Craig Kausen

15 Years


It's hard to believe it has been 15 years and, at the same time, only 15 years since my Grandfather, Chuck Jones, passed away on February, 22, 2002.On the one hand, I still have instantaneous thoughts of calling him to ask about this or that during my day to day activities. It feels like he is still actively involved in the world, at least in my world, because so many people continue to talk about him, continue to study his vast creations, and continue to use his guidance and principles to shape their creative careers.  And I personally continue to unearth answers from him to new questions that arise from his writings, scribbled notes, an obscure interview, or a story that someone relays to me about him in a happenstance conversation.

On the other hand, the world seems to have so dramatically changed since he died in 2002, certainly my world has, that it feels like an eternity since then.

I suppose that these instantaneously contradicting perspectives of time illustrate one of his most often quoted philosophies.  Although it is apparent that the mechanics of animation is an illusion created one moment at a time, he profoundly observed that "Animation isn't the illusion of Life; it is Life."  Perhaps this contradiction of illusion and not illusion points to a piece of why he and his films, philosophies, and teachings are so timeless.

I miss him but fortunately he is timelessly with me always.

A Special Message from the Chairman


Dear friends of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity,If it were possible for me to stand in front of each of you who contributed to the success of this year's Red Dot Auction, take your hands in mine and personally say thank you, I would do it.

Instead, I must rely on words to convey my sincerest gratitude and heartfelt appreciation to the artists who created such wonderful artwork, to the hundreds of supporters who attended either one or both of the evening events and bid on and won the beautiful artwork created by these incredibly talented artists, to the generous sponsors who helped by underwriting a portion of the costs of the event, to the Center's Board of Directors who help guide the growth of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, and to the Center's staff and volunteers who produced and organized the event.

Please know that I am deeply humbled by the outpouring of love shown to the Center by the people like you who made the two-night Red Dot Auction such a rousing success. Not only for your financial support, but also for your commitment to the vision of the Center, a world where creativity is known in every discipline, by the many, not just the few. With your help we are on the way to achieving that.

We see it in the faces of the children in schools without arts education who spend a workshop hour with our teaching artists, we hear it from the young adults who are on the autism spectrum and their families who join us for an evening of painting, we feel it when those with early onset dementia and other neurological issues discover the joy of their own creative genius.

This is the wealth that creativity spreads when people like you come together in common cause for the betterment of our world.

Thank you with all my heart,

Craig Kausen

Read Across America Day and Chuck Jones Center for Creativity


It was "Read Across America" Day in honor of the birthday of Dr. Seuss and our very own Craig Kausen, Chuck Jones's grandson, read "Horton Hears a Who!"--a book that Chuck Jones and Dr. Seuss turned into a Peabody Award-winning half-hour television special in 1970--to students from Vista Verde Elementary School in Irvine. After the reading, everyone got busy drawing a "long-nosed, over-weight, kind-hearted" character.

Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Center, Delivers Commencement Address at Art Institute of California--Orange County


Last fall, Craig Kausen, chairman of the Center and Chuck's grandson, was honored to be asked to deliver the commencement address at the Art Institute of California--Orange County to their graduating class in December. Working from the merest framework and extemporaneously, Craig touched on the following points that both encouraged the graduates and exemplified the life they could lead as they headed out into the world.

Key points were:

"What I learned with Chuck Jones as my grandfather." 

Keep on learning


Learn to survive and thrive

He relayed the story of when Chuck was producing and directing "The White Seal" he realized that seals and humans have remarkable similar skeletal structures. So Chuck, one afternoon, tied Craig's and his brother Todd's arms to their sides, along with tieing their legs together and tossed them in the pool so he could draw them as if they were seals. You can watch a recreation of that moment on YouTube by clicking here. 

"Sometimes you may be intimidated by those around you."  Craig offered that you can potentially reframe your perspective and overcome this internal adversity. 

"How to be successful." 

