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Showing posts from July, 2020

Meet the Minds: 1st Year Student Leona Tates

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"I don’t know what my artistic superpower is, but that is why I’m here at Exceptional Minds to help me find it."
- Leona Tates, Rising Second Year Student
Right before Covid-19, we had a chance to sit down with a number of students and artists at Exceptional Minds to talk about their backgrounds and their hopes and dreams. This first interview is with full-time Exceptional Minds student Leona who thus far has a strong interest in animation and shares a few of her Disney and Cartoon Network favorites.
Hi, my name is Leona Tates and I am a first-year student at Exceptional Minds. 
EM: What were you doing before Exceptional Minds?
LT: Before I came to Exceptional Minds, I was a volunteer at the Hunter House Victorian Museum. 
EM: What has surprised you the most about Exceptional Minds? 
LT: My biggest surprise about Exceptional Minds was, meeting industry professionals and having them as my teachers. 
EM: Since starting at Exceptional Minds...

LT: Since I have been here, I was recogniz…

Industry Spotlight: Richard Goldsmith on the State of Animation

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The entertainment industry is experiencing unprecedented change and with it, opportunity. Here to tell us what recent events mean to the animation space is Richard Goldsmith, President and CEO of Cyber Group Studios, who also serves on Exceptional Minds’ Industry Council.
EM: We’re hearing very encouraging reports about the increase in animation as a solution to the content development challenges brought on by the pandemic. What are you experiencing there at Cyber Group Studios?
RG: The most immediate reaction to the pandemic from the major platforms that air animation was to acquire existing animated series for kids who were home from school, namely educational content. As of today, a few platforms have indicated that they are going to cut their budgets for content, whether animated or live-action, due to the projected decrease in corporate revenues caused by the pandemic. Otherwise, we have not seen a change in the desire for animated content, so all indications are that the current b…

EM Graduation: Speaker Rob Paulsen (Animaniacs' "Yakko")

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On Friday, June 5th, Exceptional Minds hosted its first-ever Zoom graduation and it was amazing to see all our third-year students "virtually walk!" Our keynote speaker Rob Paulsen, known as the voice of Yakko in Animaniacs and Pinky from Pinky and the Brain, captivated the graduating class with his many impressions and offered up his own acronym for autism: Astonishingly Unique Terrifically Irrepressibly Superhuman Magicians.
Click the video below to watch Rob Paulsen's keynote speech.



Exceptional Minds is a professional training academy and working studio for young adults on the autism spectrum. We are a 501(3)(c) nonprofit organization based out of Los Angeles, CA that specializes in training young adults with autism spectrum disorder for meaningful careers in post-production and digital animation. Subscribe to our Newsletter here.

Ed Asner Award Recipient: Carson Smith, Nickelodeon

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Carson Smith, Director of Outreach for Nickelodeon, received the Exceptional Minds Ed Asner Award during the school’s June graduation for his ongoing support, including Nickelodeon internships for Exceptional Minds students and graduates. The award is named after the school’s notable founding advisor and is presented annually to those, like Carson, who have made a lasting impact to Exceptional Minds students and all young people with autism.
Click the video below to watch Carson Smith's acceptance speech.




Exceptional Minds is a professional training academy and working studio for young adults on the autism spectrum. We are a 501(3)(c) nonprofit organization based out of Los Angeles, CA that specializes in training young adults with autism spectrum disorder for meaningful careers in post-production and digital animation. Subscribe to our Newsletter here.