Need help for son seeking very specific school: art, creative writing & open curriculum

Maybe Delaware College of Art and Design? Not sure about how open the curriculum is but I know somebody who went there and had a good experience.

I second the “Colleges that Change Lives” book.

I second Hampshire. Small school with access to the consortium with Amherst and UMass, open curriculum, small town with easy cheap flights or train to DC area. Very LGBT friendly. Great place for a kid with a unique vision of what he wants to do. Success does require self-motivation as there is not a lot of structure.

Why do you mean by “open curriculum”? Do you mean that the student can take any courses they want to take to get their degree. Or do you mean there is flexibility in course choices.

Hampshire allows its students to design their own course of study. It’s the most “open” of any curriculum with which I’m familiar.

While not an “open curriculum,” the Brown-RISD Dual Degree 5- year BFA+BA program offers students a lot of flexibility:

"2. What kinds of students would be attracted to the Brown|RISD Dual Degree program?

Students interested in combining film and video with screen or playwriting, photography with anthropology or urban studies, sculpture with music or performance, art and design with the sciences, theater with glass, and many other unique combinations. RISD and Brown offer different but complementary strengths: RISD offers intensive, specialized education in all categories of the arts and design; Brown offers comprehensive concentrations in the humanities, social sciences, physical, and life sciences. There are many possibilities – and some have yet to be explored!

Please note that not all combinations of majors at RISD and Brown may be possible because of the rigorous demands of the Dual Degree program. Currently, Dual Degree students are unable to declare a major in Architecture at RISD."

To add to my preceding post, my daughter graduated from RISD with a major in industrial design. That’s an intensive program, but RISD then permitted the students to take 3 or 4 courses in social sciences/humanities at Brown (which is adjacent to RISD – literally just up the street). Her courses at Brown inspired her interest in ecological design and social issues, something that her professors at RISD acknowledged by giving her the first “Rachel Carson Award” at RISD. This was before the dual degree 5 year Brown-RISD program was established. That program is a difficult admit, since the students must meet requirements from both colleges, including a portfolio at RISD. But it’s worth considering if a student has test and grade and EC credentials – as well as the breadth of interest of the OP’s son. Graduates earn degrees both from Brown and RISD.

If you go that route, Tufts has a program with the Museum School.

Further out but check out Skidmore and Hampshire.

It may be farther than you want but I would look into University of Michigan Stamps School of Art and Design. The curriculum is very open and you can combine art with just about anything if you want. School is very LGBT friendly and they have a living community that specifically combines art and creative writing called the Alice Lloyd Scholars program. Michigan does require a portfolio which is 50% of your admission and is very competitive academically. The OOS costs are high but they do offer FA. I would really consider exploring UM. VCU Arts is also very good but we got the impression the curriculum was not that flexible.

Another vote for New School in NYC. It is extra arty and extra LGBT friendly compared to most of the other ones I see recommended here. It also has a very open curriculum.

Have you looked at Pratt in NY? It has a creative writing program as well as art/design?