The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has announced that scholar, programmer, and educator Jacqueline Stewart has been named Chief Artistic and Programming Officer.
Stewart will lead strategy and planning for the Academy Museum’s curatorial, educational, and public programming initiatives, including exhibitions, screenings, symposia, publications, workshops, and K-12 programs. Stewart will join the museum in January 2021—it is scheduled to open April 30 next year—and will report to the Director and President of the Academy Museum, Bill Kramer.
“Jacqueline Stewart is a powerful leader in the film world. Her inspiring history of scholarship, teaching, programming, building community partnerships, and archival work combined with her dedication to inclusivity and accessibility make her an ideal leader for the museum,” Kramer said. “With her remarkable ability to engage the public and her commitment to showcasing the diverse and fascinating history of the movies, she will be a vital part of our mission to advance the understanding, celebration, and preservation of cinema.”
Stewart joins the Academy Museum from the University of Chicago Department of Cinema and Media Studies, where she teaches American film history, specializing in African-American cinema from the silent era to the present. Stewart is also the director of the university’s Arts + Public Life initiative, which provides platforms for artists and access to arts programming through artist residencies, arts education, creative entrepreneurship, and artist-led programs and exhibitions. She currently serves on the curatorial advisory committee for the Academy Museum’s upcoming exhibition Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971, which explores the visual culture of Black cinema from its early days to just after the civil rights movement.
An award-winning writer, Stewart is the author of “Migrating to the Movies: Cinema and Black Urban Modernity,” a study of African-Americans and silent cinema, and was the co-editor of L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema, which is a landmark study of the first generation of film-school-trained Black filmmakers out of UCLA, including Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, and Haile Gerima.
“As a scholar who researches, teaches, presents, and archives films, I see how cinema shapes our understandings of history and culture, of other people and ourselves, in profound and enduring ways,” Stewart said. “In my work to create welcoming spaces for people to experience films, I have seen that movies have a unique ability to galvanize dialogue and cultivate empathy.
“I am excited to join the Academy Museum team at this critical moment for the institution, and for our world, to engage visitors and partners in accessible, multifaceted conversations about the history of filmmaking and the impact that cinema has on our lives.”