MSU in the Community

The following are some of the MSU units and centers that connect MSU to communities and groups:

Cultural Engagement Council
The Council activities promote collaborative projects among campus units, more integration of the arts into general education offerings, and more diverse cultural experiences for audiences on campus and throughout the state of Michigan.

University Outreach and Engagement
The Office connects faculty with external audiences to address community issues.

MSU Extension
Extension reaches into all 83 counties in Michigan to provide practical, university-based knowledge.

Public Humanities Collaborative
The Collaborative celebrates and promotes arts and humanities teaching, scholarship, and programming on campus and beyond.

Outreach Initiatives and Programs

By partnering with communities, Michigan State University has been advancing knowledge and transforming lives through innovative teaching, research, and service for over 150 years. Our tradition began in 1855 as the prototype for 69 land-grant institutions established under the Morrill Act of 1862. Working with communities is a vital component of the land-grant mission and arts and culture is an integral part of what MSU has to offer.

The following are some of the arts and culture projects, initiatives, and programs that MSU colleges and departments are engaged in with community partners:

  • MSU Museum
    • Traveling Exhibition Program
      This service of the Museum is to make the results of its extensive research, collections, and educational programs accessible to a wider audience.
    • Virtual Outreach Program
      This program allows teachers to provide fun and meaningful learning experiences for their students without the expense, permission forms, and geographic limitations of ordinary field trips.
  • The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum
    • Family Days
      On the first Saturday of every month (excluding major holiday weekends), from 12–4 PM, families with children of all ages can enjoy making art with professional teaching artists, family targeted museum tours and a variety of interactive activities in our expansive education wing. Presented by Farm Bureau Insurance.
    • Public Tours
      The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum provides comprehensive interactive tours for a variety of audiences including groups with special needs and K–12 school groups. Free public tours are offered on Saturdays and Sundays at 1 PM and 3 PM. Group tours are also available by appointment during regular hours. Tuesday through Friday. The Broad MSU also provides ElderHeART tours for people with dementia and Alzheimer's, given when the museum is closed to the general public.
  • Wharton Center for Performing Arts
    • Act One Series
      This program features nationally touring youth theatre production companies in one-hour shows designed to educate and entertain young audiences.
    • Seats 4 Kids
      This program is a scholarship fund that provides free tickets to local youths who could not otherwise afford to attend a performing arts event.
    • Evening College Courses
      Courses offered include "Behind The Scenes at Wharton Center."
    • Preview Lectures
      Free, half-hour discussions are presented prior to shows by industry experts who provide unique insight into performances.
    • Stratford Festival Artist-In-Residency Program
      This program provides several opportunities for members of the community to share the time and talents of world-renowned artists.
    • Street Marketing and Outreach Team
      Students work closely with staff to market attractions, coordinate promotions, and help facilitate a wide variety of activities — For more information, contact Bob Hoffman at
  • MSU Press
    • African Books Collective
      This program is designed to raise the profile of African-published books and disseminate them more widely in North America.
  • Department of Theatre
    • Young Playwrights Festival (with the Wharton Center)
      This program encourages high school students' interest in writing and drama.
    • Theatre Symposium (with the Wharton Center)
      Each mainstage production is accompanied by a special symposium related to an important topic or theme of the play; frequently faculty from other departments on campus and representatives from community organizations offer their special insight into the symposium topic.
  • Department of Art, Art History, and Design
    • Visiting Artist and Scholar Lecture Series
      Renowned artists are invited to talk about their art.
    • Design Center
      Design Center members work with faculty on real-world projects. Students are provided the opportunity to work with internal and external clients in a mutually educational and professional environment.
    • Saturday Morning Art (SmART)
      A program for students age 7 through 18, and is intended to broaden and enrich the art experiences they obtain in regular school programs.
  • MSU College of Music
    • Community Music School
      The School provides comprehensive music education—quality instruction, related music services, and educational programs—for interested individuals of all ages and levels.
  • College of Arts and Letters
  • Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives
  • MSU Alumni Association
    • Evening College
      This program provides noncredit personal enrichment courses for adults.
  • Student Affairs and Services
    • Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement
      The Center provides curricular and co-curricular service-based learning and engagement opportunities for MSU students. Opportunities are offered that meet students' goals while also addressing the expressed needs of the community.
  • WKAR
    • Ready To Learn Service
      The service offers free materials to parents and caregivers and periodically offers free workshops in literacy and media literacy to families.
    • BackStage Pass
      WKAR's nationally-distributed music performance television series done in collaboration with various MSU departments and featuring Michigan musicians from a variety of musical genres.
    • Radio Reading Service
      This free service provides news and information for those who are challenged by the printed word.
    • reWorking Michigan
      Information, resources and programming related to jobs and workforce evolution in mid-Michigan.
    • WKAR Newsroom
      Timely reports and features related to current events, politics, arts and culture in mid-Michigan.
  • One Book, One Community
    This program encourages the East Lansing and Michigan State University community to read the same book over a six-week period each autumn and to come together to discuss it in a variety of settings.