We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the adjunct faculty union at California College of the Arts (CCA), who’ve been negotiating their first union contract for two years. We are artists, writers, academics, designers, architects and community organizers who understand the important role CCA has in the Bay Area arts community, and the critical point the college is at in its history. We ask, who is CCA and what is it becoming?

CCA plans to close the Oakland campus and consolidate all programs in San Francisco to reshape the institution to be “flexible, sustainable, interdisciplinary, and ahead of its time” (according to President Stephen Beal’s public letter of March 30, 2016). We are concerned that the focus on flexibility over job security for faculty will impede CCA’s stated goal of “producing the trailblazers of tomorrow who can solve the seemingly intractable problems of today’s society.”
The non-ranked faculty at CCA unionized to fight the college’s flexible work model, a model that relies on 78% of the faculty to work semester-to-semester without job security, benefits or a livable wage. How does the College justify the President’s $628,077 compensation package when the majority of CCA’s faculty earn less than $30,000/year without benefits,  tuition has soared to over $45,000 and a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco rents for $3490 per month?

If CCA truly believes in innovation with the intention to “strengthen the arts and cultural ecosystem of the Bay Area and San Francisco,” the College must not be an institution with the majority of faculty not able to afford to live in the cities where they teach.

By refusing to provide high-quality, stable jobs for its own workers today, how will CCA produce the problem solvers of tomorrow? Is CCA an art school that pays only lip service to its mission of social and economic justice? Is CCA transforming into an elite vocational school feeding debt-addled graduates to the tech industry while displacing working artists--alongside communities of color and working class people--from the Bay Area? 

CCA administration maintains that a union contract will hinder the creation of a more diverse faculty body. If CCA had a real commitment to hiring more faculty of color and other minority groups in academia, it would have done so before the union election in 2014. The union is not responsible for the historic and ongoing nepotistic hiring policies that have made the current administration and faculty majority white. The approach to diversity that CCA favors—temporary grant-funded positions or low paying precarious teaching jobs—reinforces structural racism. 

The non-ranked faculty union is a diverse coalition of workers assembling for the cause of social and economic justice. This diversity is their strength. Unlike CCA administration, the non-ranked faculty union is committed to ensuring systemic racial, class, and gender equity, not fighting it. It’s time for CCA to stop resisting the union’s solutions to the escalating wealth gap in the Bay Area and to lay the foundation for a diverse faculty body. This is best for CCA students, faculty and the arts ecosystem more broadly.

CCA’s non-ranked faculty are our colleagues, friends, family members, creative collaborators and mentors. They deserve fair treatment. They are devoting their work lives to serving CCA students who will be to the next generation of artists, writers, designers, and arts educators. It’s time for the administration to reciprocate.

We call on President Stephen Beal, Provost Tammy Rae Carland, and the Board of Trustees to agree quickly to a union contract that provides job security, fair wages, benefits and a career path to the 78 percent of the college’s faculty working under precarious conditions. Teaching artists deserve fair treatment and the economic security needed to thrive creatively and support future generations of Bay Area creative communities.

Join us in demanding CCA President Stephen Beal, Provost Tammy Rae Carland, and the Board of Trustees stand on the correct side of history.


CoCo Fusco, Professor, Andrew Banks Endowed Chair, University of Florida

Douglas Crimp, Professor, University of Rochester

Eileen Myles, Professor Emeritus of Writing, University of California - San Diego

Emory Douglas, Graphic Artist and Former Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party

Bill McKibben, Writer, Educator and Co-Founder of 350.org

Tania Bruguera, Artist

Nato Thompson, Curator, Creative Time

Jewelle Gomez, Author, Poet, Critic and Playwright

Sarah Schulman, Distinguished Professor, City University of New York

Richard Birkett, Curator, Artists Space

Michael Berube, Director, Institute for the Arts and Humanities, Pennsylvania State University

Martha Wilson, Visiting Artist, Pratt Institute

Julie Ault, Artist

Andrea Fraser, Performance Artist and New Genres Professor, University of California - Los Angeles

