Community

Our community of makers and innovators work together and inspire each other to tap into the true potential of art and design.

An environment designed to inspire artists

CCA students are exposed to hands-on learning in a professional environment where award-winning faculty guide them to create their best work. We extend this support system beyond the classroom by organizing events and exhibitions that foster meaningful dialogue among visiting artists, students, faculty, and the local community through more than 150 events each year.

CCA values family

We value the essential role parents, guardians, and families play in supporting a student’s journey at CCA, and we encourage you to continue to play a role in the education and development of your student over the next few years.

Life at CCA

@cacollegeofarts
Instagram post 17884323572536116

Dec. 6, 2021

It's lit 🔥in the Streich Zone. ⁠

This space is a multifunctional room for the Jewelry/Metal Arts program. where enameling, forming, and fabricating takes place. #CCAFaculty Curtis Arima (@arimacurtis) shows us how the kiln works in a casting demo during Homecoming 2021.

Instagram post 17925419542871812

Dec. 4, 2021

Go eaaaaasy on me 🎶 Created by Robin Parks (Illustration 2023), inspired by @adele.⁠

The assignment: illustrate the feeling/vibe/emotion you get from an artist's music. ⁠

"For Adele, the main takeaway I got was heartbreak and sort of going on an emotional rollercoaster. We’ve all been through heartbreak whether that was recent or years ago, so I believe we all have that understanding of what it means to feel that type of loss. Instead of adding a woman crying, I felt like it would add more emotion to have crashing ocean waves of hair and green skin, touching on the idea she might be “green with envy”. I had made the hair with a palette knife whereas the rest of this was painted with a paintbrush (aka this is technically a 3D painting)." ⁠

@robindrawsweird @cca_illustration

Instagram post 18208475734117471

Dec. 1, 2021

Look what we 🪚 going down in the Backlot. ⁠

Studio Atelier gives students the chance to learn first-hand from established furniture artists and designers from across the country and around the world. The course offers direct hands-on experience with diverse approaches to materiality, craft, and sustainable creative practices. ⁠

Here, the students are working with California walnut sourced from Aborica in Marin County, an organization that is focused on salvaged wood stewardship, which is a unique approach to material sourcing in the U.S. #WornickProfessor Ido Yoshimoto took the students to Arborica, where they selected and hauled these tree sections back to CCA.⁠

📸: Ido Yoshimoto (@ido_yoshimoto), Hanwen Jiang, Juan Ignacio Pazmiño, Ina Trayanouskaya (@inka_t_cca).

Instagram post 18087994408305066

Nov. 27, 2021

Seeing the Nave like this >>> ⁠

Earlier this month, the Architecture and Interior Design programs hosted a Show & Tell for students and faculty to hang out and show out 👀 Everyone was invited to bring one physical model, drawing, or work in progress and exhibit the work collectively. ⁠

#architecture #interiordesign #CCArts

A group of people at the opening of “Maia Cruz Palileo: Long Kwento.”

Attendees at the opening of Maia Cruz Palileo's Long Kwento at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.

A campus immersed in local culture

CCA has innovative facilities for students to learn their craft in the Bay Area’s thriving art and design communities. From our fine arts studios in the up-and-coming Dogpatch neighborhood to our partnership with the internationally respected Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, CCA offers a unique learning environment for all types of student artists.

Connect with people like you

Student organizations are a large part of what drives the culture and creativity at CCA. By working collaboratively toward a shared goal, we can achieve more while creating a vibrant campus environment. With over a dozen student organizations, there’s an opportunity for every kind of artist and designer to explore their interests and make new friends and connections. Learn about student groups.

Students pose at the holiday craft fair.

Students at CCA's Holiday Art & Craft Fair.

Life on campus

Campus life means you’re never far from one of our exhibition spaces or campus events. From international potlucks to arts and crafts fairs, we host events all year long to keep you inspired and afford you opportunities to showcase your best work.

Plus, our wide selection of residence halls are located on or adjacent to our campuses, and they’re surrounded by everything a student needs. You’ll have easy access to world-renowned galleries and museums for inspiration as well as everything you need for your more basic needs, like Philz coffee, art and drafting supplies, and more.

Admissions associate helping potential students learn about the program.

Admissions associate working with potential students to understand the programs offered at CCA.

Support in and out of the classroom

We have support systems in place to help students excel during their time at CCA and beyond. Our academic advisors can help you reach your academic, personal, and professional goals. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of all the resources our Career Development team has to offer, including job fairs, networking opportunities, portfolio and resume prep, interview coaching, and more.

Students performance work during MFA Open Studios.

Students' performance art work during the 2017 MFA Open Studios.

Curriculum built on experience

Our team of faculty are prominent practitioners and scholars who create curricula based on real-world experience, with a track record of producing positive career outcomes for students.

And with a diverse faculty composition—including the highest percentage of full-time faculty of color and one of the higher percentages of women faculty than any school in our peer group—CCA can offer students a broader spectrum of experience and expertise.

Students in a classroom for a creative SketchingLab session.

Alumnus Hoang and Anh Nguyen during a creative SketchingLab session.

