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Learn About the History and Structure of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The 93rd Oscar ceremony is set to be held on Sunday, April 25, 2021. Many people around the world are eagerly waiting to see who will be receiving the coveted awards, given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Academy is the world's preeminent movie-related organization, comprised of over 10,000 accomplished individuals working in cinema. The mission of the Academy is to recognize and uphold excellence in the motion picture arts and sciences, inspire imagination, and connect the world through the medium of motion pictures.

The Academy collaborates with creative leaders to build cultural, educational and technological progress, and preserve motion picture history; recognizes outstanding achievements through its Oscar show, the world’s most prestigious entertainment event; encourages cooperation on technical research and improvement of methods and equipment; provides a common forum and meeting ground for various motion picture-related crafts; represents the viewpoint of actual creators of the motion picture; and fosters educational activities for the professional community and the public.

The Academy was organized in May 1927 as a nonprofit corporation. Its original 36 members included production executives and film luminaries of the time.

Since 1975, the Academy has been headquartered at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, in a seven-story building that includes the 1,010-seat state-of-the-art Samuel Goldwyn Theater. The Margaret Herrick Library is housed in the historic building that was originally the Beverly Hills Water Treatment Plant on South La Cienega Boulevard. The Academy Film Archive, the Academy’s Science and Technology Council, the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting program and the 286-seat Linwood Dunn Theater are located in the former Don Lee-Mutual Broadcasting studios building on Vine Street in Hollywood.

During the Academy’s 75th anniversary celebration in 2002, the La Cienega Boulevard building was officially named the Fairbanks Center for Motion Picture Study in honor of the Academy’s first president, and the Vine Street building was dedicated as the Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study in honor of Academy co-founder Mary Pickford.

Scheduled to open later this year, the Academy Museum is located next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in the historic Wilshire May Company building. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, the Academy Museum will contain more than 300,000 square feet of state-of-the-art galleries, exhibition spaces, theaters, educational areas, and special event spaces.

Membership in the Academy is by invitation of the Board of Governors and is limited to those who have distinguished themselves in the motion picture industry. The criteria for admittance include a body of work in motion pictures that reflects the high standards of the Academy, an achievement of unique distinction, or making an outstanding contribution to the motion picture arts or sciences.

Members representing the many professional areas within the motion picture industry are organized into 17 branches – Actors, Casting Directors, Cinematographers, Costume Designers, Directors, Documentary, Executives, Film Editors, Makeup Artists and Hairstylists, Marketing and Public Relations, Music, Producers, Production Design, Short Films and Feature Animation, Sound, Visual Effects and Writers.

Corporate management, control and general policies are administered by the Board of Governors, comprised of representatives from the 17 branches. Governors are elected to three-year terms and limited to a lifetime maximum of 12 years on the board. No more than two terms can be served consecutively after which a mandatory two-year break is required before a member is eligible to seek reelection.

Officers are elected from among the governors for one-year terms. The elected positions are president, first vice president, three vice presidents, treasurer and secretary. Officers may serve up to four consecutive one-year terms in the same office. David Rubin was re-elected president in July 2020.

The Board of Governors appoints a chief executive officer to supervise the administrative activities of the Academy. CEO Dawn Hudson and a staff of more than 400 currently conduct the Academy’s day-to-day business.

OSCAR®, OSCARS®, ACADEMY AWARDS®, ACADEMY AWARD®, A.M.P.A.S.® and “OSCAR NIGHT® are registered trademarks, and the OSCAR statuette is a registered trademark and copyrighted property of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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