Arts Corps is excited to welcome James Miles as our next executive director. James brings extensive experience in arts education, most recently as the Director of Education at Urban Arts Partnership in New York City. James has led workshops for multiple celebrated theater programs and taught theater and education as an adjunct professor at NYU. He serves on the board of directors for the Association of Teaching Artists and the Teaching Artist Journal. A graduate of Morehouse College and Brandeis University, James has presented on arts, technology and education and provided teacher professional development around the world.
“When I first read about Arts Corps, I knew I had to find a way to work here. It is such a dynamic organization, rooted in artistic exploration and dedicated to social justice,” says James. “I am thrilled and overwhelmingly grateful to be asked to join Arts Corps as Executive Director. I look forward to collaborating with staff, youth, board, and Arts Corps supporters, so that we can build on the already impressive accomplishments of this wonderful organization.”
James was selected after a rigorous search that drew more than 60 highly qualified applicants through an inclusive process that involved Arts Corps board members, staff, teaching artists, and youth. “We set out to find someone who would both respect the incredible work that Arts Corps is already doing AND bring new passion for our next chapter,” says Sara Lawson, Arts Corps’ board president. “We were looking for a leader with a lived commitment to racial and social justice, a passion for youth empowerment, and the resourcefulness to work for change within. And we really wanted someone who would embrace—and grow with—our passionate community of risk-takers, artists, teachers, and young leaders. James is an extraordinary match for what we envisioned. He brings tremendous experience along with deep curiosity, humility, and a strong collaborative spirit. We’re excited about what’s next, and we’re approaching this transition with a renewed appreciation for the strength of the Arts Corps community and the power of this work.”
James will join the Arts Corps team starting Monday, January 30th. Outgoing executive director Elizabeth Whitford will be on hand though mid-March to ensure a smooth transition. “I’m so happy to be handing the reigns to James Miles, someone I admire tremendously,” adds Elizabeth. “James’ deep understanding of arts education best practice, his racial and social justice leadership, and his national connections will serve Arts Corps well. And he’s a really funny, kind, and dynamic person to boot!”
Please join us in welcoming James to the Arts Corps team, and plan to join us at La Festa del Arte on March 17th at Fremont Studios to meet James in person!