Join a network of creative peers

CCA alumni play an essential role in maintaining strong community ties and building creative and professional networks. Our Alumni Association includes more than 20,000 active members engaged in the fields of art, architecture, design, writing, arts administration, nonprofit organizations, and more. In roles as leaders, contributors, ambassadors, and connectors, alumni help us maintain bridges to the past and reach wider audiences for greater social impact. By showing us what’s possible, you inspire our way forward.

Alumni members champion many collegewide initiatives and activities. From offering career and mentorship opportunities to new grads and fellow alumni, to opening meaningful pathways to engage at events, our alumni lend their leadership and financial resources to carry forward the important work of CCA’s community. We honor and appreciate the many ways alumni support the college and its students. Let us know how you’d like to participate by filling out this questionnaire.

A pair of hands typing on a laptop.

Access special alumni benefits

Are you a CCA alum? We offer many ways to connect with the college, former classmates, current students, faculty, and other members of CCA’s vibrant community. Joining CCA’s Alumni Association is free, and anyone who has completed at least two semesters is eligible. Update your contact information to take advantage of all alumni benefits, such as:

  • Vend your wares for free at our biannual CCA Arts and Crafts Fair
  • Show your work and sell it to the world from the Shop CCA store directory
  • Attend public programs, such as lectures, exhibitions, events, and more
  • A lifetime CCA email address
  • Our biannual alumni magazine Glance and triannual Alumni Notes publications
  • Access to the CCA Library collections and resources
  • Discounts at organizations and retailers, such as Kala Art Institute, Artist & Craftsman Supply, FLAX Art Supply, Sports Basement, and more
Two coffee-filled mugs, each held by a hand.

Socialize and stay in touch

You’ll find CCA alumni all over, influencing and making culture. Next time you’re in town, check out alumni-run spaces in the Bay Area, including galleries, project spaces, nonprofits, publishers, presses, and more. Looking for more ways to get involved? Learn about our Alumni Association’s leadership, attend CCA galas and events, and socialize with your creative peers in our 1907 Club for young alumni and Half-Century Club for those who graduated over 50 years ago.

We love hearing from you. Have an update to share or an idea to pitch? Get in touch by submitting an Alumni Note or emailing us at [email protected].

Postal address
Alumni Association
California College of the Arts
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco, CA 94107-2247

Connecting students to industry and the arts

CCA helps students share their talents with some of the world’s most exciting companies and organizations through industry collaborations. From semester-long sponsored studios to three-day sprints, collaborations challenge students to find innovative solutions and create full-scale physical products. We also partner with cultural centers, contemporary arts institutions, museums, and nearby academic institutions to forge meaningful connections between theory and practice.

Sample of current industry partners

  • American Craft Council
  • Audi
  • Autodesk
  • Citrix
  • Design Within Reach
  • FOR-SITE Foundation
  • Institute for the Future
  • Port of Oakland
  • Visa
Students connecting with industry representatives at the career fair.

Students at the 2018 CCA Career Expo.

Collaborate with CCA

Whether it’s a one- to three-day sprint, a one- to three-week workshop, or a project lasting over three months, our engagement opportunities align with the varying resources of our partner companies and institutions. To learn more about how to engage with CCA, please contact Senior Director Grants of Partnerships, and Engagement Niko Bellott.

Niko Bellott

Senior Director Grants, Partnerships, and Engagement

[email protected]
A dining room table sits in the office for the Center.

Center for the Arts and Public Life

Concentrating on positive social and environmental change, the Center for the Arts and Public Life builds strong connections with the campus community and external partners, while expanding CCA’s positive social impact through projects, innovative resources, and technologies that serve to inspire creative thinking.

Each year, the Center organizes and presents the IMPACT Award, a collegewide competition that focuses on a specific concept. Open to students, alumni, faculty, and staff, the award recognizes projects that directly address a pressing social or environmental challenge through ingenious solutions.

Four dancers at CCA's Wattis Institute performing Adam Linder Full Service Leah Katz, Justin F. Kennedy, Noha Ramadan, and Stephen Thompson.

Adam Linder, Full Service, 2018; installation view, Wattis Institute; "Choreographic Service No.5: Dare to Keep Kids Off Naturalism," 2017, Duration variable, Four dancers: Leah Katz, Justin F. Kennedy, Noha Ramadan, and Stephen Thompson; photo: Allie Foraker

CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts

Founded in 1998 and located within our urban campus footprint, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts is a nonprofit exhibition venue and research institute dedicated to contemporary art and ideas. In addition to their exhibition program, the Wattis holds a year-long research season dedicated to the work of a single artist. Students benefit from related public programming, which can include film screenings, performances, and workshops, and learn from the field’s most prominent artists and thinkers.

Freshman at CCA Chimerapalooza.

Students at the annual Chimerapalooza event.

Never miss a beat

Whether it’s a special solo exhibition, an annual art fair, or some breaking news on campus, CCA works hard to keep you in the loop so you can be more involved and have a stronger sense of connection and community.

Get a feel for your future art college experience at CCA

Explore the campus