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Certificate in Community Arts Practice (CAP)

Develop creative artistic skills, deepen your social analysis and learn to work collaboratively with community arts groups by completing the unique certificate – the first of its kind in Canada! Community arts is an emerging field promoting creative artistic practices with groups and communities to express diverse identities and raise awareness about social, political and environmental issues. It democratizes art, emphasizes working together as much as the finished product, and embraces a wide range of activities, including participatory mural production, popular theatre, activist video-making, group singing, community dance and web-based activist art.

Through this certificate, you will have the opportunity to gain real-world experience by working with seasoned artists through placements with local cultural agencies and community organizations. In fourth year, you will participate in a community-based cultural production. You can also participate in international internships in Los Angeles, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama. Graduates may be able to pursue opportunities with community organizations, art agencies, environmental groups, schools, theatre, dance and media companies, artist-run spaces, multicultural projects and international community development programs.

Application form

To apply for the CAP certificate program, you must fill out the CAP application form (PDF) and submit it to the Office of Student and Academic Services (OSAS). Your application will be forwarded to the CAP program coordinator, who will review your application and email you to let you know whether you have been accepted into the program.

Students enrolled as majors in the Faculty of Environmental Studies or in the Faculty of Fine Arts may choose to enrol in the cross-disciplinary Certificate in Community Arts Practice. Students from other Faculties may choose to enrol in the program through one of the co-sponsoring Faculties. The certificate may be completed either concurrently with a degree program, or completely separate from an active degree program. Candidates who previously completed an undergraduate degree in a related field must have a minimum grade point average of 5.0. As well, individuals without an undergraduate degree but have previous relevant work experience may also apply to this program. Consideration of nondegree applicants will be based on the level and appropriateness of their work experience and applicants may be invited to an interview by the program coordinator.

Required courses (12 credits):

  • ES/ENVS 2122 3.0 Community Arts for Social Change
  • ES/ENVS 3122 3.0 Community Arts Practice Preparatory Workshop
  • ES/ENVS 4122 6.0 Community Arts Practice Practicum Workshop

AND 12 additional credits from the elective list.


Elective courses (Select at least one course from each of the following categories listed):

Category 1: Community and popular education

  • ENVS 3125 3.0 Popular Education for Environmental and Social Justice
  • THEA 4200 6.0 Perspectives on Contemporary Theatre
  • THEA 4440 6.0 Drama and Education
  • VISA 3001B 3.0 Artist as Activist and Educator
  • YSDN 3104 3.0 Design for Public Awareness

Category 2: Introductory or advance studio courses in an artistic discipline

  • DANC 2501 3.0 Introduction to Dance Studio 1
  • ENVS 1800 6.0 Environmental Writing
  • ENVS 4100 3.0 Environmental Literatures
  • FACS 1939 3.0 Interactive New Media Art: An Introduction
  • FACS 2930 6.0 The Electronic Landscape
  • FILM 2030 6.0 Film Production for non-Majors: The New Realism
  • FILM 3002 6.0 Documentary Project Workshop I
  • MUSI 1000 6.0 Workshop in Musicianship I
  • MUSI 1011 3.0 Non-Major Strings
  • MUSI 1012 3.0 Non-Major Guitar
  • MUSI 1014 3.0 Singing for Non-Majors
  • MUSI 1043 3.0 West African Drum Ensemble: Ghanaian
  • MUSI 1556 3.0 Gospel Choir
  • THEA 1520 3.0 Acting for Non-Majors
  • THEA 1521 3.0 Acting for Non-Majors II
  • THEA 2060 3.0 Voice & speech I
  • THEA 2061 3.0 Voice & speech II
  • VISA 2053 3.0 Time-Based Art: Crossing Boundaries
  • VISA 2055 3.0 Time-Based Art: Performance Art and Everyday Life
  • VISA 2056 3.0 Time-Based Art: Introduction to video - Production
  • VISA 2070 3.0 Print Media: Lithography
  • VISA 2071 3.0 Print Media: Intaglio
  • VISA 2073 3.0 Print Media: Relief
  • VISA 2074 3.0 Print Media: Screenprinting
  • VISA 2033 3.0 Clay Modeling and Plaster Casting
  • VISA 2065 3.0 Introductory Digital: Camera to Image
  • VISA 3022B 3.0 Painting: The Spaces We Live In
  • VISA 3051 6.0 Time-Based Art: Media Explorations
  • VISA 3053 3.0 Community Based Video: Art and Activism
  • YSDN 1001 3.0 Visual Language
  • YSDN 1002 3.0 Design and Image
  • YSDN 1010 3.0 Introduction to Design: Practice and Appreciation

Category 3 Advanced community-related artistic practice

  • DANC 2510 A, B, C, D 3.0 Introduction to World Dance Practices
  • DANC 3259 3.0 Animating Communities through Dance
  • ENVS 3800Y 3.0 Contesting Place: Art in the Urban Environment
  • ENVS 4420 3.0 Media, Culture, Communications, and Environment
  • FACS 2960A 3.0 Creative and Critical Fictions
  • FACS 3100 3.0 The Theatricality of Power
  • FACS 3900A 3.0 Arts and Culture: South Asia
  • FACS 3900M 3.0 Arts and Culture: Indigenous Culture
  • FACS 4934 3.0 Tactical Media: Art and Activism
  • THEA 4450A 3.0/THEA 4450A 6.0 Practicum: Performance in the Schools
  • THEA 4460 6.0 Improvisation and Playmaking
  • VISA 3053 3.0/FILM 3331 6.0 Community based Video: Art and Activism

Category 4 Critical social analysis

  • DANC 2540 3.0 Dance and Popular Culture
  • ENVS 1900 6.0 Uncovering the Body: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
  • ENVS 3151 3.0 Environmental Politics and Advocacy I
  • ENVS 3160 3.0 Race/Racism and Environmental Justice
  • ENVS 3225 3.0 Regional Governance
  • ENVS 4161 3.0 Social Movements, Activism, and Social Change
  • ENVS 4223 3.0 Global Cities
  • FACS 2400 6.0 Photography, Film and Popular Culture
  • FACS 2900 6.0 Rethinking Representation
  • FACS 3500 3.0 The Body in Performance
  • FACS 4970A 3.0 Performance: Theory and Practice
  • VISA 3001 3.0 The Body and Technology
  • THEA 4270B 3.0/THEA 4270B 6.0 Performing Gender
  • THEA 4331 3.0/THEA 4331 6.0 Theatre of Political Engagement
  • YSDN 1101 3.0 Critical Issues in Design
  • YSDN 3105 3.0 Self, Society and Design
  • YSDN 3106 3.0 Image and Influence

Other requirements

Students working towards this certificate must:

  • Register in the program after completing 24 credits and maintain continued enrolment in a three-year degree or an honours degree program
  • Achieve a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 4.0 or greater in the courses taken to satisfy certificate requirements
  • York students must complete their degree in order to be granted the certificate
  • Meet the minimum overall cumulative grade point average  (OCGPA) requirement for an honours program.


BES students pursing the CAP certificate are not required to enrol in ENVS 4000 6.0.