I learned a different view of success from Chuck. Although one of most acclaimed animation film directors in history, he saw success as part of the jouney. Chuck said, "I can receive an Academy Award and I say 'Thank you,' but then I put it back on the shelf and think, "what's next?"

"Life is a contact sport."

The journey is not always easy, but how you see it is the key to moving forward.

And if ever there is a choice in two paths that seem equally likely to get you to where you want to be . . . take the one that is more fun.

Craig closed out his address with two words to live by every day of their lives: "ENJOY IT!" Because if you do, no matter the outcome, you'll always, always, always be a success. Launch Party!


Last night, Hook & Loop, the creative arm of business software giant, Infor, along with the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, launched at the Museum of the Moving Image, a web portal that operates across all devices (smart phones, tablets, and computer monitors) and that will provide you with up-to-the-minute news on all things Chuck Jones. It will include exhibition information about "What's Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones" as well as other exhibition openings and events around the country and around the world. Hook & Loop's creative director, Marc Scibelli, along with his team of web designers and creatives, and through the generosity of Infor, created, built, and launched this new web portal. Besides information about Chuck Jones exhibitions and events, there are also many delightful features to the website that will keep you actively engaged, from coloring a character drawing to videos and a media gallery of drawings, watercolors, and oil paintings by Chuck Jones. 

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity wishes to express its thanks to Infor, Hook & Loop, and Marc Scibelli and his team of experts for this wonderful, generous, thoughtful, and creative gift. Now get online and go directly to to see what we're talking about!

Red Dot Auction Photographs Now Online!


What a fabulous night it was this past Friday, May 9th, as the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity hosted its Red Dot Auction! Over 350 people flowed into the Center's main gallery space where it was hung with 193 twelve inch square canvases donated by over 175 artists from all levels of experience, from the world-famous to the yet-to-be-discovered. Bidding was robust as the five sections closed throughout the three hours of the event. Tens of thousands of dollars were raised to help support the educational programs of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity. Special thanks goes out to our Artist Tribute Sponsors, many of whom could not make it that evening, but feel strongly about the success and future of the Center. To view a selection of photographs from the event, click here.

Exploring the Chuck Jones Side of the Brain, Part 2


Post Script: On November 24th after the lecture delivered by Marian Jones, Linda Jones Clough, and Craig Kausen (the family of Chuck Jones), the attendees gathered in the hall for an interactive workshop. The theme was "conveyances" and they had 30 minutes to construct. As you can see the results were spectacular. Why, you'd think adults were creative too!The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana presents "The Art of Healthy Aging" Lecture Series Fall 2013. You won't want to miss this season's final lecture, "Exploring the Chuck Jones Side of the Brain" in this engaging education series presented in collaboration with Hoag Neurosciences Institutes's Orange County Vital Brain Aging Program (OCVBAP). Interactive workshop included! 

When: Sunday, November 24, 2013 at 1:30 PM, ending at 3:30 PM in the Norma Kershaw Auditorium. 

Cost: individual lecture: Member $7/Non-member $10

Where: Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92706

With: Dr. William R. Shankle, The Judy and Richard Voltmer Chair, Memory & Cognitive Disorders Program, Hoag Neurosciences Institute; Director, Orange County Vital Aging Program

Presenters: Marian Jones, Craig Kausen, Linda Jones Clough

What: A glimpse into the genius mind of Chuck Jones, presented by the family. A hands-on workshop follows this presentation. 

For tickets and advance reservations contact the Bowers Museum Education Department at 714-567-3677 or You can also visit



Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) and Warner Bros. Entertainment Corporate Responsibility (WBE) partnered last week with Habitat for Humanity to launch “There’s No Place Like Home,” a campaign celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the classic film, The Wizard of Oz™. The year-long program kicked off on September 24th with a digital fundraising campaign and, throughout the year, will feature several themed initiatives and events supporting Habitat for Humanity’s work to create decent, safe and affordable housing in partnership with low-income families.“Warner Bros. Consumer Products has been fortunate to delight fans of The Wizard of Oz through the years with a multitude of products, and our ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ campaign is an extension of our appreciation for this classic film and those who love it,” said Brad Globe, president, Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “The initiative will not only drive excitement among the iconic film’s legions of fans, it will help generate important funds for Habitat for Humanity – a fitting partnership as we celebrate this milestone anniversary.” To donate, go here or click the photo above.

