Sunday, August 1, 2021

Miziker Entertainment partners with SCAD for student mentorship weekend

The weekend, known as MiZ Wknd + SCAD => LA 2020, will include roundtable sessions with industry leaders, tours of local companies and attractions, a guided trip to Disneyland and portfolio reviews with the Miziker Entertainment team, including legendary company founder Ron Miziker.

Burbank, CA USA — Miziker Entertainment, a 35-year creative design company serving the themed entertainment industry, now in its second generation of leadership under Ryan Miziker (Chief Creative Officer) and Charlotte Huggins (CEO), is collaborating with Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) to help cultivate the next wave of location based entertainment professionals in the global attractions industry.

Today’s theme park and special venue giants are teaching tomorrow’s in technique and business best practices. Over the past 15 years universities have begun to develop formal curriculum for the themed entertainment sector and industry veterans are giving back as professors and mentors to help candidates navigate the unique, multidisciplinary field. In a new collaboration, Miziker Entertainment will host a mentorship and professional development weekend, hosting eight qualified students from SCAD’s pioneering undergraduate and graduate programs in themed entertainment design and related disciplines for three days of immersion in the creative theme park industry hub of Los Angeles.

In view of the current pandemic, exact dates for this program are yet to be determined and will depend on the rate of recovery for the industry and the region.

The weekend, known as MiZ Wknd + SCAD => LA 2020, will include roundtable sessions with industry leaders, tours of local companies and attractions, a guided trip to Disneyland and portfolio reviews with the Miziker Entertainment team, including legendary company founder Ron Miziker. A Disney veteran and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement honor from the Themed Entertainment Association, Ron Miziker is best known for his work as co-creator of Disneyland’s original Main Street Electrical Parade.

The company continues to do groundbreaking work on parades, live events, theme park attractions, park wide entertainment planning, and special format film production for a distinguished international clientele.

“We want to help shepherd young people into our unique and rewarding industry, which is a highly creative field that runs on teamwork,” says Charlotte Huggins. “The themed entertainment sector will recover; people will return to the parks and the industry will continue to grow and mature around the world. There’s a need for artists, illustrators, character developers, writers, costume designers, composers, media producers, technical designers and more. It’s an ongoing need and not just in LA and Orlando – we’re doing projects around the globe.”

The idea took shape when Michael Howell, a graduate of the SCAD M.F.A. themed entertainment design program, joined Miziker Entertainment as Associate Creative Director. A year earlier, he had worked in the LA area, gaining experience freelancing for several prominent location based entertainment firms. “Michael impressed us as soon as we met him. His portfolio was filled with imaginative student and professional work,” says Huggins. “Beyond his work at SCAD, the time he dedicated to gain experience and exposure to the industry made the difference. We hired him immediately.”

Miziker’s professional development weekend is designed to give SCAD students the benefit of intensive exposure to the creative heart of the industry they hope to join. “If, five years from now, just one of these students is working anywhere in the industry, we’ll feel it was a success,” says Huggins. “We’re doing it for the good of the industry. We need to inspire and engage with young people in the same spirit that Walt Disney founded CalArts.”

Matt Triolo, SCAD director of career and alumni success, said, “This valuable collaboration between SCAD and Miziker offers a priceless enrichment opportunity for students and demonstrates SCAD’s leadership as the preeminent source of knowledge in themed entertainment design.”

About Miziker Entertainment

Miziker Entertainment is a world leader in the design and production of shows and parades, media-based attractions, and memorable guest experiences.

About SCAD

The Savannah College of Art and Design is a private, nonprofit, accredited university offering more than 100 academic degree programs in more than 40 majors across its locations in the U.S., Europe, and online via SCAD eLearning. SCAD enrolls more than 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 115 countries. The innovative SCAD curriculum is enhanced by advanced, professional-level technology, equipment, and learning resources, as well as opportunities for internships, professional certifications and collaborative projects with corporate partners.

In 2019, the prestigious Red Dot Design Rankings placed SCAD as the No. 1 university in the U.S. and in the top two universities in the Americas and Europe for the third consecutive year. Also in 2019, The Rookies ranked SCAD as the Best 3D Motion Graphics School for the fourth consecutive year. Career preparation is woven into every fiber of the university, resulting in a superior alumni employment rate. According to a recent study, 99% of SCAD graduates were employed, pursuing further education, or both within 10 months of graduation. Visit www.scad.edu.

Martin Palicki
Martin Palicki owns and publishes InPark Magazine. Started in 2004, InPark Magazine provides owners and operators the perspective from "in"side the "park." Martin has also written for publications like Sound & Communications, Lighting & Sound America, Attractions Management and others. Martin has been featured in Time Magazine, CNN.com and Folio. Martin lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

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