Community Engagement and Public Practice

A speaker sits on a gallery floor and chats with seated students

Community Engagement and Public Practice

The Office for Community Engagement and Public Practice (OCEPP) was launched in August of 2023 in the College of Fine Arts. 

Its primary role is to partner with community and arts organizations in Austin and Texas as a whole to assist the different members of our CoFA community in intentional and coordinated engagement with local and state-wide partners, but also with each other. To that end, we seek to advance models for reciprocal partnership in research, creative practice and education that benefits all, our students, our faculty, our staff and the different members of our communities. 

We also work on different ways to ensure that our public facing programming reaches a broad range of participants, with the intention to build future audiences. We are interested in ensuring that the varied artistic practices CoFA faculty and students are engaged in have a wide social, cultural and/or political role in the public sphere. 

Our Portfolio

Four dancers in red on a stage

Artistic Citizenship Collaborative Creative Project Seed Grants for undergraduate and graduate students

The objective of these seed grants is to foster artistic citizenship among our students through multidisciplinary creative projects. Our students are an essential part of the wider artistic ecology, locally, nationally and internationally. Through these grants we seek to mobilize students to work in teams to involve practice and praxis, develop methods and implement practices on creative projects that advance their own interpretation of artistic citizenship.

A student views framed artworks in a gallery

Internship Program for Fine Arts students in the Minor in Arts Management and Administration

The objective of this internship initiative is to make intentional collaborative connections with arts organizations within UT and the city of Austin while providing professional development to our students. An additional goal is to bridge the economic gap between exhibitions and performances while also dispensing these public programming endeavors to our students and the community at large. This program is generously funded by the Still Water Foundation.

A student views a sculpture in a gallery

Public Programming with Community Partners through Collaborative Curation

Through our developing partners in the Austin community and beyond, we work collaboratively in targeted curated public performance and visual art projects. This project is partially funded by the Still Water Foundation.

Meet the Team

  • Laura Gutierrez

    A woman in a red shirt stands in front of a brick wall
    Associate Dean for Community Engagement and Public Practice
  • Francisco Samaniega

    Francisco  Samaniega
    Program Coordinator, Office of Community Engagement and Public Practice