Pacific Northwest College of Art and Museum of Contemporary Craft Announce a Formal Integration

August 20, 2009

August 20, 2009

Ann Hudner, 774 264 0852
Rebecca Burrell, 971 255 5528

Pacific Northwest College of Art and Museum of Contemporary Craft Announce a Formal Integration Under a Joint Operations Agreement

PORTLAND, OR – Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), and the Museum of Contemporary Craft (MoCC), today announce the formal adoption of a joint operations agreement concluding nine months of deliberations and due diligence to develop the organizational and financial structure necessary to formalize the relationship.

Acting upon the recommendations from the work of two separate joint task forces, PNCA’s Finance Committee, and a formal recommendation of the Executive Board, PNCA’s Board of Governors voted to authorize the College to enter into a formal joint operations agreement, leading up to a formal integration. This action was supported by a prior endorsement from the MoCC board.

“The endorsement of this joint operations agreement by both boards represents a historic moment for both institutions,” states Al Solheim, Chairman of the PNCA Board of Governors. The relationship between PNCA and MoCC honors the original interest of the Museum to align its future with another educational/cultural organization and PNCA’s desire to deepen and broaden its offerings.

“This has been a journey of discovery and reflection,” states Kathy Abraham, President, Board of Directors, MoCC. “Through this process the Museum has developed a strong partnership with PNCA, where together we can create a sustainable future for the Museum.” Both share a commitment to maintain the Museum as a museum focused on craft and expanded to include a greater focus on design, with educational offerings developed according to joint best practices; maintain and continue to develop the Museum’s current collection according to curatorial and museum collection practices; and maintain a sense of distinct identity for the Museum.

According to Tom Manley, President of PNCA, “This agreement allows the Museum to re-center itself and grow in a more measured and viable manner, while enhancing the educational experience at PNCA for current and future students and enables the College to explore new graduate offerings, such as an MFA in Curatorial Studies.”

In the last two years, PNCA has expanded its graduate education programs as part of the Ford Institute for Visual Education (FIVE), an initiative established through a 2007 gift from the late Hallie Ford. PNCA is the only school of art in the Pacific Northwest to offer graduate education. With support from PNCA through FIVE, the Museum will contribute in significant ways to the College’s current and anticipated graduate offerings through increased access to museum facilities and collections, special workshops and institutes specific to the topics of craft and design, exhibitions, and lectures by visiting artists.

The Museum and PNCA will continue to pursue the goals of FIVE, which are to provide stellar exhibitions, community outreach, conferences and symposia, creative research and innovative MFA programs. “We are grateful once again to the vision of Hallie Ford and the entire Ford family for their support,” states Manley. “Together, the Museum and PNCA+FIVE will serve as a hub for integrating the arts, science and business communities for many years to come.”

Under the joint operations agreement, the College has established a cross-institutional team that will support joint Museum – College operations. Curatorial staff of the Museum will have direct and continuous engagement with the PNCA faculty and serve on the Exhibitions and Public Programs Committee. The president and senior administration of the College will have shared and integrated responsibilities to support the College and the Museum.

PNCA and MoCC will continue as stand-alone 501©3 entities, retaining their respective assets and liabilities for the duration of the Joint Operations Agreement to allow further time for the two institutions to knit together coordinated programming, communications, finance and fundraising efforts. Importantly the arrangement eliminates the majority of MoCC debt and secures the permanent collection, which was in jeopardy.

Under this new agreement, to ensure continuity and oversight, two current members of the Museum board will serve in their existing capacity and have been elected to serve as members of PNCA’s Board of Governors. In approving the joint operations agreement, both boards have agreed to operate the Museum facility on a balanced budget.

About PNCA
Since its founding in 1909, Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) has become a leader in innovative educational programs that connect students to a global perspective in the visual arts. With the recent addition of FIVE: the Ford Institute for Visual Education, the College is enhanced through visiting artists, representing the most accomplished artists, designers, and creative thinkers from around the world. The innovative programs of PNCA+FIVE serve as an incubator for new programming at the College and establish collaborative relationships between students, international artists and the region’s vital art, design and business communities.

The College offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Communication Design, General Fine Arts, Illustration, Intermedia, Painting, Photography, Printmaking and Sculpture. PNCA is the only school of art in the Pacific Northwest to offer graduate education in art and design, now offering two MFA programs. The first, an MFA in Visual Studies and the second, an MFA in Applied Craft and Design, was developed in collaboration with the Oregon College of Art and Craft.

About Museum of Contemporary Craft
Committed to the advancement of craft since 1937, MoCC is one of Oregon’s oldest cultural institutions. Centrally located in Portland’s Pearl District, the Museum is nationally acclaimed for its curatorial program and is a vibrant center for investigation and dialogue, expanding the definition of craft and the way audiences experience it.