PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- With the six-month anniversary since the appointment of Chappaqua resident Edie Demas as Jacob Burns' new executive director, the Daily Voice spent time chatting with the lifelong movie buff about changes and upcoming events.
DV: Anything new going on that folks should know about?
ED: As we’ve just begun a comprehensive strategic planning process, it's hard to pick a single goal or change to share at this point, especially for an aspirational organization made up of aspirational individuals. I am incredibly excited about our new education website, which will allows us to engage with people of all ages in new ways via the film medium. In addition, it is accompanied by the launch of a teaching and learning platform that I believe is a game-changer not only for media arts education, but for the way we think about literacy and 21st century skills across pre-K–12 education generally.
I'm also looking forward to the opening of our two new theaters next March, soon to be followed by the re-opening of our gallery space, reimagined as a public gathering space. Both of these projects are responses to the incredible appetite for film-going and media education this organization has created the last 13 years.
DV: What was your previous job?
ED: My most recent full-time position was at the New Victory Theater, where I was the director of education for nearly 10 years. Most recently, while living in L.A., I was working as a consultant with the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills [opened Oct. 2013]. I believe very strongly in the dual mission of film and education, which is something we strive for her at the JBFC.
DV: Have you always been a movie buff?
ED: Yes. One of my earliest memories is of seeing a drive-in with my parents. It was a larger than life experience, exhilarating, a little scary, and it left me hungry for more. I genuinely believe in the value and power of watching a movie in a theater, surrounded by people. There are few replacements, especially these days, for these experiences that give us both a particular and universal experience simultaneously.
DV: If there was one thing you could tell the community about Jacob Burns, what would it be?
ED: We’re more than meets the eye; take a closer look and you’ll find a dynamic campus full of people of all ages watching and sharing stories, many of which you wouldn’t get to be a part of anywhere else.
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