Transforming Communities Through Creative Industries Learning Community

APPLY HERE to be part of the TRAC cohort

WHO? Are you an incoming first-year student within our collegiate unit who wants to: 

  • Be a part of a community of collegiate professors and students who take some classes and participate in extracurricular activities together?
  • Participate in community-engaged projects in the Duluth-Superior communities?
  • Understand big social issues and explore solutions that make communities better places to live for all?
  • Complete almost all of the liberal education program requirements with other TRAC students?
  • Follow an experiential learning path that gives you the skill set you will need for life after graduation? 

WHAT? Transforming Communities through Creative Industries or TRAC is a learning community of students, faculty members, and key partners in Duluth.  

  • Take specific courses that fulfill much of the Liberal Education program requirements over 4 years at UMD and are centered around the theme of transforming communities 
  • TRAC prepares participants to lead curious and empathetic lives focused on the greater good while simultaneously creating value for the community through collaborative projects.
  • TRAC reinforces the role each of us plays in improving our communities.
  • At the conclusion of the program, the students will share how the work and activities in TRAC informed and complemented the work in their majors and programs. 

What are creative industries?

Creative industries are comprised of organizations, both for-and-non-profit, that operate at the nexus of culture and creativity. They include products and services in the performing arts, visual arts and crafts, music, film, cultural heritage, games and animation, print and audiovisual media, tourism, and design, among others. 

Creative industries are among the fastest-growing sectors of the world economy, contributing to inclusive social development and to dialogue and understanding between people. Duluth has thriving creative industries!

What are some examples of past collaborations in Duluth and the Twin Ports?

Students have had the opportunities to collaborate in the community in the following ways:

  • Duluth neighborhood pop-up projects
  • City of Duluth planning projects
  • UMD campus art projects
  • Community solar projects
  • Mapping Duluth’s creative economy digital project
  • Twin Ports neighborhood food security projects

What you can expect from TRAC?

TRAC participants gain knowledge and practice through coursework and co-curricular collaborative projects and public events. Together we explore creative place-making and cultural industries and understand big social issues that affect communities today. We focus on advancing equity and social justice as we engage with the values and voices of communities now, in the past, and as we look to the future.

As a four-year program, TRAC provides you with a pathway to better understand complex issues facing communities and how to conceptualize solutions.

  • In the first year, you will gain an in-depth understanding of the values and voices of communities in the past, present, and future in Duluth and the surrounding areas. You will see how the creative industries can offer a solution for the advancement of equity and social justice in communities. 
  • You will build on this foundation in the second year as you learn how to use design thinking to find just solutions to some of the biggest issues that affect communities.  
  • The third-year will focus on hands-on practice. You will learn and apply digital and other contemporary tools that can be used for innovative social solutions. You will also have the chance to get involved with our Duluth / Twin Ports community partners.
  • The fourth-year will allow you to synthesize theory and practice in a culminating capstone project that aims to improve the well-being of communities.

All interested first-year students within our collegiate unit will be considered. Participation in TRAC has no additional cost to students.

For more information contact
Jennifer Brady ([email protected]) & Jennifer Webb ([email protected])