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Indybay Feature
Students Continue Fight Against Closure of Art Center
by Leon Kunstenaar
Tuesday Jun 23rd, 2020 8:37 PM
City College of San Francisco's Fort Mason Arts Center Under Threat
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Photos: Pro Bono Photo / Leon Kunstenaar

On a sunny June 22, students held another protest at the Fort Mason entrance on Marina Boulevard. Previous protests have even included a protest life drawing class featuring live models.

Surrounded by donated art, speakers blasted the City College Board of Trustees' plan to close what for them has been a valuable community resource. The protesters included students and teachers with many displaying their impressive art work.

From the Students' Media Advisory:

The CCSF campus at Fort Mason is an established art center that has been serving a diverse community for over thirty years. It has irreplaceable art-making tools, such as the largest kiln in California, which cannot be re-located. Although trustees claim that no programs will suffer, it is not clear how they will accomplish that. It is also unclear how the Trustees’ claim of budgetary considerations necessitated the closure of the campus as the campus has revenue-producing extension classes, revenue from the state, and below market rent.

The decision to close the campus was made with little to no analysis of the impact on students. At the Supervisors’ Joint Education Committee in early February, CCSF Acting Vice Chancellor of Facilities, Torrance Bynum, failed to provide requested data. Supervisor Shamann Walton said, “You cannot say that you’re focused on equity and cut hundreds of classes, without having conversations with faculty, without having conversations with students, without having conversations with other leadership in San Francisco.”

As the effects of COVID-19 impact San Francisco’s economy, there will be a greater need than ever for City College classes.

The California Chancellor’s Office of Community Colleges includes lifelong learning in its vision statement:

“… the colleges are a source of lifelong learning, offering recreation, enrichment, and exercise to California’s diverse communities. These opportunities for learning, training, and civic engagement together make the CCC’s a rich source of opportunity for all Californians.”

The CCSF trustees and administration are failing to fulfill this vision.

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