Craft Still Lives Here
Notes from April 6 "The Spirit of OCAC" discussion
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead
My fellow OCAC community members,
To all of the people who rushed to get in touch, who sent heartfelt cards of sympathy and wrote angry letters to administrators, who organized gatherings and got involved, to everyone who showed how much they care about this community: thank you. These past few months have been tremendously hard, and I could not have navigated them without the love and support of the people of OCAC. I am sure that many of you feel the same.
When we hosted that open meeting in April at the Central Library, I walked into the room feeling complete dread, and walked out invigorated and happy and full of inspiration for the future. The people in that room were the people of OCAC. I almost didn’t attend the last celebration on campus because I certainly didn’t feel like celebrating, but in going I saw people I hadn’t seen in years, people who flew in from other states, people who drove for hours to attend, just so that they could be there and be together, and I stayed for hours. Those are the people of OCAC.
In all of the media coverage of the college’s closure, the thing that irritates me the most is the framing that this is “the end.” Just because the college as an institution has closed, do they think we all just disappear like it never existed?
Join us for a moderated discussion "The Spirit of OCAC" on April 6
On April 6 at the Multnomah Central Library, we held a moderated discussion titled “The Spirit of OCAC” to discuss the future of our craft community and envision how to move forward together. We were deeply gratified to be joined by over 30 community members representing all aspects of OCAC’s broad influence. We even had some attendees who had never been connected to the school before but joined to show their support and get involved. Thank you again to all who came and contributed to an energizing and productive meeting.
Notes from our Meeting with the Board
Please join us for a moderated discussion on of the future of craft education in Portland: "The Spirit of OCAC."
WHEN: Saturday, April 6, 3pm to 5pm
WHERE: Central Library, 801 SW 10th Ave, Portland. In the US Bank Room, First Floor
WHO: Everyone welcome.
With the ending of the degree program at Oregon College of Art and Craft, what type of craft education do we envision for the future? What are the ways we can honor the OCAC legacy and nurture Portland's history as a craft community?
This forum is not intended to discuss the specifics of the present situation at OCAC, but to consider the range of possibilities going forward.
Board Agrees to Private Meeting
In response to the announcement of OCAC’s degree program closure, the Friends of OCAC wrote a letter to the OCAC Board of Trustees requesting a town hall meeting with the goal of clarifying the school’s current situation and facilitating constructive dialogue on how community members can better support the school and its programs. Over 1000 members of the OCAC community chose to sign our letter, and we thank you.
Two Board representatives (Kristin Valente, Chair; Jeanine Jablonski) agreed to meet with a small group of five Friends of OCAC representatives (Georgiana Nehl, Drawing/Painting and Foundations Professor Emerita; Sharon Marcus, Fibers/Liberal Arts Professor Emerita; Dakotah Fitzhugh, Studio School student, community member; Megan Leftwich, Studio School student; Jessica LeDuc, BFA 2017) and two OCAC staff/faculty (in actuality, three attended: Elizabeth Loulan, Director of Partnerships; Michelle Ross, Drawing & Painting Department Head, Faculty Representative to the Board; Katie Wisdom Weinstein, Director of Community Programs) to hold a discussion. On Saturday, February 23rd, the group met for approximately two hours. We appreciated this opportunity to communicate with the Board and thank them again for their time.
Letter to the Board Signed and Submitted!
We received a letter from the OCAC Board of Trustees this afternoon in response to our letter with over 1000 signatures (and counting!). It’s not the town hall meeting we had hoped for, but the Board has agreed to send two of their representatives to meet with a small number of Friends members and faculty/staff. We will present the letter again at this meeting, so sign it if you haven’t yet added your name! https://goo.gl/forms/IkxhiqXzG0vlAxOj2
Even though we can’t invite the whole community, we’d like to include everyone in some way, so we’re asking now for the community to contribute questions they’d like to ask the Board. The Board has asked us to meet right away, so we only have one day to gather questions. If you’d like to submit your questions, please add them to our facebook discussion here.
THANK YOU to each and every one of you who helped make this meeting happen.
Sign Our Letter to the Board
Since it was first posted to the community on Wednesday night at 6pm, our letter to the OCAC Board of Trustees requesting a community town hall meeting has gathered an additional 836 signatures! A sincere thank you to everyone who signed, shared, and supported us.
Sign our letter to the OCAC Board of Trustees! The Friends of OCAC are requesting a town hall meeting with the OCAC community to clarify the current situation and constructively seek solutions together. We invite all members of the OCAC community to sign this letter showing their support. We plan to submit this letter to the Board on Monday, February 18. Sign here: https://goo.gl/forms/IkxhiqXzG0vlAxOj2