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SoCal Schools & WIA Announce LA Women’s Animation Symposium

Breaking the Glass Frame

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SoCal Schools & WIA Announce LA Women’s Animation Symposium

The University of Southern California, University of California Los Angeles and California Institute of the Arts have partnered with Women In Animation to create Breaking the Glass Frame: Women and Animation, Past, Present, Future; a symposium designed to empower women and LGBTQ+ people by spotlighting female contributions to the field of animation and exploring solutions to sexual harassment, bias and lack of diversity that challenge working women within the industry and academia.

“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 Marge Dean, President of WIA.

The symposium is set to take place from October 5-7 at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

“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 Maureen Furniss, Director of the CalArts Experimental Animation Program.

Fellow organizer, Lisa Mann, Associate Professor of Practice of Cinematic Arts at USC, added: “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.’”

The program will feature keynote talks by Academy Award winning director Brenda Chapman (Brave, The Prince of Egypt) and Executive Vice President and Creative Director at Sesame Workshop, Brown Johnson.

“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.”

Panels with industry leaders and artists will include: “NextGen 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 Jinko Gotoh, WIA Vice President; 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’re at a pivotal point in our industry for women. The content and experience of this vital symposium provides a fresh threshold to re-frame a new and balanced future for women’s voices within animation,” said Johnson.

Rounding out the three-day program will be a series of networking mixers, presentations of academic papers, and screenings of short films including the new documentary The Women of Titmouse Animation: The Inbetweens of Education, Employment & Everyday Life, directed by Chrissy Guest (Beyond Ink & Paint).

Registration and more information as well as program updates available at

Breaking the Glass Frame

Breaking the Glass Frame

Brown Johnson

Brown Johnson

Brenda Chapman

Brenda Chapman


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