Episode #080: MCA begins closing

In this we respond to the recent announcement that Memphis College of Art has begun the process to close their doors. It plans to no longer accept students, but remain open and focused on it’s current students while expecting to finally close around 2020.

Billy asked Creative Memphis podcast co-founder and MCA graduate, Andrew Lebowitz, to share a few words with us. He has this to say:

MCA will forever hold a special place in my heart. It is where I discovered my passion, where I met the love of my life, and where I learned who I wanted to be in the world. But MCA didn’t see itself the same way many of the students saw it. We saw it as a place to be and discover ourselves. A place to hone our crafts, build our skills, and to learn new ways of thinking and doing.

They, however, saw themselves as a business, or maybe even worse, as a simple art studio. A place where creativity and application were separate. Where the administration and faculty were at odds.

It was in a master stroke of irony that an institution dedicated to teaching the next generation of creators and innovators failed to innovate itself.

To be honest it feels as though a family member has died, but the death was entirely preventable, if only it listened to the people who cared most.

I have worked through the stages of grief at what I — and I am sure many others — consider a great loss to Memphis. All I can say is that I hope from the ashes lessons are learned and applied, and the hole left by MCA will be filled.

Until that time, I want to say to my fellow alumni, that while the institution may no longer exist, the effect that it had in our lives will live on with us, and nothing can take that away. – Andrew Lebowitz, a creative educated in Memphis



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