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October 27, 2017

Memphis College of Art Will Close in 2020

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE—Memphis College of Art announced Tuesday that it will no longer accept new students, effective immediately, and cease operations in 2020. The school’s board of directors cited a steady decrease in enrollment and a small endowment, real estate debt, and “no viable long-term plan for financial sustainability” for operating an independent, private fine arts college in the city. The school with teach-out courses to students in good standing through May 2020, after which the school will vacate its Overton Park campus.

“This has been a heartbreaking process,” said Memphis College of Art interim president Laura Hine, “but we remain proud of the creative energy MCA artists have long brought to Memphis, and are eternally grateful to the donors and foundations who have sustained us throughout our eighty-one-year history. The tremendous value of the artistic contributions made by MCA faculty, students, and graduates, over many decades, simply can’t be captured in words. In the immediate term our attention is focused on the internal MCA family—our students, our faculty, and our staff. Going forward we will rely on the thousands of MCA alumni in Memphis and across the country to carry on the legacy of the college through their art, their creative energy, and their innovation.”

Memphis College of Art began informally in the 1930s and moved into its modernist Roy Horrover-designed campus in 1959; in 1985, the school changed its name from the Memphis Art Academy to its current moniker. MCA currently enrolls 307 students, including twenty-five in its graduate division, and employs twenty-six full-time and twenty-one part-time faculty, with another fifty-five employees in its administration.

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