Trevor Paglen, Artist

Richard Fung, Professor, OCAD University

Pamela M. Lee, Professor, Stanford University

Malaquias Montoya, Professor Emeritus, University of California - Davis

Silas Howard, Director, Visiting Lecturer, DCA, Cornell, Williams College

Cherrie Moraga, Artist in Residence (Theater), Stanford University 

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, Writer

Rob Brezsny, Managing Editor, Televisionary Publishing

A.L. Steiner, Adjunct Professor, Columbia University and Bard College

Sina Najafi, Editor-in-Chief, Cabinet Magazine

Stephen Elliot, Writer, Director, Founding Editor, The Rumpus

Dushan Petrovich, Assistant Professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Nicholas Mirzoeff, Professor, New York University

Alexandra Juhasz, Chair, Film Department at Brooklyn College, City University of New York

Working Artists and the Greater Economy, (W.A.G.E), New York, NY

Donna Haraway, Distinguished Professor Emerita, University of California – Santa Cruz

Dont Rhine, Faculty Co-Chair, Vermont College

Roland Greene, Professor, Stanford University

Anna Joy Springer, Associate Professor, University of California - San Diego

Michele Carlson, Associate Professor, California College of the Arts

Natalia Almada, Filmmaker, 2012 MacArthur Fellow

Chris Kraus, Professor of Creative Writing, The European Graduate School

Jeff Chang, Writer

Boots Riley, Poet and Musician

Lauren Berlant, Professor, University of Chicago

Dena Beard, Executive Director, The Lab

Mary Austin, Founder, San Francisco Center for the Book

W. Kamau Bell, Socio-Political Comedian

Keith Hennessy, University of California - Davis, Circo Zero

Andrew Horwitz, Writer, Curator, and Cultural Producer

Claire Pentecost, Professor and Chair, Department of Photography, School of the Art of Institute of Chicago

Lewis Hyde, Writer

Norman Fischer, Priest, San Francisco Zen Center

Stephen Brier, Professor, City University of New York Graduate Center

Michael Rakowitz, Professor, Northwestern University

Lezlie Salkowitz-Montoya, University of California - Berkeley

Minnie Bruce Pratt, Professor (retired), Syracuse University

Corey Robin, Professor of Political Science, City University of New York

Steven C. Pitts, Associate Chair of the Labor Center, University of California

Favianna Rodriguez, Executive Director, CultureStrike

Vanessa Veselka, Attic Institute/ Tin House

Sandra de la Loza, Artist and Adjunct Professor, Whittier College, Otis College of Art and Design

Sophia Wallace, Artist

Dream Hampton, Revolve Impact

Eirik Steinhoff, Visiting Faculty, Evergreen State College

Bernadine Mellis, Senior Lecturer, Mount Holyoke College

Andrea Lawlor, Visiting Lecturer, Mount Holyoke College

Dawn Lundy Martin, Professor, University of Pittsburgh

Caroline Crumpacker, Executive Director, The Millay Colony for the Arts, Inc.

Amy King, Executive Committee, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts

Thomas Page McBee, Writer/Editor, City College of New York and Quartz (Atlantic Media)

Duriel E Harris, Associate Professor, Illinois State University

Josh MacPhee, Justseeds Artist Cooperative/Interference Archive

Brenda Hillman, Olivia C. Filippi Professor of Poetry, Mills College

Ellen Orleans, Writer

Juliana Spahr, Professor, Mills College

Stephen F. Eisenman, Professor of Art History, Northwestern University

Therese Quinn, Associate Professor, University of Illinois - Chicago

Ayelet Waldman, Novelist and Essayist

Julie Lythcott-Haims, Writer

Charles Reeve, Associate Professor, Ontario College of Art and Design

Max Haiven, Assistant Professor, Nova Scotia

Rob Halpern, Associate Professor of Creative Writing, Eastern Michigan University

Molly Bang, CEO, SheBang

Nancy Popp, Artist

Michael Swaine, Assistant Professor, University of Washington

Dorris Bittar,Artist and Adjunct Faculty, California State University - San Marcos

Sarah Kobrinsky, Director of Business Development, Jered's Poetry

Lise Sokolne, Core Organizer, W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy)

Melissa Crosby, Organizer, The Last 3 Percent

Miranda Mellis, Faculty, Evergreen State College

Anna Tsing, Professor, University of California

Mary Patten, Professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Wendy McNaughton, Illustrator and Graphic Journalist

