College of Visual Arts (CVA) Is Shutting Down
It is a sad task to report on one of our top art and design institutions in MN being wiped away. Announced yesterday, after nearly a century of operation (established in 1924) the College of Visual Arts (CVA) in Saint Paul will be closing its doors and ceasing operation for good. This unique college of art and design is unable to raise the funds needed to close the gap between rising operating costs and students’ ability to pay. “Although CVA’s tuition is one of the lowest in the state,” said Ann Ledy, president of CVA, “students have found it more and more difficult to pay their way. With declining federal and state financial aid support, and the challenges surrounding private loans, students cannot afford the college of their dreams.”
What worries us most about the loss of this private institution is it provided balance in the art and design community of the Twin Cities. When students struggled to pay for the high costs of MCAD they could go to the equally great and highly regarded college CVA where tuition was kept much lower. Not to mention the potential loss of some great professors who will hopefully find work in state; but, may have to leave to find employ in other art schools.
The reason for the closure is CVA has experienced a twenty-one percent decline in its enrollment which hit the small institution with a limited endowment very hard. CVA students have the option to transfer and complete their educations at other like institutions, including the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD). CVA has been working closely with MCAD on an agreement under which CVA students will have an opportunity to complete their degrees at MCAD. “We are saddened by the closing of CVA and what a loss it will be for the Twin Cities art and design community,” said Jay Coogan, president of MCAD. “MCAD stands ready to assist CVA students in finishing their educations and launching their creative careers.”
The lesson to be learned in all this is, if you cherish your college and what they have done for you, get involved. Especially if you are from a private institution, donate money when you can, volunteer, and get on board with your school's alumni association. This shows that even if a school has been around for nearly a century, it's still a fragile organization that needs help and outreach from it's community.