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Diversity in Animation Panel

October 29, 2020, 7:00pm-8:30pm PST

Burbank Library via Zoom

For details, and to make a reservation, click HERE.

This event is part of Burbank Reads, a program inspired by the idea that the shared act of reading can bring the community together, as everyone is encouraged to read the same book and participate in discussion and learning surrounding the subject matter. Our selection for 2020, The Hate U Give, was chosen to encourage Burbank to engage in conversation about racial equity and the Black experience in America. Activities and discussion will create a foundation of ideas to build on for the future.

This program will be a Zoom panel discussion featuring multi-talented animators, writers, & artists. When you sign up, you will receive the Zoom meeting number and password to join.

Burbank is one of the major animation production centers in the world. Animation produced here gives millions of children some of their earliest and most formative stories about their world and about their personal identity. Animation has not been traditionally an inclusive or representative medium for people of color, and its creative work force has not been diverse. When people of color have appeared in animation, they have often been portrayed with demeaning characterizations and with negative stereotypes. This is changing, and you will meet at this event some of the people helping to lead this change, creating animation content that is more representative of all of us, and working to build a diverse workforce in animation.

Our panel moderator, Musa Brooker, is a Los Angeles based director, animator, writer and producer, specializing in stop motion. He has a MFA in Experimental Animation from The California Institute of the Arts where he was a Jacob K. Javits Fellow. Since 2010 he has been a faculty member at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts in the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts.

David Dodds is a motion graphics artist and educator who teaches his craft at UCLA and through online learning platforms. He has had a particular interest in mentoring and advising young animators about how to enter and find a career path in the industry, and he is designing classes on that subject and also creating a film festival that will feature the work of young animators of color. 

Chi O. Ogbue is an Associate Writer/ Producer at Disney Channel Worldwide. He creates promotional content or shorts for marketing Disney children’s programs internationally. Before his role as a Writer/Producer, Chi worked as an intern in Development at Disney Junior, where he learned what makes a successful Disney Junior hit and the Disney animation process. Chi wants to use his voice to help influence the future generation through comedy and timeless storytelling. He enjoys writing kids pilots in his free time and produces a puppet show, “Jerry’s World,” out of Framingham, MA. 

Caress Reeves  (USC Hench-DADA MFA 2015) is a Los Angeles-based animator and graduate from the USC School of Cinematic Arts Animation division. Her work often focuses on the intersection of the black experience and fantasy, usually from the perspective of black women like herself. She has studied the history of the representation of POC in animated films and the work of black animators.

This event will be of interest to parents, who are interested in what their children watch and want their children to grow up in an inclusive and anti-racist society, to those working in the industry who are looking for ways to make animation more reflective of our culture and society and to reach new audiences, and to so many young people of color whose creative talents were nurtured by their experience of animation and who are looking for a way to pursue careers in this remarkably creative and vibrant medium.

Contact Information

Email: emann@usc.edu