“Warner Bros. is committed to making positive contributions to the communities in which we work and live,” said Susan Fleishman, executive vice president, Worldwide Corporate Communications & Public Affairs, Warner Bros. Entertainment.  “As the studio has enjoyed a long partnership with Habitat for Humanity, this serves as an ideal opportunity for us to use the affinity for a classic title like The Wizard of Oz to create awareness and support for such a worthy cause.” 

“Every day, in locations all around the world, we see how having a decent home can change lives and transform communities,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “Adequate and affordable housing is foundational, and stable housing is inextricably linked to better health, education and livelihood opportunities. The simple statement is true:  There’s no place like home.”

In conjunction with the build for Habitat for Humanity, Warner Bros. sponsored the creation of a mural at the local neighborhood library that continued the theme, "There's No Place Like Home." Artist James C. Mulligan and the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity along with the Warner Bros. volunteers created a 24' long mural that will hang in the library for all to enjoy.

Remember you can help the "There's No Place Like Home" initiative by donating at

Actor Butch Patrick Visits the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity


Butch Patrick, perhaps best known for his role as Eddie Munster in the hit TV series (1964-66) "The Munsters" also starred in Chuck Jones's feature film, "The Phantom Tollbooth" as Milo, the young boy bored with everything, stopped by the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity yesterday to meet with Chuck's grandson, Craig Kausen and to pick-up his original Chuck Jones drawing that had been reframed for him. While there, Butch agreed to create a canvas for the Red Dot Auction, scheduled for May 11 at the Center. Photo by Stephen Russo

Craig Kausen--Principal for the Day at McPherson Magnet K-8


Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and Chuck's grandson, will be Principal for the Day at McPherson Magnet K-8 school Wednesday, March 13.   

The Orange Unified School District will celebrate Principal for a Day on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 throughout its campuses. The event partners a business leader or community member with a school principal and allows the participant an opportunity to observe a glimpse of a principal’s daily responsibilities. The purpose of the program is to foster relationships within the community and to share the outstanding work of OUSD teachers, students, and staff.

Chuck Redux believes the children at McPherson are in for a special treat! More about Craig's day as Prinicpal as it unfolds. Stay tooned!

Photo by Stephen Russo

Chuck Jones Retrospective Art Exhibit to Open at Cartoon Art Museum--San Francisco


Chuck Jones: Drawing on Imagination 100 Years of an Animated ArtistCartoon Art Museum Exhibition:  February 9 – May 5, 2013

San Francisco:  The Cartoon Art Museum has announced a centennial retrospective of the art of legendary animation director and creator Chuck Jones, on display from February 9 through May 5, 2013.  The exhibition, comprising 100 works of art from the late 1930s through the late 1990s, is entitled Chuck Jones: Drawing on Imagination—100 Years of an Animated Artist. Artwork for the exhibit is provided by the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity in Costa Mesa, CA.

Chuck Jones, a graduate of the Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts in Valencia), drew $1.00 portraits on Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles before he began his career in animation as a cel washer at Ubbe Iwerks Studio in 1932. He directed his first cartoon, “The Night Watchman,” for Leon Schlesinger Productions in 1938 and went to helm such classic Warner Brothers shorts as "What's Opera, Doc?" and "One Froggy Evening."  Winner of three animation Oscars and an honorary Lifetime Achievement Oscar for "the creation of classic cartoons and cartoon characters," Jones is today considered synonymous with the "Golden Age" of studio animation and has inspired many of today’s most significant film directors, artists, and animators.  

