Jay Coogan


October 2017

Dear Members of the MCAD Community,

It is hard to believe that the MCAD Art Sale is almost here: November 16-18 will mark the twentieth anniversary of this beloved Minnesota tradition. From the original “clothesline sale,” to recent years where more than $250,000 has gone annually to fuel young artists, this is a great moment to celebrate how far this event has come.

This is the largest public event that the college holds. Countless people I meet have work from the MCAD Art Sale in their homes. So far, more than $3,000,000 has gone to support emerging student and alumni artists. For many students, this is their first experience selling their work; for recent graduates, this helps to build their base of collectors and to propel their careers as artists. I encourage you to submit work if you are a student or an alum less than five years out of MCAD. And, I encourage you all to attend and spread the word to others to come to the Art Sale. I guarantee you will be inspired to purchase art, especially knowing you are supporting emerging talent.

As you probably know from earlier newsletters, we have just completed our first major campaign for MCAD. It was a great success resulting in our ability to offer named scholarships to all returning undergraduate students who receive aid. We also completed the M/LAB and E/STUDIO facilities thanks to the generous support of donors, as well as contributed funds to many academic and college needs.

So what is next? Among other things, we are:

We are beginning to plan how these initiatives and others will form the basis of the next strategic plan for the college. Stay tuned for more discussion and news as we forge ahead in setting the direction for the future of MCAD.

While we have a lot of ambitions, we also have headwinds, including:

  • growing costs of running MCAD and the challenge of keeping it affordable for students;
  • a national decrease in the number of high school graduates until 2022;
  • the high cost of maintaining MCAD salaries and facilities;
  • and new government regulations that put cost and reporting pressures on the college.

These are just some of the challenges we face.

Having just returned from a trip to meet with alumni in New York and Philadelphia, I remain very positive about the value of an MCAD education. And closer to home, when I am out in Minneapolis and St. Paul, I get to see alumni shows, meet alumni at events, and visit alumni at work. What I see and hear are many alumni who are living productive, satisfying, creative lives. They may have a job with a single employer or be juggling freelancing and working various jobs. Wherever they are in their careers, they are making things happen for themselves and doing it with the help of connections and friendships made at MCAD. It is particularly exciting when MCAD graduates are at a point in their career where they are hiring more recent graduates for work they are doing. We are a community that does not end with graduation.

I hope to see you at the MCAD Art Sale next month.


 Coogan's Signature

Jay Coogan


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