Advancement News

Posted on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 by Chris Bliss

Dear Friends,

California College of the Arts was founded in 1907, just after San Francisco’s cataclysmic earthquake and fire, in a time of challenges, transition, and opportunity.

Our founders had a remarkable vision: connect artists to social, economic, and political life to deepen the power of creative work and change our world for the better.

After a century of growth, CCA and its founding ideals have never been more relevant. Artists and designers contribute significantly to a culture that increasingly relies on a combination of invention and creative content.

At CCA, we cultivate ingenuity by educating the most promising creative people from across the country and around the world.  

Framing the Future for CCA

CCA is on the threshold of an important step forward to strengthen the education we offer all students and to expand our impact.

Over the next five years, we will be working to unify and reshape our two campuses into one vibrant and innovative institution. We will dramatically expand the college’s role as a wellspring of creative talent, producing the trailblazers of tomorrow who can solve the seemingly intractable problems of today’s society.

CCA will set a new standard for art and design education in the 21st century.

We plan to create a campus in the heart of San Francisco’s DoReMi arts district (the overlapping neighborhoods of Dogpatch, Potrero Hill, and the Mission) for makers and thinkers of all kinds -- a campus that is flexible, sustainable, interdisciplinary, and ahead of its time.

Here we will bring together all our programs in art, crafts, design, architecture, and writing to create new adjacencies and interactions while developing yet-to-be-discovered modes of making.

Posted on Friday, March 25, 2016 by Chris Bliss

Honoree Stanlee Gatti (center) with co-chairs Lorna Meyer and Patricia Fitzpatrick

California College of the Arts (CCA) drew more than 450 supporters to the stunning Nave of its San Francisco campus on March 23, 2016, for a gala celebration honoring renowned Bay Area designer and community leader Stanlee R. Gatti.

The annual fundraising event -- a benefit to support CCA student scholarships -- was helmed by co-chairs and CCA trustees Patricia Fitzpatrick and Lorna Meyer Calas, with honorary chair and CCA trustee Kay Kimpton Walker. Surpassing all financial goals by grossing more than $1.24 million in donations, it brought together long-standing and new CCA patrons to fete the honoree, who has elevated event-design to an art form and made significant contributions to the city’s art and philanthropy scene over the years.

Festivities began with a lively cocktail reception with drinks by Spirit works and No. 209 Gin and wines by Peregrine Ranch California Tap Wine and Saini Vineyards.

Guests were then ushered into a verdant dining experience designed by Gatti’s design team, replete with felt dipped Sansevieria succulent centerpieces, and a dinner of locally sourced organic greens and poultry served by McCalls, followed by live music from the nationally acclaimed Oakland-based band Shannon and the Clams (featuring CCA alumni musicians), whose artistry was recently lauded by as "shimmy-shake dance grooves and sexy moonlit vocals."

Posted on Monday, March 7, 2016 by Laura Kenney

Honoree Stanlee R. Gatti with event co-chairs Patricia Fitzpatrick (right) and Lorna Meyer Calas (left), February 2016; photo: Drew Altizer Photography

California College of the Arts (CCA) celebrates renowned San Francisco designer and community leader Stanlee R. Gatti as honoree of its annual gala on Wednesday, March 23, 2016. The evening fundraising event -- a benefit to support CCA student scholarships -- will gather luminaries from across the Bay Area to toast Gatti and his significant contributions to the city’s art and philanthropy communities over the years.

“Gatti is among the most innovative and influential event designers out there,” notes CCA President Stephen Beal. “With endless imagination and energy, he’s not only an artist of rare ability, but also a true leader who has helped raised millions of dollars for worthy causes in the Bay Area—particularly in the cultural sphere. CCA is thrilled to celebrate his achievements as one of the few designers to approach event-making as a visual art form.”

Held in the spectacular Nave of CCA’s San Francisco campus—transformed for the occasion by Stanlee Gatti Designs as a salute from his own company’s team—the stylish soirée is co-chaired by Patricia Fitzpatrick and Lorna Meyer Calas, with honorary chair and CCA trustee Kay Kimpton Walker.

The evening includes a cocktail hour with libations by Peregrine Ranch California Tap Wine, Saini Vineyards, and local distilleries Spirit Works and No. 209; a sumptuous seated dinner by McCalls; live music by Oakland-based band Shannon and the Clams (featuring CCA alumni musicians); and other special surprises.

“I have always admired CCA’s program and its exceptional dedication to students,” says Gatti. “I think it’s among the finest art colleges anywhere, and I’m proud to be honored by an institution that represents the best of creative thinking and is nurturing the artists of tomorrow.”

