Valencia, CA, May 29–For the past 10 years, the Sony Pictures Media Arts Program (SPMAP)—a public-private educational partnership between the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)  Community Arts Partnership (CAP) , the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA)  and Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) —has provided the only free animation program for kids in Los Angeles and brought artistic and technical training to young people in some of the city’s most underserved neighborhoods.
On Saturday, June 16 at 11:00 a.m. these partners will celebrate the 10th anniversary of SPMAP, as well as recognizing the 10th anniversary of Sony Pictures Animation and the 20th anniversary of Sony Pictures Imageworks, with a celebratory event on the Sony Pictures Digital Productions campus in Culver City.
"As hosts of the 10th anniversary of the Sony Pictures Media Arts Program, we celebrate the talents of hundreds of young people, many of whom will grow up to be the artists and animators of the future," said Bob Osher, President of Sony Pictures Digital Productions.
Through SPMAP, middle school students receive instruction in drawing, animation, and media arts at five community centers that are owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles. These centers are the Banning’s Landing Community Center in Wilmington, Center for the Arts Eagle Rock in Eagle Rock, San Fernando Gardens Community Service Center in Pacoima, William Reagh Los Angeles Photography Center near MacArthur Park, and the Watts Towers Arts Center in Watts.
“SPMAP is a model public-private partnership, and CAP is proud to work in collaboration with Sony Pictures Entertainment and the DCA to bring this after-school program to hundreds of students in five diverse neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles,” said Glenna Avila, Wallis Annenberg Director of the CAP program. “We are thrilled to be celebrating the 10th anniversary of this program, which is training hundreds of youth in animation and media arts, as well as training CalArts students as instructors and as contributing community citizens.”
Janice Pober, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Social Responsibility, Sony Pictures Entertainment added, “At Sony Pictures, we thrive on creative inspiration, so it’s vital to our success to nurture up-and-coming artistic talent. We’re so proud to have joined these great partners 10 years ago to establish the Sony Pictures Media Arts Program, because by working together we are able to provide today’s youth with incredible opportunities to grow creatively.”
Of the City of Los Angeles’ role on the partnership, Leslie Thomas, DCA Community Arts Division Director said, "Ten years ago, DCA responded to Mayor Riordan’s mandate to assist the entertainment industry with preparing young people for jobs in animation and new media by working with Sony Pictures and CalArts to create the Sony Pictures Media Arts Program. I am so proud of the 10 years of success we've experienced since then, giving so many talented and deserving students the necessary arts education foundation and skill set to help them pursue their career dreams."
For the celebration, SPMAP students, their families and special guests will attend a screening of the animated short films produced by the students in the program. They also will be treated to a party and arts and animation activities in the Sony Pictures Digital Production facilities.
"Close relationships with strong partners have been the cornerstone of our success for the 20 years of Sony Pictures Imageworks and 10 years of Sony Pictures Animation, anniversaries we are proud to share with this program as we welcome students, parents, and teachers to our campus," said Osher.
The SPMAP curriculum, designed by CAP/SPMAP faculty, focuses on the development of each participant’s skills in the areas of composition, rendering, painting, ideas and concepts of design, exploration of personal style, animation and computer competency and usage.
Combining creative and technical training, the one-of-a-kind SPMAP program opens pathways to college and careers in media and the arts and creates a national model for arts education partnerships. Approximately 300 students a year go through this innovative after-school program, with many later attending CalArts and other institutions of higher learning.
The CAP program involves youth between the ages of 10 and 18 at 52 sites throughout LA county—employing some 60 CalArts faculty members, and nearly 300 student instructors to deliver free instruction in fine art, photography, printmaking, graphic design, digital media, animation, video, jazz, world music, chamber music, theater, puppetry, dance, and creative writing. Educating more than 8,000 youths each year, the CAP program has received numerous accolades—including the John Anson Ford Human Relations Award from the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations in 2008, the Ovation Award for Community Outreach from the Los Angeles Stage Alliance in 2006, and in 2004, the Coming Up Taller Award—a national recognition of outstanding community arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America's young people, providing youth with learning opportunities and chances to contribute to their communities.
CalArts is recognized internationally as a leading laboratory for the visual, performing, media and literary arts. Housing six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts educates professional artists in an intensive learning environment founded on art making excellence, creative experimentation, cross-pollination among diverse artistic disciplines, and a broad context of social and cultural understanding. CalArts also operates the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) in the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex in downtown Los Angeles.
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 159 countries. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com/ .
The Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) generates and supports high quality arts and cultural experiences for Los Angeles’ 4 million residents and 25 million annual visitors. DCA advances the social and economic impact of the arts and ensures access to diverse and enriching cultural activities through grant making, marketing, public art, community arts programming, arts education, and partnerships with artists and arts and cultural organizations in neighborhoods throughout the City of Los Angeles.
DCA’s operating budget and managed portfolio totaled $38.2 million in fiscal year 2010/11. It consisted of: $9.5 million in funds from the Public Works Improvements Arts Program (PWIAP); $8.9 million in City related and indirect cost allocations; $8.7 million from the Private Arts Development Fee Program (ADF); $7.7 million in Transient Occupancy Tax funds; and over $3.4 million in private and public funds raised from foundation, corporate, government, and individual donors.
DCA significantly supports artists and cultural projects through its Public Art Division by administering a portfolio totaling $18.2 million in PWIAP and ADF funds in FY10/11. DCA’s Marketing and Development Division raised over $16.9 million since FY07/08 to re-grant to LA-based artists and arts and cultural organizations for special grant initiatives and to support DCA’s special programming and facilities. DCA also grants approximately $2.2 million annually to over 280 artists and nonprofit arts and cultural organizations through its long-established Grants Administration Division.
DCA provides arts and cultural programming through its Community Arts Division, managing numerous neighborhood arts and cultural centers, theaters, historic sites, and educational initiatives. DCA’s Marketing and Development Division also markets the City's arts and cultural events through development and collaboration with strategic partners, design and production of creative catalogs, publications, and promotional materials, and management of the culturela.org  website visited by over 3 million people annually.