By AFRO Staff 

For the third year in a row, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and T. Rowe Price, the Baltimore-based global investment manager, will again host Grassroots DesignFest. Grassroots DesignFest is an event where undergraduate and graduate students from schools around the region, as well as local professionals, team up with T. Rowe Price’s design and technology professionals to work with local nonprofit partners on branding concepts, logo designs, graphic identities and other design projects. 

The nonprofit participants work on issue areas including arts and culture, education, human services and social justice. The daylong event presents an opportunity to contribute to the social change movement in Baltimore while collaborating face-to-face with other designers and nonprofits. However, bringing change doesn’t stop at the end of the day — many of the nonprofits keep designers on, sometimes as interns and others as volunteers, to see the projects through.

The daylong event presents an opportunity to contribute to the social change movement in Baltimore while collaborating face-to-face with other designers and nonprofits. (Courtesy of Christopher Meyers Photography)

“High-quality design services can be difficult for nonprofits to build into their budgets,” says Sheri Parks, vice president of strategic initiatives at MICA. “Through DesignFest, they can see how trained artists and designers can enhance their ability to serve the community. For students, it’s a great opportunity to work alongside design professionals, and learn about the ways that nonprofits are serving the city. DesignFest is an example of how MICA is embodying its commitment to ‘Thrive with Baltimore.’” 

DesignFest was the brainchild of the T. Rowe Price Foundation’s President, John Brothers.

“Baltimore is home to amazing creative talent, some of whom we’re proud to employ among our 5,000 Baltimore-based associates,” says John Brothers, president of the T. Rowe Price Foundation. “The opportunity for them to work on solving nonprofits’ challenges is a win-win for the nonprofit community, our associates and the students who are gaining real-world experience. We see this event as a great way to continue our work to help make Baltimore’s nonprofits stronger, provide hands-on and meaningful volunteer opportunities for our associates, and support Baltimore’s creative talent.”

This year, participating students come from, MICA, Stevenson University, Bowie State University, Towson University and University of Baltimore.

Participating nonprofits include: 

Participating nonprofits include:
Association for the Public Defender of Maryland
Citizens Policing Project
Community Mediation Program, d.b.a. Baltimore Community Mediation Center
Conflict Resolution Center of Baltimore County
Improving Education
Made In Baltimore
Maryland Dental Action Coalition
Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
Muse 360 Arts
Organizing Black (formerly known as Black Leaders Organizing for Change)
Ready At Five
Roberta’s House
Southeast Community Development Corporation
Star-Spangled Banner Flag House
The Fuel Fund of Maryland
The Intersection
The Royal Theater and Community Heritage Corporation
Farm to Prison Project

This event will take place at MICA’s Brown Center, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave., Baltimore, Md. Street parking is available, as well as behind the nearby MICA Store at 1531 Malster Ave. 


Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls over 3,000 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 65 countries. Degree and non-credit programs offered include fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts and professional studies. Art and design programs are ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report; MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation and research along with community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.

Founded in 1937, Baltimore-based T. Rowe Price Group ( is a global investment management organization with $1.21 trillion in assets under management as of Jan. 31. The organization provides a broad array of mutual funds, subadvisory services, separate account management for individual and institutional investors, retirement plans and financial intermediaries. The company also offers a variety of sophisticated investment planning and guidance tools. T. Rowe Price’s disciplined, risk-aware investment approach focuses on diversification, style consistency and fundamental research. For more information, visit or our Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook sites.