Ford Institute for Visual Education

In 2007, a $15 million gift from the late Hallie Ford to Pacific Northwest College of Art established the Ford Institute for Visual Education (FIVE) and advanced the College as an innovative center of excellence. This contribution represents the largest gift ever made to an arts organization in Oregon and serves as a catalyst for expanding the College’s graduate programs and offerings to the community through the vibrant FIVE Idea Studios and Graduate Visiting Artist Lecture Series, in addition to a broad range of exhibitions, institutes, and symposia.

Through FIVE, the College has brought world-renowned speakers and artists to Portland, including Lewis Hyde, Jacques Rancière, Martin Kersels and James Turrell, while also sustaining its world-class artist-in-residence program with current writer-in-residence, Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Barry Sanders. FIVE facilitated the launch of the College’s five graduate education programs: MFA in Applied Craft and Design operated jointly with Oregon College of Art and Craft, MFA in Collaborative Design, MFA in Visual Studies, Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies, and MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research.

Under the auspices of FIVE, the College in 2009 integrated with Museum of Contemporary Craft. 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. The operational partnership maintains the Museum’s focus on craft and expands the Museum’s mission to include a greater focus on design. The integration has enhanced the educational experience at PNCA for current and future students and enables the College to explore new graduate offerings.

The Museum and PNCA continue to pursue the goals of FIVE, which are to provide stellar exhibitions, community outreach, conferences and symposia, creative research and innovative graduate programs.

PNCA Futures Project

The Futures Project is designed to engage the PNCA community in considering different scenarios for the College’s future and in developing “solutions” or approaches that will ensure the College’s ability to deliver on our mission while remaining financially sustainable.

With some preliminary work in identifying the key drivers, internal and external, that are most likely to affect the College’s future direction, a “scenarios group” of about 20 PNCA students, faculty, staff, and board members came together in early January 2013 to brainstorm and ultimately design responses to the scenarios. These scenarios thinkers were selected from nominees from the greater PNCA community. The resulting work will be presented to the PNCA community for feedback in February 2013.

Leading the Futures Project was David Sawyer, president of Context, a Portland-based management consulting firm. Sawyer is an expert in futures thinking who has worked with a range of private and public sector clients locally and nationally, including the National Geographic Society, Mercy Corps, World Pulse, Reed College, and Berea College. He has also taught in the MFA in Collaborative Design program and shares our passion for PNCA. Sawyer helped to design a streamlined, focused process in order to produce work that will be central and invaluable as the College goes forward.

In early January 2013, the PNCA Futures Project invited Chris Riley of studioriley to kickstart the Project with a lecture titled “The Great Migrations: How World Cultures are Shifting in the Digital Age.” A podcast and more information can be found on UNTITLED.

The Futures Project is an opportunity for PNCA as a community to think creatively about the College’s future in the face of a changing world.