CCAD in the Thick of Columbus Successes

April 21st, 2011 by IMAGE Magazine
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The Short North is one of the vibrant neighborhoods near downtown Columbus.

CCAD students know our city’s vibrant arts scene well—from the Short North Arts District with its well-established galleries, killer shopping, and first-class restaurants to the rich indie arts scene with popular events like Independents’ Day, successful organizations like Couchfire Collective, and an exciting entrepreneurial landscape. In fact, according to a January 18 article by Richard Florida in The Atlantic magazine, Columbus is beginning to experience a “brain gain,” as college grads increasingly choose to make the city their home—slowing the previous flow to Sunbelt cities such as Phoenix, Atlanta, and Charlotte.

CCAD contributes to the growing success of the city in many ways: most importantly by preparing our students to be creative leaders who vitalize both the global and local creative economies.

CCAD is also an active partner in community initiatives such as, which bolsters the city’s competitive position globally. EasyColumbus has a single mission, to engage and ultimately retain college students from the 11 college campuses in the central Ohio region.

“This project…is an excellent example of the collaborative efforts and desires of the local community to make our four-year visitors feel connected and at home in Columbus,” said Dennison W. Griffith, CCAD president and co-chair of EasyColumbus. “We are pretty confident that once students get to know Columbus a little better, they’ll love us and have more reasons to start their future here.”

But CCAD is also having a concrete (and bricks and mortar) impact on the built environment of Columbus’s core. The success and growth of the college itself is leveraging investment in downtown and in the Discovery District neighborhood that is home to the campus. Building on recent additions to the CCAD campus and the expansion of the Columbus Museum of Art next door, the 2010 Downtown Columbus Strategic Plan proposes an expansive “Creative Campus” district around and through the CCAD campus with Gay Street as its core.

Vince Papsidero, planning administrator for the City of Columbus, emphasizes the area’s valuable potential to attract creative people—both as visitors and residents. The plan proposes open space, new streetscapes, mixed-use infill construction, and a new, shared parking garage to create an interconnected and active campus between CCAD, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Jefferson Center for Learning and the Arts, and Columbus State Community College. “The plan will enhance the experience of students, residents, and visitors to the area by creating a new cultural neighborhood that is interconnected and vibrant,” Papsidero said. “Ultimately the plan aims to improve downtown and solidify its place as the employment, governmental, institutional, entertainment, and commercial core of Central Ohio.”

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Published in print twice a year, CCAD’s IMAGE magazine shares stories about our creative community, whether here in Columbus or around the world—what we’re doing, thinking, and planning next. The IMAGE blog brings those stories online for transmission at the click of a mouse.

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