Starting Monday, more than 20 students of Los Angeles-based nonprofit training academy and digital arts studio Exceptional Minds will be paired with Cartoon Network Studios mentors in categories ranging from storyboarding to prop design. During the three-month-long mentorship, the second- and third-year students enrolled in Exceptional Minds’ full-time program will receive expert advice from industry professionals to prepare them for future careers in animation and the digital arts.
The inaugural pilot program is part of Cartoon Network Studios Academy, which offers a variety of internal and external opportunities for both promising and seasoned artists to help discover and develop their professional and personal growth. As the animation field is often difficult to break into, the Cartoon Network Studios and Exceptional Minds collaboration is designed to help aspiring animators and visual effects artists reach their career goals and hone their creative abilities.
Exceptional Minds (www.exceptional-minds.org) trains individuals on the autism spectrum in the technical and work readiness skills required for employment in the entertainment industry fields of animation, post production and visual effects. The school now annually serves an average of 250 full-time, part-time, and privately tutored students as well as graduate artists, providing technical and behavioral training to a population sorely underrepresented in both the labor market and society as a whole.
Robert Sorcher, Cartoon Network’s chief content officer also serves as a co-chair for Exceptional Minds’ Industry Council. Other collaborations have included professional development and internship opportunities which have led to employment at Cartoon Network.