Women in Animation (WIA), the largest group dedicated to the advancement of women in the animation and vfx industries, has set up a new chapter in Austin, Texas.
Here are the details:
- Today sees the launch of WIA Austin, which will work to support the careers of women in the city’s animation industry, and to increase their number, aiming for 50/50 parity by 2025. The chapter has been set up by Rooster Teeth and Powerhouse Animation, Austin’s two biggest animation studios, in partnership with the Texas Film Commission.
- Launched in 1995, WIA has grown since a restructuring in 2013, gradually expanding the scope of its activities. WIA Austin is its tenth global chapter. The last chapter to launch was in Montreal, last April.
- WIA Austin will host its first event on May 1 — online, of course. Margaret Dean, president of WIA, will host a virtual panel featuring women artists working in animation in the city. The other participants will be Steph Swope, co-founder and producer at Minnow Mountain; Yssa Badiola, director at Rooster Teeth; Julie Newberry-Olson, storyboard artist at Powerhouse Animation; and Gracie Arenas Strittmatter, technical art director and deputy director of Art & Animation at Bioware. Attendance is free and open to all; register your interest here.
- AT&T-Warnermedia-owned Rooster Teeth was founded in 2003. Propelled by the popularity of its long-running web series Red vs. Blue, it has grown into a successful production studio, and producers Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy for Netflix, Gen:LOCK for HBO Max, and RWBY, which airs on digital platforms. Last June, its then-CEO Matt Hullum issued an apology after many employees criticized its employment practices online.
- Powerhouse Animation was founded in 2001. It is best known for producing action-adventure series with an anime flavor for Netflix: its catalogue includes Castlevania, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, and Seis Manos. Rooster Teeth and Powerhouse attract the largest pool of animation talent and entertainment professionals in Texas, which is ranked the 4th best state in the country for multimedia artist/animator employment.
- “After working in Austin as a consulting producer for Rooster Teeth, I have been very impressed and excited about the potential explosion of the animation industry here,” said WIA president Dean. “And I’m thrilled that the two leading studios are determined to have gender parity be central to that expansion. WIA is going to do all it can to support that effort.”
- For the past three years, WIA has hosted a symposium at Annecy Festival. Last year’s event saw the publication of “Increasing Inclusion in Animation,” the first study of its kind into women’s roles in the industry. The research set out, in great detail, the gains women have made and the challenges they continue to face.