Women in Animation (WIA) is joining forces with USC, UCLA, and CalArts to empower women and LGBTQ folks entering the animation field. A press release has announced an upcoming symposium celebrating and showcasing women’s contributions to animation, “Breaking the Glass Frame: Women and Animation, Past, Present, Future.” The three-day event will also discuss possible solutions to the problems women and other marginalized people in the industry and academia face, such as sexual harassment, bias, and lack of diversity.
Scheduled for October 5-7 at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles, “Breaking the Glass Frame” will feature keynote talks from “Brave” co-director Brenda Chapman and Sesame Workshop Executive VP and Creative Director 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,” Johnson stated. “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.”
Among the symposium’s panels are “Breaking Through the Boys’ Club, Strategies for Positive Change in the Industry” with producer Jane Hartwell (“The Croods”); “Advocating for Diversity + Inclusion in Animation: Race, Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation + Age,” moderated by WIA vice prez Jinko Gotoh; and “An Invisible History – Trailblazing Women of Animation,” moderated by author and historian Mindy Johnson (“Ink and Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation”).
“Breaking the Glass” will also host networking events, presentations of academic papers, and short film screenings, including Chrissy Guest’s “The Women of Titmouse Animation: The Inbetweens of Education, Employment & Everyday Life.”
“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,” said Maureen Furniss, Director of the CalArts Experimental Animation Program. “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.”
Added Lisa Mann, Associate Professor of Practice of Cinematic Arts at USC, “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.”
Check out the symposium’s full schedule or register to attend via “Breaking the Glass’” website. Early bird registration is open through August 31. Standard registration begins September 1.