Studio for Sustainability + Social Action (S3A)

Imagine the visual arts at Penn State with sustainability and social action at their core. S3A is dedicated to sustainability and a philosophical and moral call to social action through artistic practice.

Community, Sustainability, Creativity

S3A aims to reposition the ways Penn State values visual arts by emphasizing the arts, rather than design, to reveal essential characteristics of what the arts do, and to promote arts-based social action, environmental integrity, and economic equity.

Our efforts follow the United Nations’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, increase the call for social action in response to environmental and human rights concerns, and amplify the Land Grant origins of Penn State.

S3A is supported by a 2019 Strategic Initiative Seed Grant, Office of the Provost, The Pennsylvania State University. This project is also supported by the Office of Research and Creative Activity in the College of Arts & Architecture. Partners include the Penn State Sustainability Institute.

Visit the S3A website

Collage of paintbrushes arrayed across Pennsylvania's rolling fields topped with wind turbines.
View of lights across Earth, viewed from the International Space Station.

S3A Initiatives

  • Courses and Curriculum
  • Symposium and Exhibition
  • Community Collaborations and
  • Artist Lectures and Workshops

Initiative Goals

  • Originate and support curriculum through new and existing courses and minors
  • Organize a biennial symposium on arts-based research and education, provide travel grants to present work at national and international conferences
  • Coordinate community art projects and socially-informed collaborations throughout Pennsylvania; sponsor a summer professional development experience for K12 teachers
  • Facilitate lectures and workshops by artists of national profile dedicated to sustainable approaches to artmaking and social action