One of the big social highlights of this past month was the festive, well-attended Annual Member Party thrown by the good folks at the Los Angeles-based Animation Guild. The event, which took place on January 26, drew about 1,200 Guild members and their friends to the historic and colorful Clifton’s restaurant in downtown LA.
“We throw this party every year to celebrate and connect with our membership,” says Brooke Keesling, the Guild’s popular director of community and culture. “We love the kitschy atmosphere at Clifton’s, and the fact that we were able to project classic cartoons — provided by Jerry Beck, thank you! — all over their walls. Plus everyone loves that tiki bar! On a personal note, as an LA native and one who cares deeply for our city’s unique architecture and history, I’m very happy that Clifton’s is still alive and well!”
The Animation Guild Local 839 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) has been working hard over the past few years to increase member participation and engagement as the strength of labor unions relies on active, educated members. “As you know, the animation industry is busier than ever, so our numbers have increased dramatically over the past few years,” says Keeling. “We are presently at roughly 4,700 active members and growing.”
The Guild, which was original established in 1952 negotiates wage minimums and working conditions, provide pension and health benefits (specifically through the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan) and acts as an advocate for its members over disputes between employees and employers.
The Animation Guild is located at 1105 N. Hollywood Way in Burbank, California. For more info, visit www.animationguild.org.
Photos Courtesy of David Yeh