Connect. Collaborate. Create.

The Artist Collaborative is a two-year program open to incoming students who are involved in and appreciate the arts (visual, performing, and written). The program fosters a collaborative approach to art making and creative problem-solving. Through courses, activities, and a May term trip to an arts destination in the U.S. or abroad, you will explore your calling as a creative. Students don't have to be planning to major in an art-related subject to be considered for the Artist Collaborative!

Program features and benefits

  • Receive a travel voucher to cover the cost of traveling for an Artist Collaborative May term experience.
    Travel destinations may change—cohorts have traveled to Indonesia and Northern Ireland in the past. The May 2022 trip will be to England and Wales. Please note: travel vouchers do not cover the cost of visas or passports.
  • As part of a group of students with similar interests, explore faith, vocation, and your calling. Together, you'll study topics such as arts and social justice, visual culture, entrepreneurship, creative thinking, and leadership.
  • Collaborate with other members of the cohort to create, perform, and exhibit work that is inspired by and reflects upon local and global issues.
  • Connect to the vibrant art scene at Calvin and in Grand Rapids. Programming possibilities include field trips, films, performances, exhibitions, open studio nights, and cohort gatherings.

Who qualifies

  • You must be admitted to Calvin by February 1, 2021.
  • High school seniors planning to enter Calvin University in fall 2021.
  • Students who wish to participate in arts activities while at Calvin or who intend to study in arts-related academic programs such as art, creative writing, graphic design, dance, film and media, music, and theatre. You only need to indicate an interest in the arts on your application to be considered for the program.

Next steps:

If you wish to get involved with the Artist Collaborative at Calvin University, you will need to do two things:

1) Express your interest

Let us know you want to be considered for this program and we'll be in touch soon! The deadline to submit this short questionnaire is February 26, 2021.

Note: On this form, you may also choose other special programs for first-year students for which you'd like to be considered.

2) Apply to Calvin

Complete Calvin's application early in order to be admitted by February 1. Without your application, you will not be considered for this program.


After you express interest in the program and complete your application to Calvin, here is what you can expect to happen:

  1. Invitations to attend the virtual Artist Collaborative interview weekend on March 6, 2021 will be sent in early February.
  2. This invitation includes visiting campus to learn more about the program and to interview for the opportunity be selected as an Artist Collaborative member.
  3. Prospective students will be notified of their acceptance to the program by early April 2021.

Program details

Each year, 25 students are selected to form the new Artist Collaborative cohort. The program spans each student's first and second year at Calvin.

Here is a tentative look at the first two years. Program details for fall 2021 are still being finalized.


Year One


Year Two

Fall Semester  Fall Semester 
Enroll in a one-credit foundations course reserved for Artist Collaborative members. All first-year students are required to take this course. Attend studio nights, arts events, and field trips with other Collaborative members 
 Spring Semester Spring Semester 
Apply for Artist Collaborative project funding and work on collaborative group projects Apply for Artist Collaborative project funding and work on collaborative group projects

Enroll in an Arts course reserved for Artist Collaborative members. This course will satisfy one of your 'core" (general education) requirements.

The option to travel with the Collaborative during Calvin’s May term 
Attend studio nights, arts events, and field trips with other Collaborative members
Present creative work completed with other members of the cohort, and help welcome and host prospective Artist Collaboratives during the preview weekend! 


Paula Manni-Pohler

Paula Manni-Pohler

Arts Programming Assistant
Full profile