“A growing PNCA is a force for economic revitalization in our city.”

– Harold Schnitzer

“Portland’s creative corridor—with PNCA at its heart—could be one of the most influential creative neighborhoods in the nation.”

– John Jay, Executive Creative Director, Wieden+Kennedy

“Creativity is essential to Portland’s economic development, and I expect PNCA to have a significant impact on growing our local economy.”

– Portland Mayor Charlie Hales


PNCA is embarking on our boldest venture yet. Creativity Works Here is a $15 million philanthropic campaign to transform not just a college, but a city by renovating Portland’s historic post office at 511 NW Broadway into the region’s premier center for art and design education. This transformative project will invigorate cultural and economic development in the neighborhood and throughout the region.


Opening in spring of 2015, the 134,000 square-foot Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design will have new spaces for art exhibitions, lectures, and events in addition to classrooms, production facilities, an elegant library, and innovation studio and incubator. Portland’s original U.S. Post office at 511 NW Broadway has magnificent bones: numerous skylights, expansive windows, lofty ceilings, and open spaces. As President Tom Manley notes, “It’s as if the building always aspired to be a college of art and design.”

Acclaimed architect Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture created the plans for adaptive reuse that will preserve key historical features of the stately 100-year-old building while introducing contemporary design and dynamic flow into a light-filled core of the building. This $32 million facility was named with a lead gift from The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation of $5 million.

Hover over blue buildings

PNCA’s new flagship will be both a base camp for 21st and a dynamic new cultural center for Portland century creative education
PNCA’s front door opens onto what is slated to be the first new Park Block in downtown Portland in more than 100 years. In 2012, in preparation for the campus expansion, PNCA installed on the site, Memory 99, a monumental Cor-Ten sculpture by alumnus, Lee Kelly ’59.
Museum of Contemporary Craft in partnership with PNCA provides learning opportunities for PNCA students, faculty, and the public while pushing forward the national discourse around craft.
ArtHouse, PNCA’s new student housing facility on the North Park Blocks, opened in Fall of 2013. ArtHouse, home to 130 PNCA students, is a sustainably designed building with beautiful lobby gallery and rain garden as well as a restaurant and retail space on the ground floor.


PNCA is an incubator for creativity. Through its diverse network of faculty, alumni, and visiting artists, PNCA provides a unique support system to inspire our students to grow their ideas into social statements, solutions to complex problems, and works of art. This is what we mean when we talk about the transformational power of creativity.

“For a hundred-plus years, PNCA has nurtured the talent for answering real-world challenges. Our studios and galleries give rise to a vibrance community of innovators and culture-makers. Creativity works here.

With the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design, we’re establishing a preeminent basecamp for creativity that will invigorate cultural and economic development, not just in its neighborhood, but throughout the city.

We hope you’ll be inspired to invest in this extraordinary endeavor.”

Ann Edlen
Board Chair


In a ten-day design build project, MFA in Applied Craft and Design students built a community bike hub and repair center for North Portland’s New Columbia neighborhood.


Michael Curry ’81 has received four Emmys and a Tony, and his celebrated puppets and masks for The Lion King on Broadway have made him a household name.


In 2009, faculty member Arvie Smith ’86 launched Project Hope, a mural project with over 100 young men in a youth correctional center in Northeast Portland.


In addition to receiveing a $15,000 Joan Mitchell Award, Samantha Wall, MFA ’11 was invited to participate in First Look III as one of the nation’s most promising graduate art students.


We welcome your participation. Your gift, combined with those of many others who believe in this historic opportunity and the power of creativity, will transform a building, a neighborhood, and a city.

Tax Exempt ID


With any questions or to make a gift, please contact

Susanne Hashim
Campaign Counsel

Sharon Johnson
Major Gifts Officer


Honorary Chairs

Arlene Schnitzer
Dolly Lemelson


Anthony Belluschi
Anne Crumpacker, MFA '11
Ann Edlen
Allyn Ford
Susan Hammer
Marianne Kersten
Elizabeth Leach
Kathleen Lewis
Tom Manley
Mike McCulloch
Lindley C. Morton
John Shipley
Al Solheim
Jean-Pierre Viellet '91
Larry Viehl
Nick Walrod
Aric Wood


Creativity Works Here is supported by people just like you.

