WIA, USC, UCLA and CalArts collaborate on a three day Symposium for women in animation industry

Women in Animation (WIA) has partnered with USC, UCLA and CalArts to present a three day symposium-‘Breaking the Glass Frame: Women and Animation, Past, Present, Future’ from 5 to 7 October at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. (as reported by Variety and Deadline) “This is the first collaborative event between three of the world’s most prestigious animation programs: USC’s John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts, the UCLA School of Theater Film and Television’s Animation Workshop, and CalArts’ Character and Experimental Animation Programs. We hope this gathering of incredible women will inspire the next generation to break through the glass frame,” said associate professor of Practice of Cinematic Arts at USC, Lisa Mann. The symposium is designed to empower women and LGBTQ+ people focusing on the contributions of women in the animation industry and by seeking solutions to issues such as sexual harassment, bias and lack of diversity facing women in both the animation industry and in academia. “With all the media coverage of women’s issues right now, it’s easy to presume that change is on the way. It will take a total shift in the culture, after sustained effort, to see any lasting effects. This event brings focus to important issues and provides a sense of solidarity among women at all levels: executives, established artists, and students eager to join the animation world,” CalArts experimental animation program director Maureen Furniss commented. Oscar-winning director Brenda Chapman (Brave) and Sesame Workshop executive VP and creative director Brown Johnson will give keynote addresses. Johnson added, “I’m proud to stand with my colleagues and friends as we celebrate women’s trailblazing achievements in animation at this first-of-its-kind gathering. Reflecting the diversity of the world around us has been a priority throughout Sesame Workshop’s nearly 55-year history; today, we’re coming together across the industry to model the power of inclusivity for future generations.” The three-day event will include a series of panels- ‘Next Gen World View’, presented by WIA; ‘Breaking Through the Boys’ Club, Strategies for Positive Change in the Industry’, featuring producer Jane Hartwell (The Croods); ‘Advocating for Diversity + Inclusion in Animation: Race, Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation + Age’, moderated by WIA VP Jinko Gotoh and ‘An Invisible History – Trailblazing Women of Animation’, moderated by author and historian Mindy Johnson and featuring pioneering animators, Enid Denbo Wizig and Jane Shattuck-Takamoto-Baer. WIA president Marge Dean noted, “We are so pleased to partner with these amazing academic institutions in such a meaningful way. We believe strongly in the next generation of artists and filmmakers and are honoured to join in presenting this inspiring slate of speakers.” The program will also feature networking mixers, the presentation of academic papers and screenings of short films and the documentary The Women of Titmouse Animation: The Inbetweens of Education, Employment & Everyday Life