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RTKL Award MFA Award | Charlesmead Initiative I Research Assistantships Additional Support 

RTKL Award

Rogers, Taliaferro, Kostritsky, & Lamb [ RTKL ] Fellowship is made possible through the generosity of RTKL Associates Incorporated. RTKL was founded in Baltimore in 1946 and has since become one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive architecture and design firms in the world, with expanded offices throughout most continents. IMDA and the Department of Visual Arts are grateful that RTKL is determined to support emerging, creative leaders in the field of art.

Each year upon achieving their MFA Candidacy, typically after their third semester, one IMDA graduate student is awarded the RTKL Fellowship based solely on the merit of their presentation on Graduate Review Day one year before they are eligible present their MFA Thesis Exhibition. The goal of this merit-based award is to give an emerging artist of creative and scholarly excellence who has demonstrated a promise to make an impact on the field. Award recipients deliver an artist lecture during their MFA Thesis Exhibition.

MFA Award

The IMDA MFA program is pleased to announce the IMDA Friends + Alumni fund, founded and inspired by IMDA alumna Mina Cheon ’02. The primary objective of the fund is to award $1000 for the most outstanding MFA exhibition and written thesis. Each year a qualified art professional will serve as a juror for the award. This MFA Award is inspired by those who wish to boost the emerging career of promising IMDA alumni, especially impacting the transitional year following their MFA.

We are grateful to Mina Cheon, the founding alumna of this award. Friends and alumni who wish to donate to the award should contact the Graduate Program Director [], the Department Chair, or

UMBC Charlesmead Initiative for Arts Education

The Charlesmead Foundation has provided UMBC with a gift of $500,000 over five years, Fall 2018 through Spring 2023, aimed at introducing or strengthening arts engagement opportunities for K-8 students in Title I schools in the Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS). We are seeking proposals to fund partnerships between UMBC faculty/staff/graduate students and these schools.

While proposals for K-8 Title I BCPSS schools will be given priority, the Charlesmead Review Committee is also open to proposals that address the following populations: PreK or Grades 9-12; school districts contiguous to Baltimore City; before- and after-school arts programs; and non-profit arts organizations. Also welcomed are proposals that indirectly benefit PreK-12 students – for example, faculty research on the relationship between arts engagement and academic achievement, support for projects led by UMBC graduate students pursuing careers as arts teachers or teaching artists, stipends for curriculum-writing, professional development for classroom teachers, and other relevant projects.

Proposals should be tailored to the needs and interests of each partner, leverage the strengths of a university, and be inspired by the idea that all children are entitled to quality arts programming in the full spectrum of artistic disciplines, including Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts. Submit proposals here.

Research Assistantships

The Intermedia + Digital Art [ IMDA ] program has over $400,000 in funds to support Research Assistantships [ RA ] for graduate students who qualify. Financial packages include half and full tuition remission, health care, and stipends. Students fulfill their RA by teaching a course; working in one of the Visual Art Department labs; assisting Faculty on a research project; or working with one of several research centers and partners at UMBC including the Imaging Research Center [ IRC ], the Center for Art Design and Visual Culture [ CADVC ], and others. Most IMDA students choose to teach as part of their RA. Eligible students have multiple opportunities to independently teach courses during their IMDA studies in an area of their expertise.

Additional Support

The Graduate Student Association [ GSA ] offers funding for graduate students to travel and purchase material for graduate students to produce their art.

MFA applicants who have served in the Peace Corps may apply for additional funding through the Shriver Peaceworker Fellowship program.

On-campus programs and facilities such as Center for Innovation, Research, and Creativity in the Arts [ CIRCA ] and the Dresher Center for the Humanities can provide additional research support.

UMBC’s Graduate School offers internal and external funding opportunities, including fellowships and information on financial aid.

Financial Smarts offers graduate students individual coaching for financial planning.

USMD Women’s History Month Award. This program provides 5 awards per year in the amount of $500.00 to female undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled in a USM institution.


Images: Lexie Mountain [ 2014 ];  MFA Thesis Exhibition Poster, CADVC [ 2012 ]; Gary Kachadourian [ 2012 ].