts Philadelphia public artwork, Tyler Sculpture alum Phoebe Bachman (BFA '14) he...

  • Tyler Faculty Take a Lead in Climate Action

    For the last two years, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture Rob Kuper has been diligently working with fellow faculty members to organize around the topic o...

  • Professor Pepón Osorio and Edgar Heap of Birds (MFA '79) Named 2024 Arts and Letters Awardees

    Pepón Osorio, Laura H. Carnell Professor of Community Art, and Tyler alum Edgar Heap of Birds (MFA '79) have been honored as 2024 Awards in Art recip...