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Women in Animation, USC, UCLA and CalArts Partner on Parity-Diversity Symposium

Women in Animation has joined forces with USC, UCLA and CalArts to present the symposium “Breaking the Glass Frame: Women and Animation, Past, Present, Future” Oct. 5-7 at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.

“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 USC’s Lisa Mann, associate professor of practice of Cinematic Arts and an event organizer.

The symposium is designed to empower women and LGBTQ+ people by shining a light on the contributions women have made in the animation industry and by seeking solutions to such issues 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,” said CalArts Experimental Animation Program director Maureen Furniss.

Oscar-winning director Brenda Chapman (“Brave”) and Brown Johnson, executive VP and creative director for Sesame Workshop, will give keynote addresses.

“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,” said Johnson. “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, including “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.

“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 honored to join in presenting this inspiring slate of speakers,” said WIA president Marge Dean.

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.”

Early bird registration is open now through Aug. 31 with standard registration beginning Sept. 1.

For fees, a schedule of events, updates on the speakers and sponsors or more information, visit the symposium’s website at breakingtheglassframe.com.

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