COVID-19 Information

*Revised AAC COVID-19 Health and Wellness Plan, April 3rd, 2020 - Update #8

This message is to update the Art Academy of Cincinnati family. This includes the extended families, friends, and loved ones of the AAC community. With the ongoing global health pandemic  of COVID-19, the Art Academy of Cincinnati has revised our COVID 19 Health and Wellness plan. Although there have been no documented cases of COVID-19 within our AAC campus community, these measures are in place out of care and concern for all members of our community and the safeguarding of public health,

The AAC leadership team continues to review the latest information from the U. S. Centers for Disease Control  (CDC),  World Health Organization (WHO), as well as our local and state health departments.


 Highlighted in below are the changes in the plan that will be enacted on April 3 , 2020.

*With Governor DeWine’s announcement on April 2, 2020, the original STAY AT HOME order issued on March 23, 2020 for the S tate of O hio will EXTEND TO MAY 1, 2020.


*Here is a link to the Governor’s order.  In brief:
The governor's order follows several other governors making similar orders in other states. Among the alternative models in various states, Ohio has followed the Illinois model, which from a higher education perspective is the best of the alternatives. The highlights are as follows:

  • All individuals in Ohio are to remain in their residences except for a number of exemptions listed in the order.
  • All "non-essential businesses" must cease operations, and all essential business must practice social distancing.
  • All public and private gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.
  • Most travel is prohibited, except with social distancing travel for health and safety, procuring supplies such as food, essential work, and outdoor activity (in essence, exercise).


AAC Classes and Instructional Meetings
The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our top priority. In the wake of developing news surrounding COVID-19 in Ohio, we are responding in the following ways. Remote Learning Classes are in progress through the end of the semester utilizing an online instruction model only. ALL classes are taught remotely. All students are required to abide by faculty guidance in accordance with remote instruction procedures for coursework provided by their individual faculty members.

  • In accordance with the Governor’s STAY AT HOME ORDER, students will not have badge access to AAC buildings and labs until at least May 1, 2020.
  • Labs and studios remain closed beginning Monday, March 23rd at 11:59 PM.  If you need access to retrieve necessary items following Monday, March 23rd at 11:59 PM, you must schedule a time and date with the Academic Dean, Paige Williams.  

Thesis Activities:

ALL THESIS RECEPTIONS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED.All Thesis students must now share their work remotely with their thesis advisor and committee.

  • All seniors have access to share their thesis work via the jotform and must work with their thesis advisor and committee to work together to complete the process.

Thesis coursework must be completed by the end of the semester but students wanting to hang a show will be allowed to do so at a later date that is determined to be safe.


As the coronavirus outbreak progresses, it has become increasingly clear that we must re-envision our Spring 2020 commencement in accordance with CDC guidelines on eliminating large gatherings to combat the coronavirus. We are postponing the Graduation Commencement’s in-person celebration and we will celebrate the tremendous achievement of our senior class online instead. D etails will be forthcoming regarding the virtual graduation ceremony. Our dedication to one another in celebration of this momentous day will be realized in a “virtual celebration” on May 9th, 2020.

At a later date, yet to be determined, we will invite all seniors, their family and guests to return to the AAC to celebrate their achievement in-person. 
Updates will be emailed to seniors regarding the graduation ceremony as soon as we know details and a date that is safe is secured.

Dormitory ­­­­

  • Dormitory locations will remain open to those students who cannot return home. It is strongly re quired that social distancing and enhanced preventative public health and hygiene measures are to be practiced.
  • All students are required to abide by faculty guidance in accordance with remote instruction procedures for coursework provided by their individual faculty members.

Residential room fee refunds

  • Students who choose to move out of student housing will receive prorated refunds based on their move-out date. 
  • All residential students must advise Director of Student Services, Kelsey Nihiser of their continuing dorm status.

Parking fee refunds

  • Residential students who choose to move out and wish to cancel their parking permit will receive a partial refund.

Commuter students who choose to cancel their parking permit should email anna  to initiate this cancellation. Those refunds will be based on the date they request parking cancellation.


  • Tuition and technology fees cannot be refunded. These costs support the delivery of instruction, and the technology that the faculty is using to support students in earning credits for spring semester . These costs also insure that students receive credit for the courses that they complete during a given semester.  

