The Academy of Art University opened their doors in 1929 for students studying advertising art. Richard S. Stephens founded and ran the school until his son Richard Stephens took over in 1951. In 1992 his daughter Elisa Stephens began leading the school. By 2012 she had increased the students from 2,000 to 18,000. Starting in 2005 the Academy of Art University became a participant in the NY Fashion Week. They are transported across San Francisco to their classrooms and dorms by a private fleet of buses.
The 2018 Oscars were magical and included the creators and cast of Coco. Numerous awards were won by this film including Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. The competition included Ferdinand, The Boss Baby, Loving Vincent and The Breadwinner. Coco was an exceptional movie and partially created by a graduate of the Academy of Art University. The film is about a boy of twelve living in Mexico. He idolizes the legend of the town and is passionate about music. His great great grandmother has banned music from his home. He plays his guitar in secret until he is caught and his guitar destroyed. When he plays a borrowed guitar he is transported to the Land of the Dead.
One of the creators of Coco attended the San Francisco based Academy of Art University. The school is privately owned and operates on a for profit basis. The school was originally named the Academy of Advertising Art by the founder. More than 12,600 students attend the school, there are 1154 part time teachers and 283 teachers on a full time basis. The school is one of San Francisco’s biggest property owners with the school located in the Market district.
When Daniel Arriaga was asked about his work on Coco and being back at the school that taught him his craft he was happy to share his story of success. He told the other students they needed to build a strong portfolio and be open minded to be employed in the sector of animation. He also said what he most cherished about Coco was the heart warming story.