Cartoon Network Studios and NFL alumnus Trevor Pryce’s animation studio have teamed up on a content development deal designed to discover emerging creators and artists from underrepresented communities, Variety has learned exclusively.
Pryce’s Mid-Atlantic-region-focused Outlook Company will host the initiative out of its recently formed animated projects incubator Neru Projects. The program will launch with six local participants who will have creative executives at Cartoon Network Studios and Neru Projects to shepherd their ideas from concept to pitch through the development of a series bible.
Per Cartoon Network Studios, “At least one project will be selected to begin formal development at Cartoon Network Studios and Outlook Company but, through the program, all participants will learn how to collaborate with creative partners to develop and package their original animated series ideas.”
The inaugural group for the development program includes these six individuals, who “represent diversity in race, gender, and age and will use their unique perspectives to shine a light on their homes, communities, and personal experiences through animation”:
- Briana Bolden, young storyteller from Delaware, who believes that cartoons are important as a way to not let go of her imagination.
- Jared Allen, animator, artist, and recent graduate from The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).
- Rebecca Stern, a High Functioning Autism Spectrum artist who has always dreamed of telling stories on Cartoon Network.
- Chiêu Anh Urban, veteran children’s book author born in Saigon, Vietnam.
- Marina Khatin, young animator currently working at Outlook OVFX.
- Stephen Church, a 16-year-old high schooler based in Baltimore with a wild imagination and an upcoming rap album.
“Elevating original and diverse creative voices is one of our top priorities at Cartoon Network Studios,” Sam Register, president of Cartoon Network Studios and Warner Bros. Animation, said. “Outlook Company’s mission to working with artists from underrepresented communities make them a perfect partner and I look forward to the work ahead with Trevor and the amazing group of creators he has assembled.”
Pryce added: “This is a great way for Baltimore artists to have their work seen, considered, and given professional animated content feedback. It is an invaluable experience, as there are now six more professional, credited animation show creators in this part of the world.
Pictured above, L-R: Chiêu Anh Urban, Briana Bolden, Stephen Church, Rebecca Stern, Marina Khatin, Jared Allen