Women in Animation, USC, UCLA, CalArts Launch Women's Symposium

Brenda Chapman and Brown Johnson will deliver keynotes during a conference that will address harassment and diversity, among other topics.
Brenda Chapman

USC, UCLA, CalArts and nonprofit Women In Animation (WIA) have partnered in "Breaking the Glass Frame: Women and Animation, Past, Present, Future," an Oct. 5-7 symposium designed for 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 challenges working women within the industry and academia.

This has been a particular focus in the animation world since John Lasseter, who is leaving Pixar and Disney, admitted to unspecified "missteps" amid allegations of misconduct.

WIA has been vocal about addressing harassment and bias, also holding programs around the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and the upcoming Siggraph, while initiating no-tolerance pledges at numerous indie animation facilities.

Set to take place at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, "Breaking the Glass Frame" will feature keynote talks by Academy Award winner Brenda Chapman (BraveThe Prince of Egypt) and executive vp and creative director at Sesame Workshop, Brown Johnson.

Additional speakers include producer Jane Hartwell (The Croods); WIA vp Jinko Gotoh; author and historian Mindy Johnson; and pioneering animators Enid Denbo Wizig and Jane Shattuck-Takamoto-Baer.

"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 WIA president Marge Dean.

“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 Maureen Furniss, director of the CalArts experimental animation program.

The program will include a screening of the new documentary, The Women of Titmouse Animation: The Inbetweens of Education, Employment & Everyday Life, directed by Chrissy Guest.