My name is David Kersey and I was recently appointed Executive Director of the New Design School (NDS). I’m working with founder & Chief of Operations Sonia Gutiérrez to scale NDS into a world-class digital art school. Currently, we are a 501c3, certificate-granting, post-secondary career school that focuses on preparing students for a career in graphic design. We’re working rigorously to develop new programming for many cutting-edge career opportunities in digital design. This is an exciting time in Northwest Arkansas as we aim to help in the mission to grow opportunities for youth and adults in education, art, and technology.
MEET, GREET & DISCOVER
On behalf of myself, Sonia Gutiérrez, and our board of directors, we would like to invite you to a casual event where I can introduce myself, show and discuss work from my exciting time in Hollywood, as well as give you the opportunity to meet the NDS team.
I’ve spent the past 15 years in Los Angeles working on major animated films at The Walt Disney Company and Sony Pictures. Some of my credits include Look Development artist on the Academy Award®-Winner Frozen, Tangled, and Wreck-It Ralph. I was also a hair and cloth technical director on The Polar Express and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as well as a simulation lead on Beowulf.
NDS would love to share our vision and discuss avenues to which the community can support our endeavor. We are asking you because we believe you have a passion for art, education, and technology. With your help the Northwest Arkansas Region can become a leader in this emerging, cutting-edge workforce. Your contribution is vital in building this dream of providing high-level specialized education in NWA. We are looking for a new home, a place that is historic yet modern in restoration, and that breathes creativity. It will house a state-of-the-art computer lab that gives students the possibility to sit at a workstation much like what I used in the industry at Disney and Sony. With drawings on the walls, videos playing from screens, and students discussing the stories and characters we will all one day know and love. In this space, that feels like the inside of movie studio, a space station, and an artist’s lair, creatives can thrive, collaborate and push the limits of digital design.
New Design School seeks a major expansion of its current curriculum to provide students with a wider range of options here in Arkansas when choosing a career in the digital arts. Career opportunities in art, design, and technology combined are growing at a substantial rate. Locally the market has grown 70% since 2001. Unfortunately, our most talented Arkansas students are leaving the state for better education options. We want to bring that education here and create a passion for these careers that go far beyond graphic design to specialized careers as a computer sculptors, digital texture artists, digital lighters, UI/UX designers, motion designers, virtual reality and so much more. All of these careers can generate incomes from $50 to $250k annually.
DREAM BIG, DREAM TOGETHER
During the first eight months we restructured the board of directors with seven new highly influential regional representatives. We have built relationships with local high schools and successfully negotiated a three year contract with the Arkansas Arts Academy. We are on-site daily, teaching students animation, graphic design, and storytelling. This has led to the excitement and interest of many secondary schools to the possibility of offering this cutting-edge education in conjunction with Bentonville School’s Ignite Program and EAST Initiatives. We’re building relationships with world class organizations, including Crystal Bridges, the Scott Family Amazeum, and Art Feeds. We have met with numerous agencies and local community organizations interested in supporting the growing need for this exciting workforce.
SEE YOU SOON
We thank you for your time and hope you will join us at one of the events in your area. If you know other people with a passion for art, education, and technology please invite them to come along. We would love to meet you, answer any questions you have and help you understand exactly what we are building.. Come hear my story of being born in Arkansas, finding a passion for digital art, holding an Academy Award, and walking the halls that Walt Disney built.
David Kersey & The New Design School Team