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Creative Global Network for the Visual Arts

The garden in the Graduate Writers’ Studio, San Francisco campus. Photograph by Karl Petzke.

California College of the Arts was founded in 1907 by Frederick Meyer to provide an education for artists and designers that would integrate both theory and practice in the arts. Meyer’s vision continues to the present day.

President Stephen Beal says, “CCA’s history is tied to the Arts and Crafts movement, a time when artists and designers were producing work that would address the social issues of the time and have a positive impact on the world. This spirit is still very much a part of the college today.”

In 2003, in recognition of the institution’s growth and the broadening of its focus and offerings, the college changed its name to California College of the Arts. Today, Frederick Meyer’s “practical art school” is an internationally respected institution, attracting students and faculty from around the world.

In 2013, to better reflect its current goals, the college updated its mission statement to the following:

California College of the Arts educates students to shape culture and society through the practice and critical study of art, architecture, design, and writing. Benefitting from its San Francisco Bay Area location, the college prepares students for lifelong creative work by cultivating innovation, community engagement, and social and environmental responsibility.

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