Spring Studio Access at the Corcoran

Flagg exterior
December 11, 2020

Here is an update on the spring semester to come at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. As we did in the fall, we pledge throughout the semester to continue to build our community through our classes, through virtual community meetings, artist and scholar talks, performances and events. It continues to be our goal to provide interactive learning experiences for all our students, regardless of the delivery method. Read below to learn about our limited options for studio space for thesis and capstone students.


Our William Wilson Corcoran Professor of Community Engagement, Paul Rucker, will be teaching again this spring, and hopefully, you’ll each find opportunities to interact and work with him. Take a look at his remarkable body of work. Professor Susan Sterner is serving as the Corcoran’s Deputy Director for Academic Affairs, 2020-21. Feel free to reach out to Kym Rice ([email protected]) or Susan Sterner ([email protected]) with your ideas for other virtual activities that we can consider for our spring schedule.


As everyone knows, with the current spread of the virus and the uncertainty about its trajectory in Washington, D.C., and in the areas surrounding the nation’s capital, GW will continue virtual instruction in the spring. The university is under the jurisdiction of the city, which mandates what our operations can and cannot do. Following guidance from the city and organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), GW has prioritized health and safety and will hold all spring undergraduate and graduate classes online. The Corcoran, too, is committed to doing everything necessary to protect our faculty, staff and students. You and your health are our top priority.


To get a sense of how we have prepared for remote learning in the Corcoran, be sure to check out the GW Today story on Michele Carlson. Your professors have adjusted their classes to include tutorials and projects that can be executed from wherever you are. Studio staff will hold virtual office hours to answer your questions and help you with your projects, and you can reach out to them here. Everyone in the Corcoran community is committed to a successful spring.


Because of the nature of our disciplines, GW has agreed to allow a very limited number of Corcoran students in studio-based or performance programs use of our physical spaces. Undergraduate students who are preparing thesis or capstone projects in studio-based programs (e.g. seniors majoring in Studio Arts, TRDA, Dance or Music who are preparing their required capstone or thesis projects, as well as MFA, and select MA, students) can receive access to an individual Corcoran workspace. Students who are participating in spring campus housing, but not part of the above mentioned cohort and following GW COVID protocols will be allowed to schedule appointments to use maker studios only. Other students even those who live locally will not be permitted access to Corcoran spaces. In order to meet health and safety standards during the pandemic, and reduce density in our buildings, studio access will be limited to specific assigned days of the week and is permitted only between 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. This spring, we do expect to offer Saturday hours on a by reservation only basis. Corcoran facilities will not be accessible on Sundays or in the evenings to accommodate cleaning practices. The Flagg building will not be open to the public at any time this semester.


Each student, faculty, and staff member who is granted this access must commit and adhere to required health and safety guidelines, which includes weekly testing and completing a required university training. Studio and rehearsal spaces are assigned. Everyone who uses Corcoran space must follow these conditions: you must wear a mask at all times, engage in frequent hand-washing (hand sanitizer stations will be set up throughout the buildings), wipe down your own studio spaces regularly and practice social distancing in all our spaces including studios or rehearsal settings. Anyone not meeting those requirements will not be permitted access. Due to the inauguration, we anticipate reopening the Corcoran facilities for student use on Thursday, January 21, 2021. However, remote studio appointments will be available beginning Tuesday, January 19, 2021.


Further details about this and your studio location will be made available at the beginning of the semester through your program (you can reach them here, under "Program Contacts.") Please know that, in this particular moment of a global pandemic, letting your friends or other students into the buildings or remaining after hours is not possible. Anyone who breaks the rules jeopardizes access for everyone else. You will be held accountable for failure to comply with the university’s policies and procedures and all university directives or public health guidelines through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. Outcomes will be specific to each case and may include warnings, censure, probation, public health education and the possibility of immediate and/or long-term removal from the university. For those who are receiving special permission to access campus, we are counting on you to work with us to justify the trust we are placing in you.


If you meet the above qualifications, please complete this spring on-campus questionnaire by Thursday, December 17, 2020 by 5 p.m. EST if you wish to apply to use the Corcoran facilities in the spring. Please also indicate whether you are living on campus or in the Washington, D.C. region. Regardless of whether you had access in the fall or not, we will need to renegotiate all student access for spring with GW, so please submit your interest on this form.


With the exception of studio staff, Corcoran program administrators continue to telework and can be contacted via email if you have any questions. Your faculty members are also available by email and will soon post virtual office hours.


For many of you who are not in one of the categories permitted to access the studios, we recognize that this continues to be very disappointing news. We hope that limited access will be in place for the spring semester only and we will be able to reinstate complete access to the Corcoran facilities as soon as possible.


Stay in touch, attend our student meetings, and contact Susan Sterner or Kym Rice with issues and/or ideas. We want to hear from you. Enjoy your holiday break and continue to stay well.