Practice Held in Common, MA in Fine Art and Design, ArtEZ, Arnhem (NL)

The MA Practice Held in Common is an experiential, practice-based research environment.

The MA Practice Held in Common supports participants in building and sustaining a creative practice from what is alive in them. Once we learn to practice from what is alive in us, we can more easily connect to what is alive in others. Participants are supported in organizing their creative practice in such a way that it enriches life, both for them and the people they choose to work and connect with.

The Practice Held in Common curriculum engages Compassionate Communication as a core practice inviting participants to develop a creative attitude towards all aspects of life. Practising from a framework of shared human needs and values we are inspired to move beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing towards the more beautiful world that our hearts know is possible.

The programme seeks to activate and develop the following research areas, that neither delineate nor exclude:

  • Ecosystems – With an awareness of our interdependence, how do we create our actions and activities to be of benefit to others?
  • Self-Expression – How do we involve the lived experience of our identity formation as a powerful tool to question and lighten our cultural and social conditioning?
  • Community – Can we engage our skills and competencies to contribute to the wellbeing and joy of ourselves and others?
  • Beauty – How, by way of material practices, do we individually and collectively ritualize and give expression to a sensuous and intuitive experience of the world?


Rooted in Arnhem (NL), the Practice Held in Common programme connects with diverse national and international partners. Participants are supported by a dedicated team of mentors and facilitators in curating a sequence of Immersive Learning Experiences, engaging with diverse localities, communities and fields of practice.

The Master Practice Held in Common is open to participants from every field of practice from economics to visual arts.

Take Back the Economy!
Open call for passionate and engaged participation
MA Practice Held in Common 2021-2023
1 November 2020—14 April 2021
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Deadline for letters of intent: April 14th 2021
Applicant interviews: May 12th and 13th 2021


Makers, researchers and doers from all backgrounds–including but not limited to economics, agriculture, social sciences, and visual arts–are invited to develop their research and participate in shaping an action-based research environment at the ArtEZ MA Practice Held in Common programme. A space dedicated to collectively re-imagining and enacting our economy towards resilient, joyful, and equitable ways of living. Together we will develop the knowledge, skills, and capacities to perform and reclaim the economy as a social, ecological and cultural domain.


We see the economy as the day-to-day processes that we all engage in as we go about securing what we need for physical and emotional well-being. This makes clear that the economy is created by the actions we take every day. Can we heighten our awareness of our roles in our current economic realities? Can we direct our creativity and curiosity towards identifying and developing actions and patterns of being that allow us to build an economy worth living in, with one another and in harmony and abundance with the world around us?


We embrace the notion of economies being manifold, subtle and adaptive, as people and ecosystems are. Which worldviews emerge in the collaboration between people, nature and culture that can give direction to new economies?


To transform our economy means to transform ourselves. The practice of Compassionate Communication (based on Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication model) is at the core of the MA Practice Held in Common programme; it helps us to understand what serves our and others’ well-being, and it supports us in creating life-affirming, authentic, connecting and interdependent ways of living.


Cooperation and trust are developed when people identify mutual needs and collaborate to form effective strategies to meet them.
The programme supports participants in developing patterns of living and working that make life more wonderful for them and for the people around them. Underlying all human actions are needs that people are seeking to meet. Practicing from a framework of shared human needs and values creates common ground for connection, trust and cooperation.


We offer a rich and mutually supportive research environment with national and international partners, including Godelieve Spaas, professor of Other Economies at Avans University of Applied Sciences (NL), Oona Morrow and Anke de Vrieze of the Rural Sociology Group at Wageningen University (NL), CERN (Community Economies Research Network) and CERN NL, David Bollier of the Schumacher Center for New Economics, Massachusetts (US), Caroline Woolard and Susan Jahoda of Making & Being (US) and Pascale Gatzen and the mentors of the ArtEZ MA Practice Held in Common (NL).


To apply, please send a letter of intent to