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The College Art Association (CAA), as the preeminent international leadership organization in the visual arts, promotes the arts and its understanding through advocacy, intellectual engagement, and a commitment to the diversity of practices and practitioners. Based in New York City, CAA is a learned society and a professional association that supports those who study, teach, write about, advocate for, and/or create art and design. CAA honors diversity and acknowledges the extraordinary range of backgrounds, cultures, perspectives, work styles, education, rank, skills, and experiences that make the advancement of art and design integral to culture.   

Of paramount importance to CAA is the promotion of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access within the fields of art, art history, and design. As CAA strengthens and builds its programs, committees, staff, and board it aspires to foster an inclusive culture welcoming of visible and invisible differences, including but not limited to age; ethnicity; gender; gender identity; language differences; nationality; parental status; physical, mental, and developmental abilities; race; religion; sexual orientation; skin color; socioeconomic status; and human styles. CAA defines inclusion as a collaborative work-in-progress. It encourages all CAA constituents to embrace and adopt the ongoing practice of inclusion while advancing art, design, and their histories.  

CAA advances the highest standards of instruction, knowledge, and practice in the visual arts to stimulate intellectual curiosity and advance skills that enrich the individual and society. To realize this vision CAA:  

  • Represents, promotes, and advocates for the visual arts nationally and internationally;  
  • Creates new opportunities for dialogue among members;  
  • Explores new forms of communication using innovative and improved technology;  
  • Addresses career development and workforce issues to assist professional growth; and  
  • Strengthens organizational leadership, membership, and financial support.  

CAA’s Annual Conference is among the largest international gatherings of post-secondary visual arts and design professionals in the country, celebrating, advancing, and sharing research and creative work. In 2021, the first ever all-digital conference included over 365 sessions, a book and trade fair, and a range of content that spanned from traditional fields of study to contemporary issues. CAA also publishes four scholarly journals in art and art history— The Art Bulletin, Art Journal, Art Journal Open, and—as well as a weekly email newsletter. In addition, CAA provides grants to subsidize the publication of scholarly manuscripts in art, art history, and visual studies.  

Over the past three years CAA has worked to build a stronger community and lay the framework for long-term sustainability. A six-year strategic plan was launched in 2020 aligned with five fundamentals to create a long-term sustainable business model for the association. It includes a multifaceted development function and an emphasis on utilizing digital-first technologies to provide value to an expanded membership by championing access, inclusivity, and diversity.