Civic Media, Art & Practice: 2016/17 Cohort Student Projects

The core experience and outcomes of Civic Media, Art & Practice (CMAP) are centered around thesis projects students produce over the course of 12-months. In certain cases, these are scaled projects in partnership with an external organization.

All CMAP projects highlight the relationship of media, art, and practice that the program strives to explore, across a wide range of approaches to the art & design of civic media: e.g., a participatory digital campaign, mobile app, public art installation, interactive curriculum, virtual platform, or game.

Below are descriptions of student projects from the CMAP 2016/17 cohort. These projects bring to life the theories and practices that each student has explored throughout their time in the program.


Mariam Chahine is creating a cooperative, on-demand trash pick-up app called Zibal-T that will be a cost effective solid waste management solution to facilitate the removal of accumulated trash in the Middle East.


Working to reduce campus sexual assault and increase healthy relationships, Rachel Hanebutt, co-founder of Confi, is partnering with Emerson College to create an in-person, online-facilitated peer program that utilizes school-specific student expectations and beliefs data to drive home the importance of sexual health, consent, and communication in relationships.


In response to significant declines in civic knowledge and correlated declines in democratic participation, Jesse Fryburg is making an immersive film aimed at educators and parents in Greater Boston to raise awareness about the need for better civics education.


To help educate users on the causes of homelessness, Riley Hunt has created a variant of chess that explains the issues using narrative and game mechanics. Through the game, users will be encouraged to donate or volunteer to homeless shelters or other services that benefit individuals facing homelessness.


Gentrification, eviction, and displacement are on the rise in Boston; the city had the highest income inequality in the country in 2016. In order to increase citizen involvement in fighting these trends, Erica Salling is working with the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics to build a projected installation that prompts citizens to speak about their experiences within Boston’s changing communities.


Samantha Viotty is partnering with the Dudley Branch of the Boston Public Library to produce a collective art piece with local teens using data about their community to show the necessity of building data literacy and its connection to civic life.