The global pandemic has changed all our lives and made many of the activities we once enjoyed impossible: getting your MFA doesn’t have to be one of those things. Our longstanding low-residency model has adapted to meet the current challenges, and VCFA now offers remote residencies that bring the lectures, workshops, critique sessions, community gatherings, and other rewards of the residency experience to your own home. As always, the majority of your semester work will be done from home, with your faculty mentor guiding you along the way.
When VCFA realized in March that we would not be able to gather for residencies on campus, staff and faculty came together to create remote residencies, making sure students would not miss either the intense learning and sharing that happen during residencies or the meaningful opportunities to connect. The recent MFA in Graphic Design and MFA in Film residencies included virtual visits from the Design Justice Network, prolific design writer Steven Heller, filmmakers Darren Aronofsky and Tamara Jenkins, and others. These lectures, screenings, and Q&A sessions provide students with inspiration for the semester ahead and beyond. And it’s not only lectures. Recent remote residencies have included virtual dance parties, informal teatime with our brilliant faculty, a California nature walk, and live graduation ceremonies (complete with bagpipes!), all conducted miraculously via Zoom.
With our lives now mediated by apps like Zoom, Google Meet, and Slack, it’s vital to have support along the way, and our knowledgeable and friendly IT team is here to help you through any challenges that arise. Program staff and faculty are also here to answer questions and keep your educational goals on target.
VCFA has always offered a unique opportunity to build a network and community of peers across the globe, and that network has never been stronger than right now. Our unique culture emphasizes support and mutual respect for each student’s journey, allowing students to build connections that last well beyond graduation. Especially now, our students find themselves keeping in close touch with each other between residencies and reaching out to alumnx who have gone before.
While we all stay safe and do everything we can to flatten the curve and take care of ourselves, our loved ones and our communities, we don’t need to give up on our goals. There are few constants in this time of uncertainty, and VCFA is here to help you achieve your dreams, no matter where you are.