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Fall 2017 President's Letter

Posted September 21, 2017, 12:00 AM

Updated November 7, 2019, 11:49 AM

Dear friends,

We are three weeks into the fall semester and our studios, classrooms, lecture halls, and outdoor spaces are brimming with activity. My calendar is quickly filling with exhibition openings, lectures, meetings, and events!

I wanted to take a moment to update you on what has been happening with our plans for the campuses. As you are aware, in order to strengthen and integrate CCA’s educational experience, we plan to bring together all of our programs and operations in San Francisco for the academic year 2021–22.

Studio Gang
Studio Gang, the architecture firm chosen to design the expanded campus in San Francisco, completed its discovery phase of the project in June. Dozens of faculty, staff, students, and alumni were involved in this phase, which established an overall vision, developed a framework for new architecture and modifications to existing buildings, and studied relationships with the surrounding campus and city.

We will now move into the schematic design phase, which determines the spatial components (both interior and exterior), the size and shape of the architecture, and strategies for sustainability. We hope to have a master plan for the campus by the end of the calendar year, and we should be able to share preliminary designs with you in early 2018.

The new section on our website includes a timeline, information on sustainability objectives, and a new video from Studio Gang about the project.

Oakland campus

The future of our Oakland campus remains a key focus in our campus planning efforts. First of all, I want to assure you that all Oakland-based programs will be moving to San Francisco. None will be eliminated or left behind.

In April we entered into a preliminary agreement with Equity Community Builders and Emerald Fund (ECB/EF) to help us explore a range of options for the Oakland campus that celebrate our artistic and educational legacy and benefit the greater community.

Through a visioning process conducted with Oakland faculty leadership and CCA staff, trustees and alumni, the ECB/EF team developed a range of options for discussion. Ideas under consideration will preserve key historic campus buildings and landscape, honor our arts legacy, provide affordable artist housing coupled with much-needed market-rate housing, create spaces dedicated to artists and the arts, and maintain and enhance public access to the site.

These options were presented yesterday to CCA’s trustees at their regular board meeting. The board voted to enter into a formal agreement with ECB/EF to pursue these options further. The next step will be a community outreach process to members of the CCA community and other interested groups to solicit feedback, proactively identify and resolve concerns, and gain support for the vision. The community outreach process will begin soon and continue through early next year, and we will keep the CCA community apprised of opportunities to participate in these feedback sessions. In the meantime, you may give input and feedback at

Additionally, a committee comprised of CCA faculty, alumni, students, staff and trustees will be convened to explore ways to honor, document, and celebrate our Oakland history and heritage as we plan for a transition to the newly expanded campus. We look forward to including our community in this endeavor and encourage you to email us here to indicate your interest in participating on the committee.

New Student Residences

We broke ground in May on a new student housing project at 75 Arkansas Street in San Francisco. Located just two blocks from the campus, the project includes student housing with over 200 beds and 7,200 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. Students are expected to occupy the building in fall 2018.

We are grateful to property owner and longtime trustee Simon Blattner, who is very generously developing the project for the college.

The college is planning to build additional student housing in San Francisco that would open in conjunction with the new expanded campus by 2021. Award-winning firm Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects has been selected to design the new facility.

As our plans continue to move forward, I am enthusiastic about the future of CCA and encourage you to follow our progress on the website. We have an unprecedented opportunity to significantly strengthen the education we offer our students and to amplify our mission. Thank you for your continued interest and support.


President Stephen Beal