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Save NSCAD

Because Nova Scotia needs great art

NSCAD University, Canada’s oldest fine art degree granting university, is up against it and needs your help. The Friends of NSCAD University (“an ad hoc group of group of faculty, staff and alumni created to promote the continued existence of NSCAD University as one of Canada’s leading autonomous art and design institution,”) have circulated a letter (available on their Facebook group) announcing the recent appointment of Howard Windsor, former policy analyst with Labour and Advanced Education for Nova Scotia by the Minister of Advanced Education to examine the future of NSCAD University.

According to the Friends of NSCAD press release, “Mr. Windsor has been given an open mandate by the Minister to propose a fate for the school ranging from the termination of programs to wholesale or fragmented mergers with other provincial institutions.” It’s worth noting that these are not the only two outcomes possible. They continue, “2012 marks NSCAD University’s 125th birthday, and we need your support in ensuring another 125 years for one of North America’s leading autonomous art and design institutions.”

Why is this happening in the first place? Fine arts programs are expensive to offer, as they often need special equipment and smaller class sizes. For this and other reasons—some suggest the Port campus building was underfunded—NSCAD University has been operating at a deficit and requested the Province’s help and to renegotiate funding in order to even things out. Last year, Bill Hogg put on the case by the province to examine NSCAD’s financial situation. The report was never made public, but did garner some financial help from the province.

Windsor’s report is due late November, with an announcement of new funding formulas from the Province in December.

The Friends of NSCAD are asking that anyone interested in preserving NSCAD’s artistic legacy let the province of Nova Scotia know how important the institution is to both Halifax and the art world. Please let the Premier of Nova Scotia, Darrell Dexter [email protected] and the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education Marilyn More [email protected] know what this locally, nationally and internationally recognized university’s value is to you.

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