Iconic Ventura arts college Brooks Institute to abruptly close

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The Brooks Institute in Ventura, a photography-and-visual-arts school open for 70 years, is permanently closing its doors. (KABC)

After 70 years, the Brooks Institute in Ventura is permanently closing its doors.

The visual arts and photography school, which has produced Oscar and Pulitzer Prize winners, offered resources for aspiring film or photography professionals, such as a state-of-the-art soundstage and edit rooms.

While the institute is officially scheduled to close on Oct. 31, students said that the last class will be on Friday.

"It was a terrible feeling to just know that everything that we've worked for is gone," student Marie Eriel Hobro said.

There were previous plans to move part of the campus to downtown Ventura, behind City Hall. However, those plans were halted for undisclosed reasons.

Students were stunned to hear the news.

"There was absolutely no warning. They reassured us on Tuesday it was going to stay open, and we had classes normal on Friday and after that, there was just a regular meeting where they just told us that everything was stopping next week," student Cimi Augustson said.

At its peak, the Brooks Institute had more than 2,000 students, but now it has only around 300.

"Brooks as a platform collectively has allowed us as artists, especially in the new generation, millennial generation to really utilize the equipment, be fully invigorated with the technology," student Arianna Franklin said.

Three years at Brooks Institute cost just over $80,000, and students received a bachelor of fine arts degree.

The owners of the school did not respond to requests for comment on the closing.

There are plans to set up transition teams for students to find alternative places to continue their studies, according to a school administrator.

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educationartschoolcollegeOscarscollege studentsstudentsphotographyVenturaVentura County
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