SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Tuesday, November 15, 2022—California College of the Arts (CCA) today announced that it has secured more than $118 million and is publicly launching its Maker/Meets/Future Campaign, a $123 million fundraising effort in support of CCA’s new expanded campus, increased student and faculty support, and increased community partnership programs. The reconceived campus will create a living, learning laboratory where students, faculty, and the community unite to spark discovery, engage, and make positive change—practices central to CCA for more than a century.
“To fuel culture and industry, a great city needs a great art school,” said Stephen Beal, president of CCA. “CCA is building the most exciting urban art and design campus in the country, the only independent, privately endowed art and design school in Northern California. We educate students to meet the many challenges of our world with creative problem-solving, to become the innovators and game-changers of the future. The vitality of our mission has been supercharged by the generous investments made from an astonishing array of Bay Area philanthropists and corporations who see the value of cultivating creative innovators in the heart of the city.”
As part of the $118 million raised by the Maker/Meets/Future Campaign to date—the most since CCA’s founding in 1907—numerous Bay Area organizations, foundations, and individuals have made significant investments in CCA and its students. Transformational lead donors include C. Diane Christensen and Jean M. Pierret; the M. Arthur Gensler Jr. family; Simpson Family; Jack and Susy Wadsworth; John and Leslie McQuown; Deborah and Kenneth Novack; and Judy and Bill Timken.
To encourage public participation, a generous donor has offered to match every two dollars of new gifts with an additional dollar—up to $1 million—before July 1, 2024. Details at https://www.cca.edu/future.
Building a “living, learning laboratory” in San Francisco
The campus expansion, titled Double Ground and designed by Studio Gang, the award-winning architecture and urban design firm led by MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang, will serve as an accelerator for explorers and changemakers. It will feature a wide variety of specialized and flexible studio, lab, classroom, critique, fabrication, exhibition, and gathering spaces.
Double Ground is so named because it will have, essentially, two ground levels. The “lower ground,” at street level, will house workshops and studios requiring heavy equipment: facilities for ceramics, metal, sculpture, and furniture, among others. Many of these ground-floor spaces open into shared maker yards, flexible outdoor courtyards that serve as extensions of the surrounding workshops while encouraging interaction among students working in a wide variety of disciplines and media. Ample windows reveal what’s happening inside the adjoining studios, while maximizing the natural light inside. This transparency extends to the “upper ground,” a second main level featuring an outdoor plaza and a park-like garden, with views down into the maker yards below.
The new CCA campus will encompass two campus-adjacent residence halls (opened in 2018 and 2021), with housing for 700 students, as well as a 90,000-square-foot expansion of the main instructional facility.
A vision for sustainability in multiple dimensions
“We envisioned the new campus as a ‘creatively hackable’ ecosystem for students and faculty,” said Jeanne Gang, founding principal and partner of Studio Gang. “The Double Ground design merges robust maker spaces and lush outdoor green spaces, creating an indoor/outdoor environment supporting the amazing variety of practices at CCA. Passive strategies and renewable materials work together with the latest systems to minimize embodied carbon. I am proud to be breaking ground on this project that will craft a new environmentally responsible model for the next generation of arts education.”
Around the campus perimeter, pavilions will house classrooms, labs, and studios accessed via deep, external walkways that extend the buildings’ classroom and art-making spaces outdoors. The design reduces energy use by eliminating the need for climate-controlled internal hallways, and offers views across the campus, enhancing a sense of connectedness and community.
The pavilions will be constructed using mass timber, a building material consisting of thick layers of compressed, laminated wood that is quickly emerging as a more climate-conscious alternative to concrete and steel.
The new campus unites CCA’s 22 undergraduate and 11 graduate programs. A renewable energy platform for the campus is envisioned as a model of green construction and operations. The model will provide optimal energy efficiency and has a goal of net-positive operations, including a micro-grid into the campus to harvest and store clean energy.
Empowering a diverse student body, accelerating diversification of art and design professions
“At CCA, you find the people who are literally inventing the future,” said Catherine Courage, vice president of consumer UX at Google, which has supported the college with $500,000 in funding toward sponsored studios.
