CCA@CCA energizes campus voting ahead of the primary elections

Creative Citizens in Action (CCA@CCA) inspires democratic engagement and creative activism year long and during efforts to get out the vote.

Creative Citizens in Action (CCA@CCA) is a campus-wide initiative at California College of the Arts that promotes creative activism and democratic engagement through public programs, exhibitions, and curriculum connections. Through CCA@CCA, the college collaborates with students, faculty, staff, and election officials to cultivate creative citizenship as a core value.

Their work has earned the college a Voter Friendly Campus designation, as distinguished by the Campus Vote Project and NASPA, the professional association for student affairs administrators in higher education.

CCA@CCA’s current work revolves around three main initiatives. The first is to reduce voting barriers and make voting more accessible, including hosting an on-campus polling place, eye-catching posters to encourage campus voting, and a campus website that serves as a one-stop shop for voting resources.

For instance, ahead of the 2024 California Presidential Primary Election, CCA has brought awareness and enthusiasm by tabling around campus and engaging with the student community about the importance of voting. The Creative Brief, CCA’s monthly newsletter, implemented a new column dedicated to voting information, tips, and resources. And importantly, an on-campus polling place allows for ease and accessibility of voting for this election.

“After receiving awards from All In to Vote, Campus Vote Project, and Voter Friendly Campus related to our work on the 2020 and 2022 elections, we’re excited to continue to grow our partnership with the San Francisco Board of Elections,” says Jaime Austin, director of Exhibitions and Public Programming. “This is an incredible opportunity to advance our student voter participation numbers and serve as a polling location for our surrounding communities.”

Students painting “vote” on a white wall, working together to amplify voting efforts.

Students work together to amplify voting efforts.

CCA has hosted a convenient on-campus polling place in every election since fall 2019, providing easy access for students to vote. CCA’s Blattner Hall is the dedicated polling place for San Francisco Precinct 7002. In November 2022, voter turnout at this precinct represented 71.34% of registered voters, exceeding both district and San Francisco turnout averages.

The second CCA@CCA initiative includes an institutional commitment to achieving full student voter participation, strengthened by the Deborah and Kenneth Novack Endowment, which supports annual series of public programming on themes of creative activism. And third, in addition to get-out-the-vote efforts, CCA amplifies opportunities for civic engagement all year long through special courses, student-centered programming, and events.

“‘Cultivate Creative Action’ is a core principle of the Creative Accord, our collective community agreement at CCA. It urges us to use our creativity to make a meaningful social impact. Voting has been the most direct and effective way for our community to express our shared values and commitment to civic engagement,” says Noki Seekao, senior director of Campus Life. “In recent years, we’ve laid the foundation through faculty partnerships, resource development, and innovative student engagement strategies, and earning us national recognition as a Voter Friendly Campus for the last two years.”