Thursday, May 23, 2024

$2.5 million plan for National Animation Museum approved in California

On July 5, 2022 California State Senator Anthony J. Portantino announced that his budget request of $2.5 million for the National Animation Museum was approved in the 2022-2023 State Budget. The funds will help develop a virtual and physical museum to provide educational experiences for students and professionals and preserve California’s rich animation history.

“I remember like it was yesterday seeing the Jungle Book on the big screen when it came out and huddling on Saturday morning in front of the TV watching Space Ghost and Johnny Quest and I continue to regard animation as a wonderful art form and a uniquely California entertainment experience,” stated Senator Portantino.  “In the past two decade, we’ve seen a renaissance in the animation industry, with many studios and schools located in my own district.  The National Animation Museum will help preserve our legacy and offer educational programs that will empower the next generation of animators in film, television, gaming, robotics and beyond.  I am proud to have been asked by local animators to help provide financial support for this important and unique endeavor.”

Demand for animated content is at an all-time high—the Animation Guild of Burbank has reported record numbers of artists, technicians, and writers.  Animation and illustration departments in California art schools have grown, increasing the number of available courses to meet the growing number of students.  Many film schools now have their own animation programs, as opposed to past decades when animation programs were smaller components of larger curricula.

Museum Founder and Chairman Eddie Newquist stated, “We are thrilled to be receiving this support from the State of California and extremely grateful to Senator Portantino for recognizing the significance of the museum and for making the request on our behalf.  The  National Animation Museum will use these funds to advance our virtual and physical museum initiatives that celebrate animation in all its forms.  The funds will also be used to provide educational resources that will spark creativity and innovation in students, teaching professionals, and their families in our Southern California community and around the world.”

The National Animation Museum will provide educational experiences celebrating the history and inspiring the future of animation.  The immersive, interactive, and educational programs developed by the museum will spark creativity and innovation in students, teaching both professionals and their families.  The funds secured by Senator Portantino will be used to launch this laudable museum. 

“I started in animation at a young age as a voice actor, and the art form has been the focus of my work both in live-action and CGI films ever since,” said Hollywood producer Chris deFaria.  “What excites me about the National Animation Museum is its commitment to encouraging young people to develop the myriad skills and talent that drive technical innovation along with meaningful storytelling for future generations.”

“I am so happy to be part of the advisory team that is bringing this museum to life,” says Chris Buck, Academy Award-winning director of Frozen. “My schooling at CalArts helped me start my career at Disney in the original Animation Building.  I’ve been lucky enough to work at several studios in the industry, learning many different skills along the way. As animation continues to grow and change, this new organization is being established to celebrate and share the unique history, achievements, and future developments of this amazing industry.”

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