Sarah Ross, Part-time Faculty and Part-time Faculty Representative, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Janine Brito, Stand-up Comic and Writer

Steven Saum, Writer and Editor

Jonathan Lyons, Assistant Professor, Bucknell University

Joshua Davis, Co-Founder, Epic Magazine

Anita Kurimay, Assistant Professor, Bryn Mawr College

Tony Kashani, Humanities Professor, Brandman University

Cassie Thornton, Feminist Economics Department and Alumni, California College of the Arts

Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, Artist and Founder/Curator of Nook Gallery, Alumni, California College of the Arts

Irina Contrearas Artist, Educator, and Alumni, California College of the Arts

Floris Schonfeld, Artist and Alumni, California College of the Arts

Grace Chen, Alumni, California College of the Arts

Kalika Gorski, Artist and Alumni, California College of the Arts

Zoe Bermet

Melanie Westerberg, Legal Editor, Writer and Alumni, California College of the Arts

Cassandra Rockwood-Rice, Teaching Assistant, California College of the Arts

Dough Hahn, Sarah Lawrence College

Dale Going, Poet and Printer, Em Press

Christina Continelli, Alumni, California College of the Arts

Dylan Pliskin, Poet and Student, California College of the Arts

Ottilie Mulzet, Translator

Roger Hecht, Associate Professor of English, State University of New York - College at Oneonta

Nicole Thompson, Artist and Teacher

Stalina Villareal

Thomas Powers, Retired Professor, Springfield Technical Community College

Anna Avery, California College of the Arts

Pamela Stalker, Adjunct Professor of Animation, California College of the Arts, Napa Valley Community College, and Berkeley City College

Leila Emery, Medical Writer

Danuta Krantz

Steve Gilmartin, Writer and Editor

Beth Schwartz, Manager, The First Church of Christ, Scientist

Ruth Halpern, Storyteller, FlexManage

Anahid Hojjati, Court Interpreter

Jennifer Lynn, Musician

Kristen Witucki, Writer

Renata Louwers, Writer

Heather Flesher, Poet and Spoken Word Artist

Ana Fernandez, Artist Educator, Foothill College, Alumni, California College of the Arts

Michelle Herrera, Student, California College of the Arts

Mary Estes, High School Teacher, Ida B. Wells High School

Al Wildey, Professor of Art, Central Michigan University

Regina Reichert, Architect and Artist, Design 99

Clare O’Kane, Comedian and Writer, Alumni, California College of the Arts

John Bischoff, Professor of Music, Mills College

William F. Wu, Author and News Editor

Jonathon Grasse, Professor of Music, California State University – Dominguez Hills

Larry Polansky, Professor of Music, University of California – Santa Cruz, Emeritus Strauss Professor of Music, Dartmouth College, Co-Director, Frog Peak Music (A Composers’ Collective)

Jonathon Russell, Design Educator

Michael Volker, Assistant Professor Adjunct (Lecturer II), Central Michigan University

Mike Pierce, Jazz Musician

Michael Toman, Retired Librarian

Peter Coyote, Writer, Actor, Zen Buddhist Priest

Dan Falsetto, Business Owner

Linda Moorcock, Editor, Business Manager

Geoffrey Knight, ESL Instructor, Adjunct, New Jersey City University, Hudson Community College

David Peck, Professor Emeritus, California State University – Long Beach

Sarah Hirzel, Artist

Alden Jenks, Professor, San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Alan Brennert, Writer

Angus MacDonald, Writer

Julia Shirar, Painter, Sound Designer

Leigh Wells, Artist/Illustrator

August Talbot, Artist

Patricia Bruning, Design

Vivienne Fleshnet, Illustrator

Ward Schumaker, Artist/Illustrator

Nell Jehu, Librarian, Alumni, California College of the Arts

Selah Saterstrom, Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Denver

Carter Scholz, Novelist

David Stairs, Founder, Design-Altruism-Project and Designers without Borders

Amy Yuen, Writer and Editor

Tessa Sutton, Assistant Dean, The School of Art, The Cooper Union

Poep Stront, Artist

Melissa Ragan, Art Historian, Radcliffe Institute

Craig Alderson, Library worker, University of California – Berkeley

Catherine Benz, Curator, Delmar Gallery

Derrick Velasquez, Artist and Part-time Professor, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Phil Chang, Artist and Educator

