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Fall 2018 Letter from the President

Posted December 11, 2018, 2:25 PM

Updated December 18, 2018, 9:17 AM

Dear Friends,

The CCA fall semester is well under way. As I walk through campus and visit with faculty, students, and staff, I am inspired by their incredible work to advance CCA’s core values—creating educational opportunities for our students, promoting diversity on our campus, and embracing our role as a proponent of social justice, community engagement, and environmental sustainability.

Growing Our CCA Community
In September, we welcomed our largest freshman class in CCA history! Of these students, 33 percent represent the first in their families to attend college. Through the leadership of Provost Tammy Rae Carland, CCA now also has the highest percentage of full-time faculty of color (31 percent) and one of the highest percentages of full-time women faculty (47 percent) amongst our peer institutions. This marks an important step forward for CCA, and for arts education more broadly, to improve diversity in our communities, increase equity, and promote inclusion.

Creating a Residential Campus
Progress continues on our plan to unify CCA in San Francisco and reimagine arts education for the 21st century. Award-winning architecture firm Studio Gang is finalizing the designs for an expansion of our San Francisco campus that will enhance adjacencies between programs and create new opportunities for creative exploration. At the same time, we are creating a truly residential campus at CCA, where students will live and learn together in new and exciting ways.

In August 2018, we opened Blattner Hall, a new student housing facility less than three blocks from our San Francisco campus. This beautiful new residence hall is named in honor of CCA trustee, property owner, and developer Simon Blattner and his wife, Kimberly. Addressing the critical unmet need for student housing in San Francisco, Blattner developed the property specifically to provide below-market-rate housing to CCA students who otherwise would have to compete in San Francisco’s housing market.

This winter, CCA will also break ground on our first on-campus student housing facility in San Francisco. Located at 188 Hooper Street, the building will accommodate over 500 students and feature a ground-floor restaurant with a meal plan for residents.

Strengthening Our Connection to the Bay Area
CCA is forging connections with Bay Area institutions and leaders to extend the reach of our mission, expand the role we play as a cultural anchor in the region, and create new opportunities for our students.

CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice partnered with the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to create the Curatorial Research Bureau, a new learning site, bookstore, and platform for public events and exhibitions. The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts is celebrating its 20th anniversary with programming and an exhibition that focus on Bay Area artists. Representatives from CCA’s programs and alumna Sarah Bird (MFA Sculpture 1994) came together to offer a series of events in conjunction with San Francisco’s Global Climate Action Summit.

This fall, CCA is also leading Bay Area arts and cultural organizations in For Freedoms’ 50 State Initiative, co-founded by alumnus Hank Willis Thomas (MFA/MA in Photography and Visual Criticism 2004). As part of this initiative, our students, faculty, and staff are organizing exhibitions, town hall meetings, and installations that encourage artists and designers to participate in civic life.

I look forward to seeing how our community continues to build upon this tremendous momentum—activating CCA’s role as a global citizen and inspiring the next generation of artists and designers to realize the power they have to impact the world around them. I encourage you to follow our work at and thank you for your continued interest and support.

President Stephen Beal