Austin, TX – April 24, 2020 – Today, two core pillars of Texas animation, the Austin-based entertainment companies Rooster Teeth and Powerhouse Animation, have joined forces alongside the Texas Film Commission to establish Austin’s first Women in Animation (WIA) chapter. Women in Animation Austin will work to increase the number of women working in animation and support their career growth in Austin.
Founded in 1995, WIA is dedicated to advancing women in the field of animation. WIA envisions a world where women share equally in the creation, production and rewards of animation, and provides resources and connections to make it happen. The Austin chapter of WIA will cultivate this mission locally by providing networking, education and growth opportunities in Austin.
Rooster Teeth and Powerhouse Animation both bring a multitude of animated entertainment projects to Austin. Rooster Teeth is currently in production on Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy for Netflix, gen:LOCK for HBO Max, the award-winning series RWBY which will premiere its 8th season this fall, and several ongoing animated series and shorts hosted on Rooster Teeth’s owned and operated platform. Powerhouse Animation is currently in production on Gods & Heroes, Mattel’s He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and Season 4 of Castlevania, all for Netflix, and earlier last year released Seis Manos for Netflix.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Texas is ranked #4 in the US for Multimedia Artist and Animator employment. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the Capital Area (which includes Austin) offers the highest average income for Multimedia Artists and Animators in Texas and is second only to the Dallas Region in terms of employment. Combined, Rooster Teeth and Powerhouse Animation attract the largest pool of animation talent and entertainment professionals in the state of Texas. Several of these entertainment leaders are contributing immediately to the foundation of the Austin chapter of Women in Animation.
On May 1, Women in Animation Austin will host its first event: a virtual panel featuring women creatives working in animation in Austin. Interested attendees can register to attend here. The panel will be moderated by Margaret Dean, President of WIA, and feature Steph Swope, Co-founder and Producer at Minnow Mountain, Yssa Badiola, Director at Rooster Teeth, Julie Newberry-Olson, Storyboard Artist at Powerhouse Animation, and Gracie Arenas Strittmatter, Technical Art Director and Deputy Director of Art & Animation at BioWare.
“After working in Austin as a consulting producer for Rooster Teeth, I have been very impressed and excited about the potential explosion of the animation industry here,” said Margaret Dean, President of WIA. “And I’m thrilled that the two leading studios are determined to have gender parity be central to that expansion. WIA is going to do all it can to support that effort.”
“Austin is home to many talented women working in animation and it would be amazing to see those ranks grow,” said Doreen Copeland, Head of Production at Rooster Teeth. “With so many animation productions coming to this city, and many students graduating and entering the professional realm, now is the perfect time to establish this chapter and reinforce Austin as the center of all animation in Texas.”
“Powerhouse has many inspiring women in many key leadership positions and it makes our studio stronger,” said Brad Graeber, CEO and CCO at Powerhouse Animation. “We are proud of our gender parity at the studio and are still looking to expand our roster of talented women. We are so happy to be working with WIA, our friends at Rooster Teeth and the Texas Film Commission on making sure the state continues to attract more women into the industry as animation continues to expand. ”