The Paul G. Allen Foundation
Robert and Kathleen Ames
Donna Avedisian and Craig Chanti
Anthony and Marti Belluschi
Broughton and Mary Bishop
John and Suzanne Bishop
Stan Boles and Wendy Kahle
Margaret Bolger and Patrick Simpson
Craig Boretz and Rachelle Jacover
Janie Brown and Dan Sheehan
Victoria Bryer and Neilson Abeel
Mark Carpenter
Rick Caskey and Sue Horn-Caskey
Estate of Ed Cauduro
Molly and Dave Cliff-Hilts
The Collins Foundation
Maribeth Collins
Dina Deschler
Ann and Mark Edlen
Nancy M. Fishman
Danielle Forsythe and Roy Hall
Kathy Gallagher
The William G. Gilmore Foundation
Marc and Pamela Grignon
Karen and Harry Groth
Susan Hammer and Lee Kelly '59
Jamey Hampton
The Kinsman Foundation
Anne Koerner
Hannah Kuhn and William McNamee
The Lamb Baldwin Foundation
Sally and John Lawrence
Dorothy Lemelson
Kathleen Lewis
The Maybelle Clark McDonald Fund
Doug Macy
Mary Maletis
Tom Manley
McGraw Family Foundation
Robert and Violet Metzler
Meyer Memorial Trust
Casey Mills and Carmen Calzacorta
Lindley Morton
Dane Nelson
Linda Brower Nicholson and Bill Nicholson
Oregon Community Foundation
Robert and Jane Packard
Charles and Jennifer Putney
The Richard and Mary Rosenberg Charitable Foundation
David Savinar
The Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation
John Shipley
Carol Smith-Larson
Al Solheim
The Estate of Ernest C. Swigert
Elizabeth Pownell Swindells Advised Fund of the OCF
Ann & Bill Swindells Charitable Trust
Tara Tamaribuchi-Gibbs
U.S. Bank / U.S. Bancorp Foundation
Jean-Pierre '91 and Summer Veillet
Larry and Jane Viehl
The Swigert-Warren Foundation
Nick Walrod
Lee and Melinda Weinstein
Aric Wood
ZGF Architects LLP
Zephyr Charitable Foundation, Inc.





  • Construction begins on the new Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design.



  • Portland Development Commission (PDC) commissioners support a $20.3 million loan package to PNCA for the renovation of the 511 building.


  • Creativity Works Here campaign in support of campus expansion reaches $11 million, two-thirds of its $15 million goal.
  • PNCA’s current Main Campus Building sold to Seattle-based Security Properties. The net equity PNCA will realize from the $11.75 million sale is part of the financing structure for the $32 million new campus construction project. The College continues to lease back the NW Johnson campus building until relocating to the new campus in January 2015.


  • ArtHouse, PNCA’s new student housing on the North Park Blocks welcomes new students.



  • PNCA awarded $50,000 Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Grant for planning and renovation of the 511 Building.


  • PNCA launches $15 million philanthropic campaign, Creativity Works Here campaign in support of the College’s strategic move to renovate the historic former federal post office at 511 NW Broadway and to anchor the PNCA campus on the North Park Blocks in downtown Portland. The Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation makes $5 million lead gift to PNCA to name the 511 NW Broadway building the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design. Early gifts include $500,000 from the late Ernie Swigert in honor of former PNCA president Sally Lawrence and $100,000 from the late Ed Cauduro, who established the Ed Cauduro Scholars at PNCA in 2008 with a gift of $1,000,000 through the Oregon Community Foundation.



  • PNCA receives a $740,000 predevelopment and challenge grant from Portland Development Commission (PDC) for renovation of the 511 Building. PNCA will provide an equal funding match for a total project budget of $1,480,000. This will fund preparation of 20 percent of construction documents, due diligence for reuse of the 511 Building, and conceptual planning for consolidation and expansion of PNCA facilities –including the nearby PDC-owned parking lot.


  • Museum of Contemporary Craft announces that The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation awards the Museum a $40,000 Arts and Culture Grant to support the Museum’s integration with the Pacific Northwest College of Art.



  • The PNCA Board of Governors announces that the first comprehensive fundraising campaign in the College’s history comes to a successful close, exceeding its $32 million goal.


