Michael R Molla to be installed October 30 as the third President of Pennsylvania College of Art & Design
Friday, October 26th, 2018
Michael R. Molla, will be installed as the third President of Pennsylvania College of Art & Design in a special ceremony on October 30th, at the Ware Center as part of a day of celebration for PCA&D’s engagement in Lancaster City, from a morning of “Creative Community Engagement” when all PCA&D students, plus faculty and staff will participate in 17 engagement projects using art and design in problem solving to assist area community organizations, a special ceremonial installation to mark this moment in the College’s history, to ending the day with a celebration for the PCA&D family and the Lancaster community.
Michael R. Molla says that he was as a youth that “creative-art kid.” Thinking. Making and Make-believing. Using his art and creativity to make sense of the world.
He knows the value of micro-colleges like PCA&D, those small, focused, personal colleges that emphasize individual student’s needs, active learning, and mentorship that profoundly shaped his creative arts education. . His Alma Mater of Anna Maria College in Paxton. Massachusetts, was such a college. He values the deep transformational education he earned at Anna Maria College. He credits his success to his family who embraced his creative view of life, but Molla gives special acknowledgement to his art department chairperson Ralph Parente and Dean of Students Hollie Ingraham, who were his mentors and advisers. Mr. Parente who is now in his 90s still sends Molla a birthday card each year.
Molla also recognizes the value of artists and designers in leading and shaping their world. Molla served at Maryland Institute College of Art for a total of 26 years, and led the College in the areas of student affairs, operations and strategic initiatives. As the Associate Vice President, Student Affairs, he launched MICA’s first residence life program, and established a student affairs division for the College, which included on-site counseling and healthcare services, as well as diversity and safety initiatives. As Vice President of Operations, Molla was responsible for the development of the Campus Master Plan, including the design and construction of resident facilities, numerous academic, studio, and shop spaces, a center for graduate education and most recently, opened an undergraduate design center.
In the Vice President Strategic Initiatives position, Molla was responsible for strengthening the relationship between MICA and the City of Baltimore, including facilitating new urban initiatives to engage the community in support of the arts and expanding opportunities to city residents.
Molla set a goal for himself the first day he set on campus: to meet, learn from and meaningfully interact with 100 people in 100 days. Community leaders. Students. Parents. Business leaders, College presidents. Artists. Designers. Lancastrians from all walks of life. This was a tall order, on top of opening the 2018-19 school year, learning his way about the campus and the town, and moving to Lancaster. And it was an order that was achieved.
Molla is excited about the possibilities of the contributions of an art college to an artistic small city like Lancaster, and visa versa. He is no stranger to college community partnerships. In the quarter-century he served at Maryland Institute College of Art, he was active in many civic initiatives that enriched the city and the students at MICA. Molla served as Co-Chair of the Baltimore Integrated Partnership, a higher education and healthcare collective impact initiative, and served as Board Chair of the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. He was a Board member of the Central Baltimore Partnership; which addresses thoughtful development of the area by activating partnerships with neighborhood organizations, non-profits, educational institutions, businesses and government agencies in central Baltimore, and served as the MICA representative of the Mayor’s Task Force on Safe Art Spaces. Molla, along with other Baltimore university leaders, helped shape and launch the Baltimore City Anchor Plan.
Presidential Installation Ceremony will be held 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. The Ware Center, 42 N Prince Street, Lancaster PA. Installation of Michael R. Molla as third president of Pennsylvania College of Art & Design will begin with a parade of regalia robed faculty staff, students and trustees making their way from PCA&D to the Ware Center. This special ceremonial installation will feature Molla’s chosen theme of “&”, the ampersand, a symbol of forging, building and deepening connections, and will re-introduce PCA&D to the Lancaster community and arts community and tell the story of the importance of arts in the community. All major elements of the ceremony will be “of Lancaster” and will involve students, faculty, tructees, staff and alumni of the college, focusing on PCA&D’s history and future.
Special speakers at the Installation will be Deana Haggag, President and CEO of United States Artists, Fred Lazarus IV, president emeritus of Maryland Institute College of Art, and Hon. Danene Sorace, Mayor, City of Lancaster Pennsylvania, with a video message from Samuel “Sammy” Hoi, president of Maryland Institute College of ArtDeana Haggag, President and CEO of United States Artists, is a leading voice and influencer of both emerging and established artists. Haggag has amplified and expanded the idea of what it means to be an artist in present-day America. Her organization provides fellowships to artists working in architecture and design, crafts, dance, literature, media, music, theater and performance, traditional arts, and visual arts. The former Executive Director of The Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, she led this noteworthy nomadic museum to national prominence.
Fred Lazarus, IV, president emeritus of Maryland Institute College of Art, is a visionary who championed the transformational impact artists and designers can have on a community and its economy. In his 36 years at MICA, he not only led the school to become a top college of the arts, but he also created and launched the first community arts program in the country. Under his leadership, art and education became the heart and driving engine of Baltimore’s revitalization effort. Lazarus’ lasting legacy is demonstrating the possibilities that artists and cultural institutions can have in shaping community through community-based creative engagement.
Hon. Danene Sorace, Mayor, City of Lancaster Pennsylvania, guides this vital, vibrant city to the future. A keen and insightful listener, she deeply engages with all citizens to grow this culturally and economically diverse city as it continues to gain prominence as a center for the arts, a haven for refugees, and as one of the country’s most livable cities ripe with economic opportunities. Her background in health education and environmental advocacy inform her perspectives, as does her service on the Lancaster City Council, where she focused on public works, economic development and neighborhood revitalization.
Samuel Hoi, president of Maryland Institute College of Art, is a national leader in the power of linking the creative class with business and industry to generate engaged and impactful economic development. Hoi is not only an advocate for art and design education, but also for ensuring that artists and designers engage with their communities to offer their crucial and impactful perspectives. A connector, he has expanded MICA’s work with the Baltimore community to link creative professionals in social, economic, and cultural advancement.
PCA&D & Lancaster: Creative Community Engagement
The morning of the Installation, October 30, President Molla and the College will launch PCA&D & Lancaster: Creative Community Engagement throughout Lancaster.
According to Molla, “We recognize the merit of first-hand community engagement, and the inherent value of connecting, engaging and learning from and with the residents, organizations and community members. Therefore, teams of students, alumni, faculty and staff spread throughout Lancaster to use art, design and creative problem solving to support area community organizations.”
Teams of PCA&D students, faculty, trustees, and staff will participate in engagement projects using art-and-design as solutions to problem solving and assist area community organizations.
The event will be bookended by a kickoff breakfast, with community engagement tips from Michael Bunting of Lancaster’s The Stone School, and a celebratory lunch before the Installation ceremony.
The day will wrap up with a Community Celebration, 4:00 – 6:30 p.m., in the PCA&D Atrium, 204 N Prince Street, Lancaster, PA , to culminate the day of celebration with food from the many traditions that represent Lancaster and music. All elements of the celebration will be “of Lancaster.”