CCA enrolls students from 41 countries and 43 states and is ranked among the top 25 most diverse colleges in the U.S. Among CCA’s current student body, 25% are the first in their families to attend college; 34% are eligible for Pell Grants; and 85% of students receive financial aid or scholarships.
Through the Maker/Meets/Future Campaign, numerous organizations have demonstrated their belief in CCA’s mission to serve the widest possible array of students with significant investments. To date, CCA has received more than $4.7 million in gifts specifically to support diversity scholarships in art and design. These include $1 million each from Gensler and the M. Arthur Gensler Jr. family, $2.5 million from an anonymous donor, and $100,000 each from Amazon and the Z Supply Foundation.
“We know that diverse perspectives and experiences are critical to innovation and that educating students from diverse backgrounds is essential to realizing the full potential of art and design to positively impact the future of our communities,” said President Beal. “These valued organizations share our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in the arts and design. Together, we are empowering talented students from historically underinvested communities to focus not only on their education but on becoming creative leaders who will make powerful contributions to shape our world.”
Building community in the heart of San Francisco
CCA’s expanded campus will be connective, built with community collaboration as a core part of its vision. In 2019, 1,600 public school children were served by CCA programs; 500 adults enrolled in extension courses; and more than 11,000 visitors attended CCA exhibitions, lectures, performances, and workshops. The CCA expansion provides the college with a platform to expand up to 50% community engagement with world-class public exhibitions, lectures, symposia, industry partnerships, non-degree programs, and invigorated partnerships with local schools and nonprofits.
“CCA is a unique and valuable resource in San Francisco. We are committed to building and equipping the kinds of maker spaces that currently don’t exist in the city,” said Helen Maria Nugent, dean of design at CCA. “These spaces are designed for discovery and collaboration among students, faculty, and partners in the community.”
To date, the Campaign has raised $3.5 million to support community-building programs.
Next steps for the campaign
The public phase of the Campaign, which aims to raise the final $5 million to achieve the Campaign goal of $123 million, will run through spring 2024. To encourage public participation, a generous donor has offered to match all new gifts 2:1—for every two dollars of new gifts made before July 1, 2024, the donor will give an additional dollar, up to a total of $1 million. Members of the community are invited to learn more and support the Maker/Meets/Future Campaign by visiting https://www.cca.edu/future.
* * *
Maker/Meets/Future: A Campaign for CCA is an effort to raise $123 million in philanthropic support for CCA’s Double Ground campus and programs. The Campaign is led by CCA Board of Trustees Chair Lorna Meyer Calas.
About California College of the Arts (CCA)
Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) educates students to shape culture and society through the practice and critical study of art, architecture, design, and writing. Benefitting from its San Francisco Bay Area location, the college prepares students for lifelong creative work by cultivating innovation, community engagement, and social and environmental responsibility.
CCA’s 23,000 alumni and 500 faculty receive top honors in their fields, including Academy Awards, Rhodes Scholarships, Fulbright Scholarships, Emmy Awards, the Ordway Prize, the Rome Prize, MacArthur Fellowships, AIGA Medals, and the National Medal of Arts. Graduates are highly sought after by companies such as Pixar/Disney, Apple, Intel, Facebook, Gensler, Google, IDEO, Autodesk, Mattel, and Nike, and many launch their own businesses. Alumni work is featured in prominent museums including Los Angeles County Museum of Art, MoMA New York, the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum, SFMOMA, and Tate Modern.
CCA acknowledges that its current and historical campuses are located in Huichin and Yelamu, also known as Oakland and San Francisco, on the unceded territories of Chochenyo and Ramaytush Ohlone peoples. CCA recognizes that the cultural heritage of California begins no less than 15,000 years ago and that the entire Bay Area rests on evidence of Indigenous cultures. CCA knows that its San Francisco campus occupies a site of living, learning, and making that reaches back at least 7,500 years. In anticipation of expanding and unifying our campuses, CCA proceeded with compliance, curiosity, and intentionality regarding archaeological testing and shared those results publicly in 2020. CCA is committed to incorporating Indigenous presence into the Double Ground campus expansion and to developing sustainable partnerships with the Indigenous community.
* * *
To access hi-res images, renderings, or b-roll video, please visit our newsroom.
# # #