The Memphis College of Art announced that it will permanently shut its doors in 2020. According to Shelby Black at Hyperallergic, it would take a $30 million donation in support of the institution’s endowment to save the school. Established in 1936, the college cited declining admissions and increasing debt as the reason for the closure.
MCA Interim President Laura Hines also believes the university’s lack of digital and design programming may have contributed to the decrease in applications. However, Hines is optimistic the arts scene in Memphis will rebound: “One can hope that something new and different will rise that will sustain the visual arts after the college’s closure.”
For the next three years, MCA plans to fund operations by selling its real estate holdings. The fate of its building, located in Overton Park, is uncertain. Alumni of MCA include Valerie Jaudon, Emily Jacir, and Blake Nelson Boy.