Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invites Kenny Ortega to join membership

June 27, 2024

Kenny Ortega | Photo by Disney Channel/Ed Herrera

USC Kaufman Board of Councilors member Kenny Ortega is among 487 distinguished artists and executives invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2024. The Academy, which hosts the annual Academy Awards, made the announcement on June 25. 

“We are thrilled to welcome this year’s class of new members to the Academy,” Academy CEO Bill Kramer and Academy President Janet Yang said in a statement. “These remarkably talented artists and professionals from around the world have made a significant impact on our filmmaking community.”

Ortega’s career spans four decades as an award-winning choreographer, director, and producer, notably for iconic films such as Dirty Dancing, Hocus Pocus, and the High School Musical franchise. He served as Michael Jackson’s creative partner, director/choreographer for more than two decades and has worked closely with some of the entertainment industry’s top artists, including Oscar winners Barbara Streisand, Cher, Robert Duvall, and Christian Bale, in addition to internationally known artists like Bette Midler, Hugh Jackman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patrick Swayze, Mick Jagger, and Jennifer Grey. He joined USC Kaufman’s Board of Councilors in 2023. 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global organization with a mission to advance the art of filmmaking. Membership is based on professional qualifications and limited to film artists working in the production of theatrically-released motion pictures. The Academy has 18 branches for crafts ranging from actors to writers to producers. Among other privileges, active members of the Academy are invited to vote in all categories for The Oscars.