“I have been a fan of the Cartoon Art Museum for many years and to finally have such an extensive exhibition presented here is like a dream come true.  My grandfather loved San Francisco and its denizens. This exhibition, with many never-before-exhibited works, is a masterpiece to celebrate Chuck’s Centennial Celebration,” said Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and Chuck’s grandson.

“We’re thrilled with the opportunity to partner with the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity, and to bring our patrons 100 pieces of classic and rarely seen artwork from one of the greatest and most influential cartoonists in American history,” said Cartoon Art Museum curator Andrew Farago.  “Chuck received the Cartoon Art Museum’s Sparky Award for lifetime achievement in 1998, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to further celebrate his extraordinary career and talent.”   

About The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity is a non-profit 501(c)3 charity located in Costa Mesa, California. Founded in 1999 by four-time Academy Award recipient and legendary animation creator, Chuck Jones, the Center’s vision is to inspire the innate creative genius within each person that leads to a more joyous, passionate, and harmonious life and world.

The Center is dedicated to re-invigorating the creative spirit and they are doing it through art classes, exhibitions, lectures, and film festivals, all of which spring from the material in the Chuck Jones archive. Jones was a determined saver and his writings, art, and other ephemera from a nine-decade life along with his philosophy of guiding and nurturing instruction form the basis of their programs.

About the Cartoon Art Museum

Founded in 1984, the Cartoon Art Museum is the only museum in the western United States dedicated to cartoons and comics.  The museum was started by a group of cartoonists and collectors who wanted to share their appreciation of this unique art form with the rest of the world.  The museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation, study and exhibition of original cartoon art in all forms to benefit historians, cartoonists, journalists, artists, collectors and the general public.

"What's Up, Doc? The Animated Art of Chuck Jones" Exhibit Opens at LSU, Baton Rouge!


 Robin Miller, writing in Sunday's "The Advocate" (the daily newspaper in Baton Rouge, Louisiana), interviewed Craig Kausen, chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and Chuck Jones's grandson. She begins the interview: 

"You stand among Bugs and Daffy and Porky and Pepe.

"Ah, yes, The ever-romantic Pepe Le Pew, who has been a part of your life since, well, when? Since you can remember — really remember — laughing? Since you first watched the fuse blow up in Wile E. Coyote’s face while the Roadrunner zooms by?

"Or could it be the realization that though the characters and gags haven’t changed through the years, your understanding of them has? That’s when it hits you, when you realize Chuck Jones’ Looney Tunes characters are a part of your life. No, it runs deeper than that. They’re as much a part of you as they are Craig Kausen." To read the entire article, click here.

CJCC to Participate with Vision Link at OC Youth Expo

The Chuck Jones Center for Creativity will be participating in Vital Link/OC Youth Expo's STEM and DMA showcase this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, April 13-15 at the Orange County Fairgrounds.Vital Link’s mission is to be the link between business and education to prepare students for the successful transition to a meaningful career.

Vital Link‘s vision is to serve as a Business/Education facilitator and provide quality support services to career and technical educators, thereby providing current, relevant and meaningful information to all students to help them choose their career.  

Craig Kausen, chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity will be a guest speaker on Friday. The Center's resident teaching artist, Christopher Scardino will be leading workshops in drawing throughout the three day event. 

If you have teenagers in the throes of planning a future career and you live in Orange County, please take them to this event. The event is open to the public on Saturday and Sunday; Friday is reserved for school participation. To learn more click on Vital Link.

Remembering Chuck Jones


Chuck Jones passed away on February 22, 2002. It doesn't seem possible that a decade has passed since then, for his spirit truly does live on, not only in each of you, but also in the hearts and minds of his three grandchildren, Valerie, Craig, and Todd.

THOUGHTS ON THIS DAY...From Valerie: People love Chuck Jones. In the decade that has passed since Chuck’s death, I have found myself getting to know (and love) him even more deeply. I have the great honor of working with the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and witnessing innumerable people being inspired by Chuck’s work, his words, his philosophy, the memories of his kindness and humor.