Beth Howe, Associate Professor, Emily Carr University

Christine Simokaitis, Adjunct Instructor, Northeastern Illinois University

H. Melt, The Poetry Foundation

Javier Arbona, Assistant Professor, University of California – Davis

Celeste Connor, Artist, Art Critic-Theorist, Art Historian and Associate Professor, California College of the Arts

Laura Fay Smith, Printmaker, Alumni, California College of the Arts

Melissa Leventon, Senior Adjunct Professor, California College of the Arts

Amy Franceschini, Artist, Futurefarmers

Maria Mortati, Museum Exhibition Designer

Anke Caroline Burger, Literature Translator

Valerie Imus, Projects and Exhibitions Program Director, Southern Exposure

Linda Norton, Writer, Artist, Editor

Pennie and Howard Taylor, Retired Teachers, Sacramento City Unified School District

Maria Elena Yepes, Professor of English Emeritus, Ease Los Angeles College

Gabriel Quinto, Councilmember, City of El Cerrito

Martin Grantham, Greenhouse Manager, San Francisco State Biology Department

Sarah Wilson

Robin Dintiman, Former Lecturer, California College of the Arts, Faculty, Manhattan Graphics Center

Rali Christo, Adjunct, Saint Mary’s College of California

Frankie G., Comedian, Narcissists Anonymous

Kaden Kratzer, Trade Unionist

Karla Faucett, SEIU 1021 Education Industry Chair

Monica Leavitt, Educator and Artist, IPH and San Francisco Unified School District

Pedro Conceicao, Organizer, SEIU 521

Suzanne Kendall Osborne, Artist, San Francisco Artist Guild

Roger Marbury, Film Electrician, IATSE 481

Sera Song, Former Lecturer, Kwangwoon University

Andrew Gilbert, Writer and Former lecturer, UC Berkeley Graduate School

Rachel Meyer, Language School Owner, ABC Languages

Jim Spadaccini, Creative Director and Founder, Ideum

Alekz Xavier, Metalsmith

Elizabeth Rollins, Faculty, Pima Community College

Jen Molander

Gevin Shaw, Graphic Designer

Bridget Reeder

Dee Williams, Teacher, Selwyn College

Christine Ogu

Shazia Qureshi 

Eric Stanley, Assistant Professor, Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of California, Riverside

Erin Heath, Editor

Melissa Kuhn, Pottery Studio Assistant

Joshua Terwilliger

Carolyn Murphy, Marketing Manager and Alumni, California College of the Arts

Samiat Salami, Writer and Alumni, California College of the Arts

Juliana Paslay, Alumni, California College of the Arts

Sofia Greenberg, Writer and Alumni, California College of the Arts

Katrina Croswell

Laura Soriano

Sharone Tomer, Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design

Peach Friedman, Author

Chloé Veylit, Rich Media Content Producer, Pearson

Alexandra Gilliam, Student, California College of the Arts

Melissa Josephine Ramos, Poet and Bookseller, Green Apple Books and Music

Connor Maley, Writer, translator, and alumnus, California College of the Arts

Lindsay Keller, MFA Alumni, California College of the Arts

Linnie Greene, Writer, Marketer, Freelance, Stanford University Press

Stephen Leeper, Teacher

Owen Hill, Writer, Random House

Sheila Dickinson, Children's Librarian, Richmond Public Library

Sophia Kim, MFA candidate, San Francisco State University

Christina Stevenson, Visiting Faculty, San Francisco Art Institute

Susanne Dyckman, Poet and Editor

Anne Elstrom Park, Senior Lecturer, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota

Samantha Taymore-Dunn, Teacher, Winthrop Public Schools

Daniel Ishofsky

Natalie Catasus, Writer and Alumni, California College of the Arts

Christian Nagler, Artist and Writer

Stephanie Suggs, Program Director, NETWorks Cooperative Ministry

Dan Freeman, Artist

Heather Lohmann

Allison Cole, Alumni, California College of the Arts

Lisa Kee-Hamasaki, Counselor