The Walt Disney Family Museum Animation Academy

Mission Statement

The mission of The Walt Disney Family Museum Animation Academy is to provide comprehensive training in art, animation, and storytelling, with a focus on reaching marginalized individuals and communities, to amplify and diversify the voices in the animation and film industries.  
Inspired by Walt Disney’s brilliance in fostering creative talent, the museum is committed to supporting the next generation of creative talent, with a focus on reaching marginalized individuals and communities. We intend to expand the reach of the program, acting as a funnel of creative voices into the animation and film industries, encourage diverse voices to shape the future of the animation and film industries. 

December 2022 Update

Since its founding, The Walt Disney Family Museum has strived to increase its commitment to providing art and animation instruction with a focused emphasis on serving marginalized communities. In addition to offering on-site and virtual classes, workshops, and School Experiences, our animation instructors frequently travel to Title I partner schools to provide on-campus instruction to students. 

As an expansion of the Animation Academy, the museum established a Certificate Program for young people in the Bay Area in partnership with Eastside College Preparatory School—a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and independent high school committed to opening doors for students historically underrepresented in higher education. As a pillar of the East Palo Alto community, Eastside serves students who are primarily Latino, Black, and Pacific Islander, providing tuition-free education to all. 

In the first year of our Animation Academy Certificate Program, The Walt Disney Family Museum provided a year-long, six-hour-per-week college preparatory animation intensive to a group of Eastside students, at no cost to them. This course focused on the 12 core principles of animation, which include drawing fundamentals, character and background design, and storytelling. Led by the museum’s Director of Education, Travis Lacina, with special presentations and mentorship from guest speakers—including industry professionals from Disney, Pixar, CalArts, Meta, and Tippett Studio—the goal of this program is to inspire young artists to explore their creativity, providing them with the knowledge and tools to hone their skills, and ultimately, the opportunity to pursue a career in film or animation.  

In 2022, the Animation Academy expanded its partnership with Eastside College Preparatory School to offer not only the first-year Certificate Program, but also a second-year Certificate Program for continuing students, allowing them the opportunity to advance their skills and learn more advanced animation and filmmaking concepts. The Certificate Program assists Eastside students in developing their portfolio of work to present for college admission, which portfolio includes their own animated short films.   

The Walt Disney Family Museum Animation Academy is also partnering with EPACENTER, a creative youth development organization in East Palo Alto, to further expand the museum’s animation and film instruction to youth across the Bay Area. EPACENTER offers culturally responsive instruction in the digital, visual, literary, and performing arts disciplines during the school day, after-school, and during the summer. It also engages youth in organizational decision-making and key leadership roles, and links youth to meaningful summer employment opportunities, colleges, and careers. Museum instructors will be leading both in-person and virtual classes for youth from EPACENTER’s state-of-the-art digital media lab.  

We welcome our museum community to join in our mission of supporting young artists with aspirations in art and animation and helping provide education in the arts for all. 

For more information about how to get involved with the Animation Academy, please contact Emily Vann Green, Development and Community Engagement Manager, at