I had the great pleasure of growing up with Chuck, being able to work with him closely for many years, to represent him in many situations over the years and be his only granddaughter.

It would seem that when someone leaves this world that the memory might fade, become less important over time, but Chuck’s influence is growing stronger. The importance of a heartfelt, humor-filled life is now more clear than ever. I am more inspired, connected and dedicated to a creative life and to the pursuit of my own soul’s contribution to this world and I know that this is because of Chuck and what is still alive in this world that he left for us.

People love Chuck Jones. It is a love affair that never seems to end. Chuck changed lives through his work, his encouragement or just by his deep love of living. He is still changing lives, ten years after his passing.


From Todd: Ten years seems like a long time in most situations, but for some reason, it does not feel very long when thinking back to when Chuck left us. When I was at the new Chuck Jones Experience in Las Vegas at the Circus Circus Hotel, I was filled with a feeling of missing him. It really is a great experience whether you knew him or not.

I'm so honored to be associated with him and his great legacy, albeit strictly through nepotism and certainly not through any kind of deserved place. However, as Chuck used to say, "Even if I don't deserve it, that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it!" So on this day, I shall reflect on him, his legacy, his impact on me personally and be very grateful for the tiniest piece of his humor, wit and genius that somehow trickled into my blood and allows me to occasionally find the humor in this wacky journey of life. Thanks for that, Chief!


From Craig: It is quite startling for me to think that it has been 10 years since my Grandfather, Chuck, passed away. Not only do I recall that day quite vividly, just as I’m sure everyone who has had someone important to them leave, I reflect that now a fifth of my life has been without him here to be able to visit with, ask questions, and laugh with at dinners. The realization doesn’t quite seem to fit in the scheme of time for me. Perhaps it is that time is much more relative these days for me, or just that my memories of him within our lives are so ingrained. But in any case, I would describe my life as being almost completely with him and just a brief moment since without him. I’m sure that being around his persona, his name, and the memories of him recounted by so many on a regular basis bridges the gap of him not physically being here, but my own memories are as constant and as clear as they ever were.

On this day, 10 years later, still my fondest memories are the personal ones; the ones where he created a special moment when I was young(er) like jumping in the pool fully clothed when I learned to swim, or teaching me how to ride my bike, or telling me how special it was when my son was born. No matter what the memory is for me, each of them, when it includes Chuck, makes me smile.

Making Sure We Do Not Forget the Gift...

Something that Craig Kausen, Chairman of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and Chuck Jones's grandson, said at last Saturday's gala fundraiser and grand-opening party for the Center's new space is still resonating with this author.He spoke to the mission and vision of the Center as a place where creativity is (and will be) allowed to flourish, regardless of the discipline from which it might sprout, as a place where creativity is nourished and guided, helped along, questioned, and inspired.  

And then he quoted Albert Einstein, "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.  We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."  Craig made the point that the Center was there to remember and tend the gift of the intuitive mind (creativity) and how significant a role that can play in today's world.  

In order to continue to make fine Acmes, in order to nurture and encourage people of all ages to follow their intuitive minds, the Center needs your help.  Won't you join us and get creative?  Why not invent your future by contributing just $20.00 a month for 12 months to the programs of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity?  Please make your donation today.  Our world will be all the better for it.  

Chuck Jones Center for Creativity is inspiring people to see, act and think creatively. Through programs, virtual communities, outreach and large interactive educational fun events, Chuck Jones Center for Creativity is changing the world for the better. 

And you can be a big part of that change. 

Sign up for $20 for 12 months and

Be entered to win one of 5 raffles in the coming year (all valued at more than $1500.)

Your donation today will automatically enter your name into the 5 raffles to be pulled throughout 2012; featuring fabulous gifts, events and experiences to be announced in the coming months. Get connected to the Jones family and to the growing number of people that know...creativity is saving the world!

Invite your friends to become a part of this great and growing community of creative and generous people inventing the future.