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Women in Animation has launched the WIA Global Fund to expand its programs and initiatives internationally and support its efforts to achieve 50/50 parity in creative leadership in the animation industry by 2025. The organization hopes to raise $1 million by the third quarter of 2020.

“WIA seeks to harness the energy and strength of a robust donor base to step up our progress worldwide,” said WIA president Marge Dean. “While we are grateful to our dedicated volunteerism that has gotten us this far, we know that greater financial support will allow more sustainable operations in order to achieve our goal of 50/50 by 2025 at the global level”

The group is off to a good start, with more than $500,000 in contributions to date from founding donors and major studios, led by various divisions of the Walt Disney Company, including Walt Disney Animation Studios, Blue Sky Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm, Disney Television Animation, Disney Channel and Disney Junior, among others. Together those Disney divisions have contributed $100,000.

Donors in the WIA Leadership Circle contributing at the $25,000 level are Darla Anderson & Kori Rae, Animal Logic, Autodesk, Netflix, Otter Media (a WarnerMedia company, home to Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth and VRV), Reel FX Animation Studios, Sony Pictures Animation/Sony Pictures Imageworks, Universal/Illumination/DreamWorks Animation and Warner Animation Group/Warner Bros. Animation.

A number of other donors, both studios and individuals, from across the entertainment industry have added to the fund. WIA Partners Circle donors supporting at the $10,000 level include Electronic Arts, producer Jinko Gotoh, producer Nicole Grindle, Lord Miller Productions, EA’s Molly Mason-Boule, Mythos Studios, Nickelodeon, Mark & Kim Osborne, Pearl Studio, Skydance Animation and Virtuos.

WIA Supporters Circle donors who given $5,000 include Bad Robot, Sony Pictures Animation’s Kristine Belson, Cinesite, DWA’s Gail Currey, GKIDS, Locksmith Animation, Nexus Studios, SideFX, SPA Studios and Stoopid Buddy Stoodios.

WIA Friends donors at the $2,500 level are producers Allison Abbate & Tony Cervone, producer Tamara Boutcher, Duncan Studio, VFX supervisor Warren Franklin, producer Pam Marsden, Paramount Animation, Rideback and producer Catherine Winder.

“We’re very grateful to all the individuals who have given over 40,000 hours of volunteer time and this surge of financial support we recently received from studios, companies and individuals,” said Gotoh, who is the vice president of WIA and the Global Fund’s chair.

The funding will go to support the expansion of WIA’s mentorship program, new chapter development and its World Summit series as well as the launch of a virtual member community, a talent database and more classroom and career support, among other initiatives.

A Global Advisory Committee made of up leaders from various WIA chapters, WIA Leadership Circle donors and animation studios will oversee expansion initiatives.

The founding donors will be acknowledged at the Women in Animation Summit on Monday, June 10, at the Annecy International Film Festival and Mifa 2019. The summit’s theme this year is “Belonging” and will expand on past summit topics of diversity and inclusion.