2014   Board and President Desmarais announce $24 million capital campaign for 2nd Campus

2015   SFAI / Fort Mason Campus design completion $26.5 Million 

2017   SFAI / Fort Mason Campus Opened Fall  

2019   Board / President Knox initiative to endow Diego Rivera Mural, enact strategic budget                 cuts and merger negotiations to avert financial crisis


March 2020

March 12th:

SFAI announced campus closes on March 13th due to COVID-19.

March 16th:

SFAI closes Fort Mason for shelter in place due to COVID-19. 

March 23rd:

Faculty Trustee Town Hall. School announces closure as merger fell through.  

KQED article: SFAI Suspends Enrollment, Plans Layoffs

March 24th:

NYTIMES article: Top Art School Plans Closing

ARTNews article: no clear path forward

Hyperallergic article: SFAI closing due to rocky finances

March 25th:

Architects NewsPaper article: expected to close permanently 

Student Town Hall

March 26th:

Alumni Town Hall, link. Alumni make it clear they do not want the school to close.

Faculty Town Hall

March 29th:

Student Demands sent out to the Board of Trustees and administration.  

April 2020

April 1st:

Artnet article: 5 Celebrated Artists Reflect on How the School Shaped Them 

April 2nd: Public letter is released: A PUBLIC STATEMENT WITH REGARD TO THE SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE signed by over 60 art’s professionals in San Francisco

SFHeritage SFAI Announces Planned Closure

April 2nd: 

Public letter is released: A PUBLIC STATEMENT WITH REGARD TO THE SAN              FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE signed by over 60 art’s professionals in San Francisco

April 3rd:

Board President announced Gordon Knox’s leave-of-absence from his role as President, and a newly formed leadership team would take place effective March 31st. Jennifer Rissler now CAO and Mark Kushner COO.

SF Chronicle article: president takes leave amid existential upheaval

April 6th:

CCA accepts transfer of continuing SFAI students with financial aid intact and housing for all continuing students.

April 9th:

SFAI responds to student demands

April 10th:

Immediate Needs at SFAI Community Petition goes out. 1700+ signatures collected

Student Town Hall, addressing the state of the school, protocols for commencement, transfers, and end of year exhibitions.

KQED article: SFAI Will Never Be What it Once Was

April 13th:

SFAI announces the board will vote in a closed session on April 14th to decide if or  any degree programs will continue. 

April 15th:

SFAI announces a reset.

Transfer out process for all continuing student is fully active

April 17th:

Faculty Town Hall addressing the state of the school and answering questions.

April 20th:

Alumni Town Hall  addressing the state of the school and answering questions.

April 28th:

Mike Henderson joins the Board

May 2020

May 6th:

Staff and Faculty Town Hall: PPP loan, the May 23rd WARN Act date and employment status

May 8th:

Spring 2020 semester ends, Adjunct contracts end and are laid off (unless any are teaching in the summer teach-out) 

May 14th:

Graduate Student Town Hall

May 15th:

Student Award Zoom Presentation, BFA and MFA virtual exhibitions open.

May 16th:

Commencement Live YouTube Stream Emcee, Jeff Gunderson, Honorary Doctorate Degrees: Cathy Opie, Nao Bustamante, faculty speaker J. John Priola

June 2020

June 2nd:

Registration for Public Education classes and Pre-college students and Y oung Artists opens

SFAI releases Striving for Solidarity, A Letter to the SFAI Community

June 3rd:

Through union bargaining, and government bailout PPP money, Adjuncts are given extended contracts until June 19 as severance pay.

June 4th:

All staff meeting- end dates announced, staff drastically cut.

June 8th:

ARTnews article: Faculty Speak Out Amid Epic Upheaval

June 9th:

Doug Hall joins the Board, Committee to Reimagine SFAI is announced.

June 12th:

Summer teach-out begins for students who have between 6-21 credits to finish their SFAI degree. 34 students (79% of eligible students), 12 tenure track faculty + 6 adjunct faculty. are teaching in the Summer teach-out.

-Summer Intensive 1 - May 26 to June 5

-Summer 8-week session - June 8 to July 31

-Summer Intensive 2 - August 3 to August 14


DATEBOOK article: SFAI launches 150th anniversary in year of tumult and upheaval

June 19th:

Last day for 13 staff members, additional last days coming June 30.

June 29th:

HYPERALLERGIC article: Time Capsule of Student Work

June 30th:

Doug Hall releases letter to the community

July 2020

July 1st:

Full time faculty win grievance and keep contracts through summer 2021

July 13th:

Committee to Reimagine SFAI is announced in email to staff, students, alumni, trustees, trustees emeriti and faculty.  Memorandum describing the Committee’s assignment

July 17th:

MISSION LOCAL article: Bank moves to foreclose on San Francisco Art Institute

July 22nd:

DATEBOOK article: SFAI reverses course, retains teachers, invites students to return.

SFAI press release: San Francisco Art Institute Reinstates Degree Programs...

July 23rd:

EXAMINER article: SFAI restores degree classes, seeks subtenant for Fort Mason campus 

KQED article: Students Suffer Whiplash as SFAI Decides to Offer Classes After All

artnet article: SFAI Has Reversed Its Plans to Wind Down Following a $4 Million Surge...

SFiST article: San Francisco Art Institute Saved, Maybe, For Another School Year

July 24th:

HYPERALLERGIC article: After Securing $4M in Donations, SFAI Will Remain Operational​


August 2020

August 13:

ARTnews: Amid Turmoil, SFAI Will Resume Offering Classes in Fall, Leaving Staff with Concerns

August 19:

HYPERALLERGIC article: Debt Destabilized the SFAI. Could Your College Be Next?

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created by alumni for alumni

SF Artists Alumni Inc., San Francisco, CA 94131