Emergency Communications

The Kansas City Art Institute is actively monitoring the evolving situation regarding the COVID-19 virus and is working with city officials to ensure we are following recommendations in order to maintain a safe and healthy community on campus. This page was established to provide our community with regular updates. If you have any questions, please email responseteam@kcai.edu.

KCAI has compiled a list of financial, professional and college resources that may help students through this difficult time. If you have something that should be added to this list, please email communications@kcai.edu.



The federal CARES ACT provided funding to colleges and universities for emergency student grants. The purpose of the money is to award emergency financial aid grants to students for specific expenses that are a direct result of the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus.


Policies and Procedures

Update 3/26/20

Nerman Family President Tony Jones CBE  outlined the college’s plans for partial reimbursements for the studio fees, housing, dining and parking.

  • Major Studio Fees will be refunded at 50%
  • Graduation fees will be refunded for those who have paid and waived for those who have not yet paid.
  • Housing fees will be prorated and refunds will be made from the time a student moved out.
  • Meal plans, both resident and commuter, will be prorated and refunded from the time a student moved out or when campus was closed.
  • Parking permits will be prorated and refunded.

Refunds and credits will be made directly to student accounts by Friday, April 3.

Read the full message here

Update 3/21/20

Nerman Family President Tony Jones CBE  issued a statement outlining accommodations following the recent “stay-at-home” order for Jackson County, Missouri, effective Tuesday, March 24.

KCAI Coronavirus President’s Update

Update: 3/18/20

A message from Nerman Family President Tony Jones CBE

Dear  KCAI  Students,  Parents,  Faculty,  and  Staff —

I write to you today from my self-quarantine following recent travel to the United Kingdom. I am taking all the precautions necessary to keep myself and others healthy and safe. I share this with you because COVID-19 is affecting all of us, which means that we are all in this together. In addition to the regulations of the Department of Education and our accreditors, we have a responsibility to follow and abide by the CDC and local government guidelines in the interest of keeping our campus community safe from the rapid spread of the coronavirus – as well as our larger communities of family members, neighbours, and friends.  This is our moral and legal obligation as citizens.

We are in close communication with our fellow professional schools of art and design, many of whom have followed KCAI’s lead to work remotely. All the colleges we contacted have closed their studios and workshops.  Our faculty are working diligently to deliver a high-quality online curriculum that will keep you earning credit hours towards your degree. As a “making college” the decision to close our facilities and move online was extremely difficult and brings additional challenges. We are sensitive to the ways that this will change your artistic practice in the short term. With studios closed, we are discussing partial refunds of studio fees, and we are exploring creative solutions such as open-access studios this summer for all students, should conditions improve.

We are actively discussing fair and creative solutions for students as they relate to KCAI’s financial obligations and operations. Similarly, we are discussing the Barbara Marshall Residence Hall and how to safely accommodate students who rely on this housing, while also working with those students who are able to move home. It will take us a little bit of time to come up with solutions in the way that is most fair and that honours our students’ diverse needs and circumstances. No simple single plan will work for every student, so rest assured this, as well as open constant communication, is our top priority.

While each of us strives to understand and accept this “new normal,” it is paramount that civility and kindness prevail. I have read your emails and social media posts, and I know that some of you are very frustrated – and so are we. No-one has been in a situation like this. We are in constant communication and working to assess needs, maintain necessary operations, and determine next steps while complying with ever-evolving guidelines and restrictions from multiple sources.  We will be communicating again soon with more specific information, but I ask you to understand this : the situation changes every day, so every plan is a work in progress.

Until then, be well and stay safe. I ask for your patience as we work through this pandemic –together.

Tony Jones CBE
The  Nerman Family  President

Update: 03/17/2020

We continue to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 and want to keep our campus community informed of our plans. Following the new CDC regulations and Kansas City, Missouri guidelines, KCAI is moving to online classes for the remainder of the semester. We have made this difficult decision in the interest of preserving the health and safety of our students and community.

Students who are home for spring break are encouraged to remain and not return to campus. KCAI studios, classrooms and all public-access buildings will remain closed. Department chairs will be contacting students with further instructions about how to retrieve personal property from campus studios.

While the Barbara Marshall Residence Hall (BMRH) remains open to residents, all students living in the BMRH must complete this housing update form no later than 5:00 pm on Monday, March 23rd to notify us of your plans and may be subject to quarantine based on recent travel. As noted in the form, students who have indicated they would like to pick up their belongings will be contacted by Security to arrange a specific date and time in order to stagger trips and adhere to local restrictions. Questions should be directed to the KCAI COVID-19 Response Team at responseteam@kcai.edu. Due to the swiftly changing nature of this pandemic, we cannot guarantee that the residence hall will remain open if circumstances change.

Wylie Dining will be available to residents only and will be operating on a limited basis. We will be contacting students who have purchased commuter meal plans with details.

At this time, we do not plan to cancel the BFA Exhibition, End of Semester Exhibition and Sale, ArtPop or Commencement. We are evaluating the situation and will make announcements about each event soon. We have cancelled all visiting artist presentations through the remainder of the semester.

This is an extraordinary and challenging time, and we sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to keep our community safe. Please use this unprecedented time to seek moments of joy and be kind to one another.


Remember to practice preventive steps used during flu season, including frequent hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and refraining from touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

To learn more about coronavirus (COVID-19) we have compiled this list of resources:






Understandably, there are a lot of questions. We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions here. If you have a question that is not answered in this document, please email responseteam@kcai.edu.