  • As the College enters its Centennial year, it is with an unprecedented 48% growth in enrollment, making Pacific Northwest College of Art the fastest-growing independent art school in the nation. PNCA also becomes the only independent school of art in the Pacific Northwest to offer graduate education.
  • PNCA and Museum of Contemporary Craft integrate in the Fall of 2009.
  • Allied Works Project Team Formed



  • It is announced that Pacific Northwest College of Art is to receive the 1916-era former U.S. Post Office building at 511 NW Broadway through the federal government’s public benefit conveyance for educations purposes program. (GSA + Department of Education).
  • The building will double the College’s space, provide space for the growing enrollment, and permit the College to let go of additional leased spaces in the Pearl District.
  • The building will extend PNCA’s campus from the Pearl District into Old Town, further integrating the College, its students, faculty and visiting artists into the heart of Portland’s thriving art and creative district.


  • In 2008 the college reached an agreement with the family of the late Edith Goodman to make the $10.5 million purchase of the main building on its Pearl district campus. Significant support from individuals, corporations, and foundations have made possible the transformation of PNCA from a small regional school to a distinctive and nationally competitive college of art and design. During the Centennial Campaign for PNCA+FIVE, the College experiences tremendous growth, more than doubling enrollment, securing the purchase of its main campus building at 1241 NW Johnson Street from the late Edith Goodman, establishing new scholarship endowments, enhancing programmatic support, forming a partnership with Museum of Contemporary Craft and quadrupling the College’s general endowment fund.



  • Hallie E. Ford (Ford Foundation) donates $15 million to PNCA, twice the school’s annual budget and the largest single donation to an Oregon arts institution ever.
  • FIVE is established (The Ford Institute for Visual Education, which extends PNCA’s intellectual and resource platform through the PNCA+FIVE Idea Studios series, exhibitions, symposia, and the development of a series of graduate programs, internationally renowned artists in residence and other programs, all of which enrich the environment for original thinking and creative enterprise.


  • Working in collaboration with Brad Cloepfil, principal at Allied Works, a master plan is completed to further PNCA’s mission and campus expansion.



When was the building built and what was its original purpose? What consideration is being given to preserving its historic character and architectural details?

The future Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design was built in 1916 as Portland’s Federal Post Office by noted architect Lewis Parsons Hobart, who also designed the iconic Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. For more information about the history of the 511 Building and its many transformations over the years, read the article series on UNTITLED, PNCA’s online magazine. (http://untitled.pnca.edu/articles/show/6850)

What kind of square footage are we talking about?

PNCA currently occupies 147,554 rentable square feet (RSF), including Museum of Contemporary Craft, the Goodman Building, the Stevens Studios Annex, the Stagecraft Building, the MFA in Applied Craft and Design Studios, and the MFA in Visual Studies Studios. With Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design, PNCA sheds approximately 57,000 RSF of leased space and unites, for the first time in its history, its various BFA, MFA, and MA programs, studios, and workshops into one building. After

Will all PNCA programs be housed in the new Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design?

Most PNCA programs will be housed in the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design. Exceptions to that include Sculpture and the joint MFA in Applied Craft and Design, which occupies an 8,000 sq ft studio in NE Portland. PNCA is currently looking at leasing options for properties adjacent to the 511 building for the Sculpture program.

When will the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design open?

The building will open in February 2015. Stay tuned for more information about opening celebrations and programming.

What is happening with the current PNCA main campus building at 1241 NW Johnson Street?

In September 2013, PNCA sold the its current Main Campus Building to Seattle developer Security Properties. The net equity from the $11.7 million sale is part of the financing structure for the $32 million new campus construction project. The College will continue to lease back the NW Johnson campus until relocating to the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design in early 2015.

How is the project being financed?

The College’s Finance and Campus Master Planning committees, led by financial and business professionals, provide oversight for the $32 million project. Our project manager, Gerding Edlen, works closely with College leadership to ensure that the project is on track to meet fiscal goals. The $32M capital renovation project has a funding model that includes a $15M philanthropic campaign, New Market and Historic Tax Credits, a low-interest program related investment, a local government grant, and short and long term financing from PDC. We will endeavor to minimize long-term debt by leveraging foundation grants and private philanthropy.

How can I be involved in this once-in-a-lifetime effort?

We welcome your involvement! PNCA is far more than bricks and mortar buildings and expanding acreage. The spirit of PNCA thrives in the minds and hands of its students, faculty, staff, and alumni – and in the hearts of committed and visionary community members like you. For more information on how you can get involved, please contact Sharon Johnson in the PNCA Advancement Office at sajohnson@pnca.edu.