Briana Yarhouse joins Interlochen Center for the Arts as inaugural Program Director of Animation
An award-winning animator, researcher, and educator, Yarhouse will lead Interlochen’s new multidisciplinary curriculum in animation, which brings together courses in film & new media, visual arts, creative writing, music production & engineering, and theatre design & production.
Interlochen Center for the Arts is pleased to announce the appointment of Briana Yarhouse as the institution’s inaugural Program Director of Animation. An award-winning animator, researcher, and educator, Yarhouse will lead Interlochen’s new multidisciplinary curriculum in animation, which includes courses in film & new media, visual arts, creative writing, music production & engineering, and theatre design & production. She will begin her new role on June 14.
“Animation at Interlochen represents an incredible new opportunity for our students to express their visual storytelling skills and collaborate with one another,” said Interlochen Director of Film & New Media Michael Mittelstaedt. “Briana is brimming with ideas to help our students interconnect arts areas in new ways, and we can’t wait to welcome her to campus.”
“Growing up in northern Michigan, I always thought of Interlochen as a magical place and a rare community of creative people making a difference,” Yarhouse said. “I am so excited to work with young animators from around the world and celebrate their unique talents and shared humanity, and to foster a safe place where creativity and vision can flourish as we bring their dreams to life through the magic of animation.”
Yarhouse’s work has been presented at festivals around the world, including her 2013 short film “The Box,” which was selected as part of the Best Animation at the Canlandiranlar Animators Festival in Istanbul, Turkey. She also helped animate the documentary Beyond Freedom, which was nominated in 2006 for “Best Short of the Year” at the Berlin Film Festival. She has juried animation for the Woods Hole Film Festival and the Xiamen International Animation Festival.
Yarhouse’s teaching experience includes 15 years as professor in the Digital Art and Design and Visual and Critical Studies programs at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Her essays and papers have been published in the magazine of the Association Internationale du Film d’Animation, the International Journal of Comic Art, and the Society for Animation Studies Journal, among others. She has spoken on animation and sequential art at conferences around the world, most recently in 2021 at Annecy Animation Festival.
Yarhouse also serves as the director of International Animation Day for the Association Internationale du Film d’Animation, coordinating showings around the globe. In 2020 she coordinated the creation of a collective animation by animators around the world called Spiritus Mundi: Animating the World. Her most recent work can be seen at yarhouse.com.
Film & New Media students in Interlochen Arts Academy and Interlochen Arts Camp animation programs learn to craft compelling visual narratives in both physical and digital media. Through hands-on projects and regular collaboration opportunities, students hone and explore the skills needed to thrive in animation and digital filmmaking. Distinguished practitioners from across the film and animation industries regularly visit campus as guest artists and work closely with students. Alumni include Hannah Checkley (IAA 05-06), a production executive with Warner Brothers Theatrical Animation; Will Eisenberg (IAC 06), writer and director of films including Into the Dark; Mike Gioulakis (IAA 01), cinematographer on such films as Jordan Peele’s Us; Anna Kotyza (IAC 12, IAA 13-15), an assistant producer at Dreamworks Animation; and Anna Thorup (IAC 09), script writer at Mainframe Entertainment.
Learn more about Film & New Media programs at Interlochen.