Founded in 1991, with 1,000+ members and four International Divisions, the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) operates at the core of the industry that creates and operates theme parks and other visitor attractions, including water parks, museums, destination resorts, casinos, corporate visitor centers, heritage centers, science centers, event spectaculars and more. TEA’s NextGen Initiative not only provides students insight into the industry, but it’s also a great way for TEA members to recruit from a very capable and fresh talent pool for internships and full-time careers. TEA also works with academic institutions, such as Ringling College of Art & Design, to foster the creation of themed entertainment curricula.
The attractions industry is expanding rapidly, with the most dramatic growth taking place in Asia and the Middle East. TEA NextGen members are in a position to find and pursue opportunities around the world in such fields as architecture, design, engineering, operations, fabrication, costuming, master planning, media production, animation, show control, lighting, special effects, ride design and manufacturing, show writing, AV integration and more.
TEA’s NextGen Initiative at Ringling College (TEA@RCAD) focuses specifically on the components of story, architecture, and technology that make up an experience. Our own Principal & Chief Creative Officer Louis Alfieri graduated from Ringling College in 1993 with a degree in Fine ARts.
Louis has played a supporting advisor role to Jamie De Ruyter, Program Director and Faculty member, and Cynthia Flanagan, Associate Director of Career Services RCAD, on the development of the college’s Entertainment Design program.
After a 30+ year career in the experiential entertainment industry, including the founding of Raven Sun Creative, Louis returned to the College to impart words of wisdom. The conversation included insights on how students’ careers may change and evolve, where they could work besides Disney and Universal, and how to get started with a successful career in the arts.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to give back to the students and school that has given me so much,” said Louis. “My education and experiences at Ringling are heard in my mind and heart every day and have been shared around the world with our team and clients.
“I am very excited to have been asked to contribute insight into the exciting creative goals and career-minded program direction. Thank you to the TEA for their support of the RCAD club and our allowing us to contribute to their ongoing mission on behalf of the experiential entertainment industry.”
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