2022 Grants Challenge

Pre-Apprenticeship Animation Training Program

The BRIC Foundation will train a cohort of 60 – 75 students of color from 3 high schools in Los Angeles Unified School District who are in Animation courses from Oct 2022 - June 2023. These will be Title-1 schools that primarily serve under-represented students from low socio-economic backgrounds and/or receive free or reduced-price meals. In addition, our Pre-Apprenticeship Program will train up to three teachers from each school to help continue supporting their students’ personal and career development both during and beyond this training.


Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

LAUSD: will partner with three Workforce-Training High Schools

What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Access to Creative Industry Employment (sponsored by Snap Foundation)

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

LAUSD (select only if you have a district-wide partnership or project)

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that from 2020 – 2030 careers related to Animators are projected to grow at 11% in California and 16% nationally. The BLS characterizes these projections as “much faster than” most other industries and cites that the median annual pay is $77,700. Part of this high projection of growth stems from the fact that animation jobs are not just limited to projects created by animation powerhouses like Disney, and DreamWorks; but other digital industries like video game design, live-action films, and television production now all utilize animation techniques too. Add to that, the growing number of streaming companies (Netflix and Apple TV), countless platforms for content creators (YouTube and TikTok), and the developing Augmented & Virtual Reality technologies that consumers can already purchase for personal use, and it is no surprise that careers in animation are in such high demand and can lead to so many high-paying careers.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

The BRIC Program will train 60-75 high school students to create original digital assets, a written logline, and a polished presentation deck for an original animated series. Guided by professional artists, these students will learn industry techniques that are used in Hollywood. This four-month rigorous program will occur mostly during school time with a few sessions after school and/or over a weekend. During this iterative process, each group will pitch their work to Industry experts and integrate feedback to strengthen their final professional-grade pitch deck. The BRIC Foundation has led similar programs over the last four years and utilized Industry Instructors from Disney, DreamWorks, and Nickelodeon. We will bring in instructors for the same or similar studios for this Training. Additionally, two industry mentors will meet each class once a month to provide guidance and insight, customized to meet each class's needs and interests. Just as important, a Curriculum Specialist will support and empower key educators from each school site. During the planning phase, the Curriculum Specialist will review all industry project lessons to make sure that they are aligned with California CTE Model Curriculum Standards and the Common Core State Standards. Also, the Curriculum Specialist will meet monthly with nine school-site teachers to address any concerns they may have about the program. This will ensure all three schools have an equal level of support for their own students.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

There are too many women and people of color in Los Angeles County high schools who dream of beginning a career in the animation industry but do not have the funding needed to earn degrees from expensive art schools that are commonly required by large animation studios. Worse yet, many Title-1 students may not even know that they have an interest in a potential career in animation or game design because their schools do not offer any hands-on CTE classes to provide that introduction, compared to many affluent high schools across Los Angeles County. This BRIC Training Program offers an alternative pathway for women and people of color to get the training that they need to get their foot in the door for a well-paying career. The majority of our industry teachers and mentors have been women and/or people of color. When minority students see professionals who look like them working at well-known animation studios, it is empowering for these young adults to follow in their footsteps.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

1). Student participants will create a professional animation pitch packet, where each student or team will: •. Design and drawn original characters and environments •. Develop and write a compelling storyline, logline, and presentation deck 2) Students will work with industry artists and instructors and receive professional critiques, and then apply that feedback to improve their skills and project designs while better understanding the iterative process in creative development in the animation industry. 3) School-site educators will be trained in industry skills and techniques so that they can further assist their students in-between and after the Pre-Apprenticeship Training sessions. Educators will earn a $500 stipend for the additional hours of training and mentoring.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 85

Indirect Impact: 450

Describe the specific role of the partner organization(s) in the project, program, or initiative.

LAUSD On-Site Teachers will provide support and supplemental lessons in-between the Industry Instructor Master Classes. LAUSD School-Site Coorditor will figure out the logistics of school site visits and events, including planning for industry instructor visits, field trips, and culmiting showcase of participating in the program.