Remote Work

  • Faculty and non-essential staff are required to work from home:If you are a Faculty memberswhoneeds access to the building, you mustsubmit a request through the Academic Dean, Paige Williams. Given the continually evolving situation and developing news from the Ohio governor’s office, all faculty and non-essential staff are required to work from home untilMay 1st. All faculty questions should be addressed to individual supervisors.

Visitors on Campus

  • Visitors to the AAC building will NOT be permitted to enter without prior approval , until at least May 1, 2020.

Please continue to check daily for email updates as changes to our plan are shared. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please email the appropriate person listed below:

Academic Questions
Paige Williams, 
Keith Benjamin,
Mark Thomas,
Matt Hart,
Student Services
Kelsey Nihiser,
Human Resources/Student Employment
Linda Kollmann,
Rick Wolhoy,

All d ecisions are thoughtfully being made and feedback plays an important role in our decision-making. I will continue to update our plan as the situation evolves. I ask for everyone’s patience and understanding as we navigate through this difficult and fluid situation. Your health and safety, and the health and safety of your family, friends, and loved ones are, and will always be, of the utmost importance to us. 

Best Regards,

Joe Girandola
Art Academy of Cincinnati

Information on AAC S.A.F.E. Fund, March 23rd, 2020 - Update #7

Student Assistance Fund for Emergencies (S.A.F.E.)

Below is the process for applying for emergency funds. Thank you for your patience and I want to also thank the AAC Community for their support in this difficult time.

To Apply:

To Donate:

About the S.A.F.E Fund:
The AAC S.A.F.E Fund will help provide resources for our students and assist to items related to housing, food, concern for their personal and emotional well-being and other essentials, unexpected early departures from campus, storage or shipping of belongings, technology to support remote learning, and institutional support of these efforts to stay safe and to stay creative.

Application Process:
Students who need emergency financial assistance may apply to S.A.F.E fund. The Emergency Fund Committee, consisting of staff members from Academic Affairs, Student Services, Financial Aid, and the Business Office, will review the submitted application and determine the appropriate funding amount.

"Stay at Home" Order, March 22nd, 2020 - Update #5

The Governor of Ohio announced today that he has signed a “STAY AT HOME” order for all of Ohio effective tomorrow at 11:59 PM until at least April 6th, 2020. I have been in communication with our leadership team and we will have a revised COVID 19 Plan for the AAC available tomorrow at 10 AM.

I understand that anxiety and stress during this Global Health Crisis continues to rise and I want all of you to know that I understand and our leadership team is working through every part of the COVID 19 plan this evening. I also advise that if you have not returned from your home following Spring Break to remain at home until further notice. All coursework will continue through remote methods beginning tomorrow. Thank you for your patience and  support of one another and the AAC Family.

Joe Girandola


Art Academy of Cincinnati

Art Academy of Cincinnati Admissions COVID-19 Response, March 20th, 2020 - Update #4

To respond appropriately regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Art Academy of Cincinnati has moved to remote learning. This response is purely precautionary and made primarily to ensure the safety of faculty, staff, and students.

Many of our applicants and accepts are feeling the same effects with high school closures, family having to work from home, or maybe temporarily out of work.

With that, the Art Academy wants them support you the best way we can. Fall will be here before you know it and the burden of tracking down transcripts when schools are closed along with paying a tuition deposit could be overwhelming.

The Art Academy has made the following admissions decisions:

  1. Transcripts: The Art Academy will conditionally accept students who are unable to request their high school transcript at this time because of COVID-19. This means you will be able to plan your college future without having to stress about a current high school closure you may be experiencing.

    Extending the deadline will allow time for you and your school to gather your materials.

    How do I apply for conditional acceptance:
                a. Students must have an accepted portfolio
                b. Students must fill out this form to be considered for conditional acceptance:           

What does a conditional accept mean: Conditional acceptance will allow students who are waiting on their high school transcript to be accepted to the Art Academy of Cincinnati under the condition that their transcript will arrive no later than July 1.

