Non-profit Inner-City Arts, now in its twenty-third year of operation, uses arts education to positively affect the lives of inner-city children, improving their chances to lead productive and successful lives by developing creativity, improving learning skills and building self-confidence.
In 2008, an initial gift of $500,000 from The DreamWorks Animation Charitable Foundation, the philanthropic affiliate of DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA), established the DreamWorks Animation Academy at Inner-City Arts. Thanks to this support, Inner-City Arts expanded its offerings in animation and other art forms to middle and high school students throughout Los Angeles city and county, providing state-of-the-art equipment, additional staff, visiting artists, and a more robust Saturday program for its students.
“The most recent gift from The DreamWorks Animation Charitable Foundation will help Inner-City Arts expand its career-readiness programs, providing more opportunities for students to explore their creativity, build portfolios, and learn skills that are valued in the 21st Century workforce,” said Joseph Collins, President and CEO of Inner-City Arts.
“Since the animation program’s inception sixteen years ago, 100% of the participating high school students have graduated from high school (compared to the LAUSD graduation rate of 62%), more than 90% of the students have enrolled in college or post-secondary training, and at least 40 students have embarked on careers in film, television, teaching and the social sciences.”
The affiliation with DreamWorks Animation also provides Inner-City Arts students with media arts field trips and includes future plans for internship opportunities with DreamWorks Animation. One such field trip took place on July 27, 2012, when more than 40 middle and high school students visited DreamWorks Animation in Glendale, CA to tour the facilities, view animation demos and footage, and meet with DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Katzenberg.
“DreamWorks Animation remains deeply committed to continuing the important work done by Inner-City Arts every day: to help talented young people achieve their potential and reach their dreams,” Katzenberg commented.
In the DreamWorks Animation program, elementary to high school-aged students learn the fundamentals of basic animation, including Zoetropes, Flipbooks, hand and puppet animation, drawing on film and optical printing. Each class creates a collaborative animated film, which is screened at culminating festivals held at Inner-City Arts, the students’ own schools and local theater and other venues throughout the city.
“This experience has encouraged me to work at something I love,” Raquel, a 17 year-old high school student with Inner-City Arts said, after touring DreamWorks Animation Studios on Friday. “I learned that there are so many different little parts of an industry that you can work in. DreamWorks has opened my eyes to finding something in animation that I could really find interesting.”