COVID-19 CalArts Community Town Halls for Students, Faculty and Staff

This email was sent to CalArts students, faculty and staff on April 16, 2020, from President Ravi Rajan.

Dear CalArtians,

Transparency and shared governance are important pillars of how we work together at CalArts. As we parse the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic on CalArts, we must be diligent in our efforts to maintain open and honest communication with this difficult subject matter, even as the crisis separates us physically.  

Your elected representatives on the Assembly Executive Committee (AEC) and Assembly Budget Committee (ABC) have been meeting to review potential COVID-19 revenue impacts, and to talk through philosophy around how CalArts can manage these disruptions. It is critical that you and our entire community also have an opportunity to see this same information in an effort to better understand this moment.

To help make this happen I am inviting you to join one of two webinar town halls next week. These sessions will allow for information to be presented, and for you to ask questions about the changes this crisis will likely necessitate starting this summer and into the next academic year.

It is my sincere hope that you might be able to join us. Links for the Zoom sessions will go out in the next announcement. Please do reserve one of the times, as these will be among the last moments for us all to gather to answer questions before the end of the academic year, and the beginning of potential changes.

COVID-19 CalArts Community Town Halls

Town Hall #1: Wednesday, April 22, 2020, from 12-1:30 pm 

Town Hall #2: Thursday, April 23, 2020, from 4-5:30 pm 

During these town halls our CFO, Maeesha Merchant, will share financial scenarios that will be discussed at the April 16th ABC meeting, so that you too can have the most up-to-date information. You may ask questions during the town hall, or submit them prior to the meeting anonymously or by email to with “TOWN HALL QUESTION” beginning the subject line (if you don’t start the subject that way, your email might get buried). 

As I have said before, apart from emergency actions that must be executed immediately for safety, security, and continuity, we’ll follow our channels of shared governance by relying on our elected representatives to help analyze these matters, and continue to engage the whole community in discussing our challenges together, as a united front. 

I want you to be part of these conversations. It’s critical that we continue to embrace and live by our principles and values as we forge ahead. Much of what binds us together as CalArtians is a shared sense of purpose and commitment – to the arts, to bettering the world, and to our community. In the face of uncertainty, we must rely on this strength so that we can pull through this moment together.

I look forward to your participation and to receiving your questions.

Thank you. Be well, be healthy, and be safe.