The Victorian College of the Arts has announced the closure of its Centre for Cultural Partnerships in December 2016. The graduate teaching and research centre which includes 75 masters/doctoral students and 5 core staff, was established by philanthropic support from the Buckland Foundation in 2013, but according to Dean Barry Conyngham, the centre hasn’t been able to secure sustainable funding for the CCP programs. In an open letter to the Dean, three of the centre’s students expressed their dismay at the decision arguing that the description of the core business of the faculty as ‘its artistic disciplines, and the training of artists’ represented an ‘extraordinarily conservative and limited view of the role of art and art making in society’. CCP staff and students have set up a facebook site to galvanise support.
VCA Director Su Baker said: “We are committed to providing support and a dynamic research environment for the RHD students by aligning their interests with those across the VCA and to build a strong socially engaged program for the future. Constructive discussions are underway with current CCP PhD and Masters students as to how this might develop at the VCA and across the University of Melbourne more broadly.”