A Michigan native who’s the reason that some of Pixar’s most-beloved work exists is sharing his expertise this week.
Dan Scanlon, a Clawson native who directed “Monsters University,” is giving back to the state where he first learned his craft, as the artist-in-residence for the 52nd annual Michigan Youth Arts Festival this Thursday through Saturday at Western Michigan University.
The event is the "culmination of a nine-month search for the finest artistic talent in Michigan high schools,” according to the festival’s website.
Scanlon has had a diverse career at the acclaimed animation studio, which is responsible for some of the most iconic animated films of the past decade.
Scanlon has worked as a storyboard artist on “Toy Story 3” and “Cars,” which he also provided voice work on, and was on the senior creative team for “Brave.”
Scanlon has also served as an animator for Disney films like “101 Dalmatians II” and “The Little Mermaid II” and DreamWorks’ “Joseph: King of Dreams.”
During this year’s festival, Scanlon will present and teach master classes.
“It’s important for students to know that they can build exciting and promising careers in the arts, and we’re overjoyed that Dan Scanlon will be there as proof of that inspiring message,” said Marianne Dorais, executive director, Michigan Youth Arts. “If students are encouraged to embrace their creativity, they are more likely to pursue work that fits their personal definition of success.”
Scanlon is an alum of Digital Arts, Film & Television, a nonprofit that serves as one of the festival’s 16 statewide art education organizations.
Michigan Youth Arts Festival
Out of the more than 250,000 students statewide who participate in the selection process, about 1,000 were invited to be part of the three-day event.
The students who make the cut will participate in 50 discipline-specific master classes, as well as workshops, live theatrical performances and visual art exhibits.
All festival performances and exhibits are open to the public for free.