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Virginia Commonwealth University acquires The Creative Circus

With Support from McKinney, VCU to Relaunch The Creative Circus

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Virginia Commonwealth University is delighted to announce that it has acquired The Creative Circus, the award-winning portfolio school, from Ancora Education. VCU will relaunch The Creative Circus as a hybrid program taught by marketing industry leaders and subject matter experts to prepare today’s creatives for tomorrow’s marketing communications challenges.

McKinney, the full service integrated ad agency, has provided a generous donation to support VCU’s development of The Creative Circus to create even more access to education for a new generation of creative marketers who will define culture, engage audiences, and drive impact for businesses and the world.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with the VCU team to relaunch The Creative Circus. Providing different access points for education is critical to ensure that we continue to create opportunities and mentorship for people who want to break into the advertising industry, regardless of their starting point,” says Joe Maglio, CEO of McKinney. “McKinney is proud to be a founding partner in this new iteration of The Creative Circus and is looking forward to seeing the amazing talent that emerges from the program.”

VCU, which already includes the internationally acclaimed Brandcenter Master’s Program, is planning to reopen The Creative Circus with a focus on the Copywriting, Art Direction, Design, and Content Creation disciplines. The program will offer a range of open enrollment classes. Soon after it will kick off its certificate program, and eventually plans to offer stackable credentials that could be applied toward an undergraduate degree.

VCU’s Dean of the School of Business, Dr. Naomi Boyd, announced the acquisition byhighlighting the importance of meeting today’s students where they are. “The closure of The Creative Circus was a significant loss to the advertising industry, leaving a void that needs to be filled. Alumni of The Creative Circus have made a lasting impact not only nationally, but also internationally. It is with great pride that we are able to support the reopening of The Creative Circus, ensuring the continuity of this esteemed institution. We aim to create a program that provides talented creatives with the opportunity to build their portfolio without the added expense of either an undergraduate or graduate degree.”

As it builds a portfolio school for today’s modern learners, it has outlined that all classes will be offered in a hybrid modality. In recognition of the importance of real world experience, all classes will be taught by professors of practice, an educational term to describe working professionals with subject matter expertise.

Vann Graves, the Executive Director of the Brandcenter, is confident that both The Creative Circus and the Brandcenter can not only coexist, but thrive. “Removing entry barriers and prioritizing inclusivity in education is a critical part of building a more diverse industry,” Graves says. “The Creative Circus is the perfect complement to the success of The Brandcenter, and all of us here at VCU couldn’t be more excited to bring about its reopening with support from McKinney and other partners.”