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Entertainment & Arts

Cartoon Network and L.A. nonprofit launch mentorship program for autistic artists

‘We Bare Bears’
Ice Bear, left, Grizzly and Panda from Cartoon Network’s “We Bare Bears.”
(Cartoon Network)

Cartoon Network Studios and Exceptional Minds have launched a digital-arts mentorship program for people with autism.

Announced Monday, the new program will pair more than 20 Exceptional Minds students with Cartoon Network Studios mentors in various fields such as storyboarding and prop design. The three-month mentorship will give second- and third-year Exceptional Minds students opportunities to be advised by professionals in preparation for future careers in animation and digital arts.

An L.A.-based nonprofit training academy and studio, Exceptional Minds offers programs to train autistic artists in the technical and behavioral skills necessary to work in fields such as animation, post-production and visual effects. Cartoon Network’s Chief Content Officer Robert Sorcher serves as a co-chair for Exceptional Minds’ Industry Council.

This inaugural pilot program is a part of Cartoon Network Studios Academy, which provides opportunities for artists to grow personally and professionally both within the studio and community. Given the difficulty of breaking into the animation field, Cartoon Network Studios and Exceptional Minds’ partnership is designed to help aspiring animators and artists reach their career goals and hone their craft.

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Cartoon Network, of course, is the studio behind shows such as “Steven Universe,” “Craig of the Creek,” “We Bare Bears,” “Summer Camp Island” and more.


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