About the Guild

The Animation Guild is Local 839 of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE).

What We Are

We are a labor organization that represents animation and visual effects artists. We do for our members what every labor organization does: negotiate wage minimums and working conditions, provide pension and health benefits (specifically through the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan) and act as an advocate for our members over disputes between employees and employers. Our goal is to provide a seamless cloak of benefits and the strength of a collective voice to our members across the animation industry.

Grant Classes

Skills Training Grant Reimbursement Program

For the 2014-2015 grant year, the Contract Services Administration Training Trust Fund (CSATTF) has approved reimbursement grants for qualified members of the Animation Guild to take classes at seven of the best schools for animation and CG training.

The grants will reimburse for two-thirds of the cost of classes taken at the following schools:

The grants are for classes that begin between February 1, 2014 and January 31, 2015. To qualify, you must have worked at least thirty days under the Guild’s jurisdiction in the two years previous to the date the class begins. You must apply for and be accepted for the grant before the class begins, and no more than ninety days in advance. (In other words, if you are approved and subsequently postpone taking the class, you will have to re-apply.) This is a reimbursement grant, so you will have to pay the class fee in full in advance. Upon completing the class after grant approval, you will apply to the CSATTF to receive two-thirds reimbursement.

Proof of 30 Days Worked in the Last Two Years

CSATTF requires all 839 members to provide proof of 30 days of employment under a Guild contract within the past two years of the date of the start of the class in order to qualify for tuition reimbursement. This proof can take the form of paystubs that confirm the correct contributions and/or a letter from your current or past employers to CSATTF to prove your thirty days of employment. If you have any concerns about providing this information, email Steve Kaplan at skaplan@animationguild.org or call him at the Guild at (818) 845-7500.

All other questions regarding CSATTF grants should be directed to:

Kimberly Cruz, Training Programs Administrator
Contract Services Administration Training Trust Fund (CSATTF)

2800 Winona Avenue
(between Hollywood Way & San Fernando)
Burbank, CA 91504
phone (818) 847-0040 ext. 1260
fax (818) 847-0048

3Kicks Art Studio

3KICKS ART STUDIO offers fundamental art education to students of all persuasions for their art. Their courses are geared towards strengthening and sharpening foundation skills and range from figure drawing and painting.

Contact them at (626) 466-5043 or by sending them a message through the contact page on their website http://3kickstudio.com/contact-us/

Grant application [ Download PDF ]

Animation Mentor

ANIMATION MENTOR’s online character animation classes have been designed by industry professionals. Their program is a “real world” curriculum that is deep-rooted in what industry recruiters and studios are looking for in animation talent. This is an online program, providing the freedom to attend class and perform homework assignments at your convenience. The curriculum consists of six sequential classes, each offering 118 hours of instruction.

School contacts: (877) 326-4628 [curriculum and registration]; Julia Campbell, (510) 450-7209 [administration]

Grant application [ Download PDF ]

Computer Graphics Master Academy (CGMA)

COMPUTER GRAPHICS MASTER ACADEMY was created by industry professionals to help artists across the world develop and cultivate their talents with the best possible training. CGMA is a leading provider of online digital art education. Through CG Master Classes and Master Workshops, CGMA provides comprehensive instruction for Concept Art, Illustration, and Entertainment Design.

Contact them at (800) 959-0316 (between 10AM – 3PM PST) or by email at registration@cgmwonline.com.

Grant application [ Download PDF ]

Concept Design Academy

CONCEPT DESIGN ACADEMY is a private design school located at 55 Waverly Drive in Pasadena. They are committed in establishing a community where artists with passions for both traditional & entertainment arts can meet to develop their skills together. Their goal is to strive in providing the best art and design instruction available.

Contact them at (818) 669-4657 or by email at contact@conceptdesignacad.com.

Grant application [ Download PDF ]

Gnomon School of Visual Effects

GNOMON SCHOOL OF VISUAL EFFECTS, located at 1015 N Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood, is an accredited training institution, that offers artistic and technical training for careers in the visual effects and animation industries.

Contact them at (323) 466-6663 or admissions@gnomonschool.com.

Grant application [ Download PDF ]


iANIMATE.NET is a complete set of online workshops designed to target all your animation needs. All the assignments are specifically designed to target the troublesome areas that even we as professional animators go through on a daily basis. iAnimate allows you to begin your animation studies at the right level for your current skills.

Contact Jason Ryan for further details.

Grant application [ Download PDF ]


LOS ANGELES ACADEMY OF FIGURATIVE ART (LAAFA) has a variety of art classes in drawing, painting, sculpting, digital and online options for beginning to professional artists. Classes are conveniently offered 7-days a week to fit your busy schedule. Classes are taught by skilled professional gallery and entertainment artists. LAAFA was named one of the Top 10 Best Art Schools by American Artist magazine.

Contact them at (818) 708-9232 or email Holly Miller, Director of Admissions, for further details.

Grant application [ Download PDF ]


MICRODESK is a new skills training provider that was introduced to the Multi-Local Skills Group this year. Microdesk will be offering training classes in Adobe Photoshop, Director, and Premiere, Autodesk Maya and Mudbox, as well as Modo, SketchUp, Rhino and Zbrush. Microdesk will also be offering certification preparation and testing for AutoCAD, 3D Studio Max, Maya, Photoshop and Premiere.

Email Steve Kaplan for further details.

Grant application [ Download PDF ]

Silver Drawing Academy

SILVER DRAWING ACADEMY was founded by Stephen Silver, a character designer in the animation industry for almost twenty years. Silver Drawing Academy is driven by the goal of helping you improve your drawing ability through live instruction, teaching the business of art, and how to develop the skills and mindset to communicate with clients, and what it takes to work in a studio environment.

Contact them at (818) 773-2440 or email info@silverdrawingacademy.com for further details.

Grant application [ Download PDF ]

Sherm Cohen: Toon Boom Storyboard Pro

SHERM COHEN is a member working as a storyboard artist at various union studios. He’s also a Toon Boom certified product Master and Trainer who will be teaching the the class. The class will include two days of focused training in the skills and techniques that are required by studios seeking storyboard artists.

We are offering one class session in 2014 that can hold 15 students and will be held in the Guild’s meeting hall. The class carries the same participation restrictions as the other Grant classes. Registration for the class requires approval from CSATTF and a $75 class fee payable to The Animation Guild.

Extensive Toon Boom training of this nature can’t be found at this price. With the prevalence of Toon Boom in the workplace today, we’re excited to make this opportunity available to the membership. Members interested in taking the class should first contact Steve Kaplan to sign up and start the registration process.

Grant application [ Download PDF ]

For details on classes, contact the schools directly; for information on the grants, contact Kimberly Kemp at CSATTF (above) or Steve Kaplan at the Animation Guild.