This will allow students to not be stalled in the acceptance process, and move quickly through financial aid towards registration. If conditionally accepted, transcripts will need to be submitted by July 1 in order to register for classes.

For questions, please email

  1. Tuition deposit: To relieve some of the financial burden families may be experiencing because of COVID-19, the Art Academy has decreased its tuition deposit of $200 to $50 until July 1. The housing deposit has also been reduced from $250 to $100 until July 1.  

    If you are an accepted student, you can make a reduced tuition deposit by clicking here:

    You can make a reduced housing deposit by signing the Housing Agreement here: Housing Agreement Form
    For questions, please email
  2. Shadow Days: If you have already scheduled a Shadow Day, the Art Academy will still honor your scholarship should Shadow Days be canceled. You will be receiving an email in the coming days with more information. 

    As always, all other scholarships such as Entrance, Teacher, Scholastic, Governors, etc. will be honored. 

  3. Tours: For the safety of our team, the Art Academy will be postponing all in-person tours.

    Students will have the option to reschedule tours. Please know we are making every effort to reschedule tours as soon as we can. However, with the continual changes in CDC guidelines and the health of you and our team being paramount, we do not currently have a date in which tours will resume.  

    In the next week, we will provide links to the video tours of the building and housing. Please hang with us as we are currently creating those videos as I write this email. 

Should closures be extended, dates will be reassessed. We hope that these temporary changes to our admissions policy will help you in securing your health and academic future.


Amanda Parker-Wolery

Thursday, March 19th, 2020 - Update #3

To Donate:

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020 - Update #2

Thesis Capstone Experience Process 2020

It with great sadness and empathy that I am informing you of alterations we have made to our Thesis Capstone Experience process for 2020 due to the current health crisis and based on recommendations from the Federal Government, the State of Ohio and the Center for Disease Control that gatherings in excess of 10 people be canceled.

Effective immediately:

  1. All Thesis Gallery Talks and Exhibition/Event Receptions are cancelled.
  2. All seniors (with the exception of the students who currently have work up) are required to upload documentation of their work. Please see the attached Jotform for instructions. Any questions about this process should be directed to jimmy Baker.
  3. Students upload thesis work here:

  4. PHYSICAL INSTALLATION OF WORK IS OPTIONAL. All seniors will have the opportunity to install their work, in their originally allocated gallery spaces and during their originally scheduled time. Matt Coors will not be available for gallery assistance in person, but feel free to contact MAtt Coors via Teams. All students will be required to restore the gallery to its original condition by 2:00pm on Saturday, during their allotted week.

  6. If you choose to install your work in the gallery, Jimmy Baker will document the work and you will be provided access to this documentation. The AAC has hired a professional to create a Virtual 360-degree tour of your exhibition that will be available to you as well.
  7. Thesis Reviews are still required and beginning March 23, 2020, will be handled remotely. (Thesis Reviews for the current Synthesis exhibition will be facilitated by the Academic Dean and 1 faculty member who has already been determined. All other faculty thesis advisors and readers are to call in remotely.)
  8. Your thesis advisor is responsible for facilitating a group call during the time you have scheduled for your review. The Student, Advisor and 2 Readers will conduct a conference call to discuss the work. The 2 Readers will complete the online thesis form. The Advisor will tally the score and send the final version to the student, the Associate Dean, Mark Thomas and Denise Watson, Executive Assistant for Academic Affairs.

    Faculty use this online review form here:

    The thesis advisor should follow these instructions:

  9. All students are invited to submit a piece to be included in a “Best of Thesis” exhibition to take place later in the summer. The date and location will be determined by the official end of the spring semester. The thesis advisor is responsible for arranging for their student to leave behind a work for this exhibition. Please place the work in room S663 and have the student label the work with: Name, Title, Medium, Date, Price or Ins. Value and a current phone number where they can be reached. This show is not required for the completion of the Capstone Experience or the BFA degree, but we hope you will all want to participate in this celebration.
  10. The Comic Con Group (Choose your GenreCon) will be required to upload images as are all other students. The Comic Con will happen in the summer or fall of 2020. Any summer events will be optional and not part of the senior course grades.

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020 - Update #1

View the letter from Ohio Governor Mike Dewine

Mike Dewine PDF