Black Women Animate partners with Cartoon Network Studios for the first Black in Animation Awards Show

Black Women Animate (BWA Studios) and Cartoon Network Studios have partnered to launch the inaugural Black in Animation Awards Show. This new initiative will honour Black people in animation who have and currently are paving the way for this sector of the entertainment industry. This awards show will be the closing event for the third annual BWA Studios Boot Camp training event on December 6 at 5 p.m. PST / 8 p.m. EST.

Attendees can watch the Black in Animation Awards Show virtually and can register to watch the show and participate in the BWA Studios Boot Camp through

The theme of this year’s event is “Honoring Our Stories.” The inaugural honourees 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); and Carole Holliday, Animator and Story Artist (Lifetime Achievement Award).

Honorees were selected by the Awards Show Nomination Committee inclusive of industry veterans and community leaders: 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 the fan-favourite song “True Kinda Love” from Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe: The Movie, as sung by her character, Garnet.

“Three years into our start-up, we are continually dismayed at the lack of knowledge people have about Black legends in animation,” reflected BWA Studios Founder and CEO Taylor K. Shaw and Founding and Managing Partner JLove Calderón. “Prior to this show, there was no place to really honour 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.”

The third annual BWA Studios Boot Camp is a free, two-day virtual event which includes intensive workshops and insightful panels featuring industry experts and animation gurus from Cartoon Network Studios, Warner Bros. Animation, Nickelodeon, Disney, Inspire Justice and 9 Story Media. The Boot Camp is produced by A Wynn Wynn Production. Cartoon Network Studios is a founding partner.


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Ashwathi Anoopkumar