CalArts’ Approach to Academic Year 2020-21

An update sent to the CalArts community on Aprill 24, 2020, from CalArts Provost Tracie Costantino. 

Dear CalArtians,

CalArts’ founding principle was the creation of a community of artists from across the arts disciplines to study and practice alongside each other, fostering an organic collaborative environment that has developed into the experimental generativity upon which our reputation is based. We prioritize a mentorship model of teaching and learning, with small class sizes and low student to faculty ratios. Our faculty is one of professional artists who are also deeply committed to teaching, working closely with our student artists to hone their individual artistic voices through a symbiotic relationship of theory and practice. In this, our goal is to prepare our students to claim and define their identity as artists in their chosen field with confidence, rigor, and ambition.  

These principles mandate in-person experiences and exchanges. However, the COVID-19 pandemic requires social and physical distancing to maintain the health and safety of our community. Therefore, we are proposing hybrid models of education for the 2020-2021 academic year that establishes the guidelines and parameters for in-person learning and access to studios, labs, and facilities in order to maintain the health of those on campus, while engaging remote technologies for other types of learning and meetings that are amenable to these technologies. These hybrid models may also engage flexible curricular structures, new initiatives, and a variable pacing of the academic calendar to accommodate these diverse teaching and learning approaches.

The Deans, Academic Council, and I will be working intensively with program directors and faculty over the next few weeks to draft a plan that will be adaptable for each metier, thereby preserving the distinctiveness of each program and School at CalArts. We are currently gathering the information needed to inform this planning and decision making. We will be engaging faculty regularly in this process and providing ongoing updates to the community. 

Best regards,

Tracie Costantino