Fondly known as Fresh Professor, James Miles, worked as an artist and educator in New York City for 20 years prior to moving to Seattle in 2016. Before joining the faculty of Seattle University as Assistant Professor, James served as the Chief Executive Officer of MENTOR Washington and the Executive Director of Arts Corps, prior to that. Originally from Chicago, Miles has worked internationally as an artist and educator, who was inspired to foment change after seeing so many children that looked like him, get disregarded and treated like criminals by our educational systems.
In New York City, he was the Director of Education at Urban Arts Partnership, where he created the Fresh Education program that used original hip hop music and theatre to boost academic success in middle school ELA and Social Studies classrooms. The arts infused and standards aligned Curriculum Guide that he designed has been used around the world, and has inspired many educators and adults to shift how they teach, work with, and speak to youth of all ages.
James has facilitated workshops and designed curriculum for the New Victory Theater, Roundabout Theatre, Disney Theatrical Group, Village Theatre, Arts Impact, Denver Center, Impact Schools, and others. Previously a professor at NYU, James taught a myriad of classes, ranging from Acting and Directing to EdTech and Special Education. A graduate of Morehouse College and Brandeis University, James has presented at SXSW EDU, NYU’s IMPACT Festival, New York Creative Tech Week, EdTechXEurope, Google Educator Bootcamp, UAEM North America, UAEM Europe, National Guild, ITAC, and provided professional development to teachers across the world. His work has been featured by Pie News, New Profit, Complex Magazine, National Guild, Seattle Times, KOMO, NPR, CBS, NBC, US Department of Education, and ASCD.
James is a consultant with Continua Consulting, and is the co-founder of LeadersDontLead.com, a leadership coaching agency, and is currently working on the 50th anniversary of Bumbershoot. James is a former accountant, model, and actor. James is on the Board of the Frye Art Museum, MoPOP, on the Advisory Board for SXSW EDU, and is a mayoral appointee to the Seattle Arts Commission.
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