In response to the dynamic challenges facing the animation industry, Women in Animation (WIA), a nonprofit organization, is launching a comprehensive program series titled “Animating Resilience” Thriving in an Evolving Industry.”
These programs are designed to equip professionals with adaptable strategies for success and wellbeing in the midst of uncertainty. WIA is also expanding its online career resource center, offering vital information to unemployed members, educational videos, and a directory for recruiters.
Unemployment and Industry Landscape:
In a recent communication to its members, Marge Dean, President of WIA, highlighted the considerable impact of the current climate on the animation workforce. Reports suggest that approximately 30 percent of animation professionals in Los Angeles are without work. This decline in employment was observed even before the onset of strikes by writers and actors. The abrupt termination of projects, including those nearly completed, and the restructuring of animation divisions have led to a tumultuous period for the industry.
Impact of New Players:
Dean acknowledged the industry’s historical ebbs and flows but emphasized that recent turbulence has been exacerbated by the emergence of new players, particularly streaming platforms. The surge in production was unprecedented and, as a result, led to a subsequent crash. This situation marks a necessary course correction for the industry.
Diversity and Equity Challenges:
Dean also addressed the issue of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work. She noted that these efforts are under attack at various government levels. She emphasized the critical importance of safeguarding DEI initiatives and expressed the value of organizations like WIA and Black N’ Animated in advocating for these principles. Dean underscored that diversity fosters collective success, creativity, and storytelling’s survival.
Impact on Various Groups:
Dean expressed concern for several segments of the animation community, including new entrants, seasoned professionals who have achieved higher salary ranges, and individuals reentering the workforce, particularly mothers and caregivers. She stressed the significance of supporting these groups as they advocate for fair participation and highlighted the alignment of this cause with broader equity movements.
Navigating the Path Forward:
Dean concluded with a hopeful outlook for the animation industry. She anticipated a rebound in project approvals and job openings as agreements are finalized, and actors and writers return to work. While acknowledging that the industry might not fully return to its pre-pandemic state, Dean urged resilience and unity to weather the upcoming challenges. She emphasized the industry’s ability to adapt and survive, encouraging members to persevere until brighter times arrive.
Women in Animation’s proactive response to the animation industry’s uncertainties demonstrates their commitment to supporting professionals in navigating these challenging times. Through their “Animating Resilience” program series and expanded online resources, WIA is offering valuable tools to help industry members succeed, adapt, and thrive amidst the evolving landscape.