As a result of the merger, UICA will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kendall College.
Despite its new $8 million home in Grand Rapids, UICA said its membership and attendance levels haven't reached their potential. And with debts and monthly expenses outpacing its income, the contemporary arts center was on a path to closing this fall.
Ferris State President David Eisler said Friday the merger "will strengthen the contemporary arts in our region."
Ferris State will pay off UICA's outstanding debts of more than $4 million as part of the agreement.
The merger must be approved by the Big Rapids school's board of governors.