Coogan and Senior Nike Design & Knit Innovation Recruiter Annie Ekstrom in the 3D Shop. Ekstrom visited MCAD in January to recruit students.
Coogan and Senior Nike Design & Knit Innovation Recruiter Annie Ekstrom in the 3D Shop. Ekstrom visited MCAD in January to recruit students.

April 2017

One of the giants of the Pop Art movement, James Rosenquist, died recently. His influence, both in his time and on the artists following him, has been immense. I am proud to say that his first arts education experience was at the Minneapolis School of Art (as we were called at that time). During our 125th anniversary in 2012, we honored Jim, who said that in his days here he got a twenty-five-cent pencil, a ten-cent eraser, and paper to draw on which was an amazing thing to him. From humble beginnings great things developed throughout his life. The world of art is indebted to his contributions.

On a lighter note, the latest edition of NEXT magazine focuses on one of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design’s refreshed programs: entrepreneurial studies. Reading through the magazine will give you details about the exciting program and introduce you to its passionate faculty and new director, Stephen Rueff.

Recognizing that many of our students want to start their own creative enterprises, we revamped our bachelor of science degree in business and visualization to be a degree in entrepreneurial studies. The program not only helps aspiring entrepreneurs but also students who want to develop management, leadership, and teamwork skills that can be used in any for-profit or nonprofit enterprise they seek to build a career in.

Students in the program explore starting and running a business, design thinking, marketing, project management, strategy, sustainability, accounting, and financing innovation. Students work across disciplines to learn how to manage and collaborate with companies and organizations at the intersection of art, design, and business. This program’s classes are open to MCAD students in all art and design majors.

We are completing our NEXT/NOW Campaign on May 31. This is the first comprehensive campaign for MCAD and the largest amount of money raised by the college. I want to invite you to join the many donors who have given to the campaign by giving for the first time or making an increased gift. We are hoping to add another one million dollars to the scholarship funding we have raised thus far.

To date, we have added eight million dollars to our scholarship funds, eight million dollars in annual funds, as well as six million dollars in funds for two major projects, M/LAB and E/STUDIO. M/LAB, completed two years ago, supports our web and multimedia, filmmaking, and photography programs. E/STUDIO, which will be built this summer, will provide space for the entrepreneurial studies and animation programs (our fastest growing program) and will revamp studios for our fine arts program.

Thanks to the generosity of donors, we are on track to exceed our goal of raising twenty-two million dollars. The success of this fundraising effort is thanks to many generous individual contributions as well as funding from a number of foundations and businesses.

Looking back on the past year we also have other exciting news to be thankful for:

  • The largest incoming class in my seven-year presidency.
  • Our 2016 Auction at MCAD held last May raised more than $325,000 for scholarships, eclipsing previous numbers.
  • The 19th annual Art Sale contributed nearly $260,000 directly to students and recent alumni, and the endowed Art Sale Scholarship Fund has grown to $180,000. This year we are excited to celebrate the 20th Art Sale and will roll out some special features to make it a memorable occasion.

A recent NEA survey reports that 4.7 million Americans are employed in the production of art and cultural goods. It is important that our students can successfully be a part of this creative workforce. We are investing in keeping MCAD accessible, supporting our faculty and staff, and keeping our learning spaces and technology up to date.

We are looking ahead to the next strategic projects for the college. While these plans are still being formulated, they include:

  • Increasing scholarship funding
  • Supporting student health and wellness
  • Starting a product design program
  • Developing alternative education programs and models
  • Making improvements to the library
  • Increasing access to housing for students
  • Making needed improvements to the historic Morrison Building

We have set an ambitious agenda for the college. With your support we will keep MCAD at the forefront of art and design education and set our students up to successfully pursue their goals as graduates.

Thank you for your support of MCAD,

 Coogan's Signature

Jay Coogan


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