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Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
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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.


Learn more at the S3A website

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

Care, Water, Food, Shelter, Cost

S3A Inaugural Biennial Symposium + Exhibition
April 22–24, 2021


Call for Proposals

We seek proposals that honor the five themes of the symposium while enhancing audience participation and engagement through creative forms, experimental approaches, scholarly research, and artistic production related to:

Care: Stewardship, Empathy, Hospitality, Disability, Injustice
Water: Value, Health, Accessibility, Climate Change, Pollution
Food: Insecurity, Organic Agriculture, Sustainable Agriculture, Foraging
Shelter: Homelessness, Urban Development, Inclusivity, Displacement, Museums
Cost: Human, Environmental, Cultural, Gift Economy, Grassroots Economy



More from S3A

Art Collaborations

S3A’s community art collaborations initiative is currently funding projects by 3 influential artists.


Visiting Artist Series

S3A annually sponsors one visiting artist whose work in sustainability or social action reflects issues of diversity per the fund guidelines.


Call for Proposals

S3A is seeking proposals for Capstone Design projects and Community Arts project. Find out more.

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 the Associate Dean for Research/Creative Activity and Graduate Studies in the College of Arts & Architecture.

Partners include the Penn State Sustainability Institute.