October 19, 2020

(Chicago, IL, October 19, 2020) - This morning, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles is announcing that Jacqueline Najuma Stewart will be taking a leave of absence from the University of Chicago for the calendar year 2021 to serve as their inaugural Chief Artistic and Programming Officer. We are pleased that the Academy Museum recognizes the extraordinary scholarship and vision that Jacqueline will bring to this role and that the museum will benefit from the curatorial imagination, scholarly acumen, and commitment to community that have contributed to the success of Arts + Public Life.

As Jacqueline begins her leave on January 1, 2021, we are delighted to announce that Adrienne Brown has agreed to serve as Interim Director of Arts + Public Life.

Adrienne Brown is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and the College and specializes in American and African American cultural production in the twentieth century, with an emphasis on the history of perception as shaped by the built environment. Her teaching and research interests include critical race studies, architecture and urban studies, the Harlem and Chicago Renaissances, popular culture, and sound studies. With Valerie Smith, Adrienne co-edited the volume Race and Real Estate, an interdisciplinary collection rethinking narratives of property and citizenship. Her book, The Black Skyscraper: Architecture and the Perception of Race recovers the skyscraper’s drastic effects not only on the shape of the city but the racial sensorium of its residents. She is currently working on a new book that charts how the impact of the U.S.’s move to mass homeownership in the 20th century impacted Americans’ experience of residential space as a social, spatial, and, most significantly, a racial unit.

Please join us in thanking Adrienne for her willingness to assume this important role, in which she will collaborate closely with APL’s Deputy Director, Alfredo Nieves-Moreno, and the rest of the APL staff, artists, and community partners. We also want to express our thanks to Jacqueline for all she has accomplished in her tenure as Director of APL and wish her well as she takes time away from her roles at the University to help launch this important new museum.