Posted on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 by Chris Bliss

Neil Grimmer appointed to CCA's Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees of California College of the Arts (CCA) recently approved CCA alumnus Neil Grimmer, CEO of Plum, PBC, as a new trustee.

"I'm so happy to welcome Neil to our Board of Trustees," commented Chair of the Board C. Diane Christensen. "As an alumnus of the college, Neil possesses the qualities we hope to see in our graduates -- he's creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial while caring deeply about improving society.

"As we grow CCA's reputation as an international leader in art and design education, he will be important contributor and advocate."

Posted on Monday, November 16, 2015 by Jim Norrena

California College of the Arts devotes a significant amount to student scholarships. In fact, two out of three undergraduates receive scholarship support of some kind, averaging $18,744 per student.

We firmly believes an excellent art and design education is made possible with the inclusion of diverse persons and perspectives on campus. Financial barriers should not prevent any talented, committed student from enrolling at CCA.

To achieve this goal, CCA dedicates significant institutional resources to need-based aid, with the highest fundraising priority being the scholarship fund.


Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2015 by Nick Janikian

Community Arts major Zach Brozman

Congratulations to Community Arts major and poet Zach Ozma (né Brozman), who was awarded an All-College Honors Award (Fine Arts division) as well as won the 2015 annual Student Book Arts Competition (sponsored by the CCA Libraries).

Each spring CCA sponsors the All-College Honors Awards competition, which recognizes outstanding student achievement. Twenty-three scholarship awards are given to students in the BA, BFA, and BArch undergraduate programs and the MA, MBA, MFA, and MArch graduate programs. (The awards are granted during the fall semester.)

Learn more about All-College Honors Awards »

There's No Other Ghost I'd Rather Get Cruised By, a handmade book Ozma has been working on intensely this year, was selected as one of two winning books in the 2015 annual Student Book Arts Competition.

Posted on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 by Chris Bliss

Joan Jonas to receive honorary doctorate from CCA

American artist Joan Jonas will be recognized by California College of the Arts (CCA) with an honorary doctorate degree at its 108th commencement exercises at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 16, at Nourse Auditorium in San Francisco.

Jonas will deliver the commencement address to more than 400 CCA undergraduates and their families. She will also be honored at a private lunch the day before and participate in the post-commencement reception at the college's San Francisco campus.

About Joan Jonas

A world-renowned pioneer of video and performance art, Joan Jonas is lauded as one of the most important female artists of the 1960s and 1970s and will represent the United States in the 2015 Venice Biennale. She has performed and exhibited her work extensively throughout the world.

In 1994, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam presented a major retrospective, and another retrospective was organized by the Queens Museum of Art in 2004. She has been included in the Whitney Biennial and in Documentas 5, 6, 8, 11, and 13.

Posted on Friday, February 6, 2015 by Jim Norrena

CCA's Oakland campus

Editor's note: CCA Graphic Design associate professor David Asari met with Art.College.Life blogger Elaine Pelz, who highlighted the benefits of a CCA education at

Posted on Monday, November 17, 2014 by Laura Braun

In September the CCA community was elated when news broke that beloved art and drafting supply retail store ARCH would be moving to CCA’s San Francisco campus.

A few months earlier, the shop and its loyal customers were taken aback when ARCH became the latest San Francisco institution to be served with an eviction notice.

ARCH, which opened its doors in 1978 and for the past 13 years served the San Francisco CCA community from its nearby Potrero Hill location, was disappointed, but took the opportunity to revisit an old idea -- operate from CCA’s campus.

“It goes back 15 years,” said Susie Coliver, ARCH’s owner and founder.

“When we had to move out of Jackson Square in 2001, then Architecture chair David Meckel was the first person I called, and I said, ‘David, don’t you have a little bit of space for us? Can’t you find a space for us?’

“And he said, ‘It would be great, but it’s not in the cards and we have all sorts of master planning to do and who knows, maybe someday, but not now.’"

See images of ARCH at CCA »

Posted on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 by Chris Bliss

Participants in the Waste Land exhibition in November 2013
Update: CCA will host the AICAD 2015 Symosium November 5-7. For event information, including how to purchase tickets, visit the Exploring Science in the Studio website.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded CCA a $200,000 grant, one of largest awards made to an art college. The three-year grant will support CCA’s innovative Exploring Science in the Studio project.

CCA’s award is part of the NSF’s TUES (Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program, which seeks to improve the quality of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education for all undergraduate students.

“A Model to Transform Science Education”

The NSF review panel praised the CCA grant proposal stating, “This project may serve as a model to transform science education at art and design schools so that science is not simply fulfilling a general education requirement, but becomes integrated into the arts and allows art and design students to develop an understanding of their field from a science-based perspective.”