CalArtians Win Women in Animation Scholarships

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At the 2024 BRIC Talent and Innovation Summit held in Los Angeles, the Women in Animation (WIA) Scholarship winners were announced in person for the first time since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hsiang Chin Moe, chair of education at WIA, revealed 42 recipients from around the world, marking the largest group to receive cash awards and honorable mentions in the program’s history. Out of 189 applicants from 76 schools globally, 17 students were selected for scholarships, including five from CalArts: Amarise DeFranco (Film/Video BFA 25), Emy Galustyan (Film/Video BFA 24), Lyly Hoang (Film/Video BFA 25), Erika Salazar Gutierrez (Film/Video BFA 26), and Ivy Tan (Film/Video BFA 24).

“During my time as WIA president, I have seen firsthand how our WIA Scholarship program has had a positive impact on the lives of future generations of creatives in our industry,” President Marge Dean remarked in the official press release. “I am immensely proud of its growth and eager to see the remarkable contributions these talented students will make to our industry.”

The WIA Scholarship Program aims to support students demonstrating artistic talent, passion for animation, financial need, and potential in animation, VFX, or gaming. Recipients of the 2024 cycle will not only receive financial aid, but also access to workshops, tutoring opportunities, animation equipment, and software packages from esteemed industry partners such as Animation Focus, Animation Mentor, ArtStation, Foundry, LAIKA, Toon Boom, Wacom, WIA Bay Area Chapter, WIA Montreal Chapter, and YellowBrick Learning.

“I feel insurmountable gratitude, pride, and appreciation in being chosen for the WIA scholarship,” said DeFranco. “Receiving recognition from this organization in such a matter is only further reassuring me that there are people out there who genuinely care for the passions of artists, and that I am worthy enough to receive knowledge that’ll prepare me for a professional career in the animation industry.”

In addition to the cash scholarship recipients, WIA also revealed 25 Honorable Mention Winners who received software and/or workshop packages to enhance their animation proficiency. Notably, two CalArts students Ofre Sparrow Vaknin (Film/Video BFA 24) and Tabitha Wekerle (Film/Video BFA 25), earned honorable mentions.

CalArts Wild Beast | Image by California Institute of the Arts
PUBLISHED BY Elizabeth McRae

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