Vanessa Morrison, Latoya Raveneau, Carole Holliday, Bruce Smith Vanessa Morrison, Latoya Raveneau, Carole Holliday, Bruce Smith

The inaugural Black in Animation Awards Show will take place on December 6 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET. The new initiative will honor Black people in animation who have and currently are paving the way for others in the industry.

Co-sponsored by Black Women Animate (BWA Studios) and Cartoon Network Studios, the awards show will take place as part of the BWA Studios Boot Camp, a free, two-day virtual event that focuses on career development.

The theme of this year’s event is “Honoring Our Stories”. The inaugural honorees include:

  • Vanessa Morrison, president of streaming at Walt Disney Studios (Trailblazer Award)
  • Bruce Smith, EP & director at Disney Television Animation (Narrative Creator Award)
  • Dr. Ayoka Chenzira, tv director and experimental filmmaker (Cultural Innovator Award)
  • Tina Obo, director (Rising Star Award)
  • Latoya Raveneau, director at Disney Television Animation (Next Gen Award)
  • Carole Holliday, animator and story artist (Lifetime Achievement Award)

“Three years into our start up, we are continually dismayed at the lack of knowledge people have about Black legends in animation,” BWA Studio founder and CEO Taylor K. Shaw and founding and managing partner JLove Calderón said in a statement. “Prior to this show, there was no place to really honor and acknowledge the incredible role that Black folx have had in the animation industry. Keeping to our motto: if you don’t see it, create it! Thus, the first ever Black in Animation Award Show was established.”

Honorees were selected by the Awards Show Nomination Committee: Camille Eden (VP of recruiting and talent development, Nickelodeon), Nicole Rivera (vice president, original series development, Cartoon Network), Lynne Southerland (director/showrunner), Sidney Clifton (EP, Jim Henson & Deluxe Animation; supervising producer, BWA Studios), Carl Reed (president, Lion Forge Animation), Jinko Gotoh (producer, Netflix ), and Marlon West (head of effects, Disney).

The show will be hosted by Grammy award-winning artist Estelle. In addition, Estelle will perform “True Kinda Love,” as sung by her character Garnet, from Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe: The Movie.

To watch the virtual Black in Animation Awards Show and participate in the BWA Studios Boot Camp, visit BWABootCamp.com

(Pictured at top, l-to-r: Vanessa Morrison, Latoya Raveneau, Carole Holliday, Bruce Smith)

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