Jack Lew is the Interim Chair of the Art Department and Director of Collaborations at the Center for Emerging Media at the University of Central Florida. Having worked in the entertainment industry for over 10 years combined with an academic career that spans 24 years, Jack has a unique perspective to share on arts education. He has worked for two of the world’s leading entertainment companies, Disney Animation and Electronic Arts (EA). At EA, the world leader in developing and publishing video games, he was responsible for developing relationships with art schools and strategies for identifying top global art talent. In his work with colleges throughout the US and Canada, he has delivered presentations along with developing collaborative educational programs.
Before joining EA, Jack was Sr. Manager of Artist and Professional Development at Disney Feature Animation Florida, and in that role, he was responsible for all training initiatives, continuing education and enrichment programs as well as evaluating all new art applicants.
Prior to entering the Entertainment Industry, Jack was a Professor of Art and Department Head at the Kansas City Art Institute. He remains active in promoting the education of young artists. He serves on several college advisory boards including Sheridan College in Toronto, Ringling College of Art and Design, Laguna College of Art and Design, Savannah College of Art and Design, and he has evaluated and assisted curriculum development at numerous other colleges in the US, Canada and Australia.
In the past two years in his Arts Education Advocacy work, Jack has spoken at a number of distinguished educational forums including keynote speeches for: The National Endowment for the Arts Education Leaders Institute, March, 2008, July, 2008 and March, 2009; The 2009 Alaska Arts and Culture Conference; The 2009 North Carolina State of the Arts Conference; Presentation to North Carolina State Legislature on the Creative Economy; New England Arts Alliance Annual Conference, 2009; The 2007 National Art Education Conference, NYC; The 2007 Ohio Art Teachers Convention. He was a breakout speaker at The Arts Education Partners National Conference in South Carolina, and at the National Learning Conference, Orlando. Recently, he was a symposium speaker at the Cornerstones Symposium 2008: Entrepreneurial Pittsburgh held at Carnegie Mellon University. He has also been a speaker and national juror for the National Scholastic Art Awards and recently a juror for the Puchon, Korea International Student Animation Festival. Jack is currently working with state officials and arts advocacy leaders from several states in developing projects that promote technology and innovation in arts learning.
Jack received his MFA degree from Syracuse University and BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art. He was recently awarded Honorary Doctorate Degrees from the Memphis College of Art and the Laguna College of Art and Design. In May, 2008, he was honored by the Academy of Art University in San Francisco for his commitment to art education.