“Matt Groening is recognized globally as a preeminent and pioneering animator, storyteller, cartoonist, writer and producer.Â His groundbreaking animated series have truly changed the landscape of television and have become a gold standard for animation and great storytelling throughout the entertainment industry,” says Dean Schwartz.
“We are so inspired by Matt’s vision, and truly honored by his remarkable generosity and support of our Animation Program.Â Our TFT animation program is known for its exceptional and diverse talent from across the globe who create outstanding, award-winning innovative works year in and year out,” Dean Schwartz continues. “With this amazing gift, Matt has given our students enormous support and ensured that we will be able to take our program to even greater levels of excellence.Â Our animation students will benefit greatly from this endowment and it will reinforce TFT’s continuing position as a premier professional school of entertainment and performing arts. Thank you Matt Groening.”
The Matt Groening Chair in Animation endowment will allow visiting master artists to teach classes in TFT’s animation program.Â The gift will enable the animation program to bring working professionals with wide ranging expertise to work with TFT students, some of which would not normally be available in the animation curriculum.
This is also the second year of The Matt Groening Initiative.Â Pioneered by Groening and Barbara Boyle, Chair of the School’s Film, Television and Digital Media Department, Groening’s annual gift of $50,000 supports animation students producing short animated films with social responsibility themes.Â The first year of The Matt Groening Initiative’s support led to TFT’s Erick Oh to be named Student Academy AwardÂ® 2011 Finalist forhis film Heart.Â Oh graduated with distinction and is now an animator at Pixar Animation Studios.