Academy of Art University: A Storied History of Historic Stories

The Academy of Art University proudly counts Daniel Arriaga, Director of the wildly successful Disney/Pixar film Coco, among their Oscar Winning Alumni. Coco, An animated film that draws heavily from traditional Mexican culture,is centered around the story of a young boy named Miguel who must work to live up to his family’s expectations, while he embarks on a supernatural journey to become a musician, and discover the truth about his family history. The film has won over Audiences and Critics alike in 2018, winning Ariaga the Academy Award for best Animated Feature. Since winning the Award, Ariaga has made his way back to the Academy of Art University in the hopes of assisting the next generation of filmmakers at his Alma Mater.

Founded in 1929, the University was created as a school for advertising art, lead by Painter and Magazine Editor Richard S. Stephens. In 1951, he passed his role on to his son, Richard A. Stephens, who lead the school until 1991, when his daughter Elisa Stephens took over as President. Attendance to the school rose from 2000 to about 18,000 students as of 2012 under her Presidency.

The Academy of Art University is where many young Artists and Creatives invest in their careers, and the school itself boasts a roster of recognized staff and alumni who have found success in their respective fields. The school itself is one of the largest property owners in San Francisco California, offering associates, bachelors, and Masters degree programs. Because of their commitment to the arts, the entertainment Industry can count the University as a hub of upcoming creative talent.

In addition to Arriaga, Creatives of note associated with the school include former staff Adam Savage, Creator of Mythbusters, alumnus Raven Simone, actress and star of the sitcom That’s So Raven, and Art Spiegelman, former staff and writer of the graphic novel Maus.

The Academy of Art University has a storied history devoted to the creative realm, and with the help of alumni like Ariaga, will continue to assist young creatives to achieve their artistic goals.

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