LOS ANGELES — Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpson, has donated $500,000 for the endowment of The Matt Groening Chair in Animation to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (www.tft.ucla.edu). The Simpsons’ 23-year reign makes it the longest running television comedy of all time. Groening’s creative talents have resulted in his receiving 12 Emmy Awards, 13 Emmy nominations, the 2002 National Cartoonist Society Reuben Award and a 2004 British Comedy Award. Later this month he will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“Matt Groening is recognized globally as a preeminent and pioneering animator, storyteller, cartoonist, writer and producer. His groundbreaking animated series have truly changed the landscape of television and have become a gold standard for animation and great storytelling throughout the entertainment industry,” says Dean Teri Schwartz. “We are so inspired by Matt’s vision, and truly honored by his remarkable generosity and support of our Animation Program. Our TFT animation program is known for its exceptional and diverse talent from across the globe who create outstanding, award-winning innovative works year in and year out.”
The Matt Groening Chair in Animation endowment will allow visiting master artists to teach classes in TFT’s animation program. The gift will enable the animation program to bring working professionals with wide ranging expertise to work with TFT students, some of which would not normally be available in the animation curriculum.
This is also the second year of The Matt Groening Initiative. Pioneered by Groening and Barbara Boyle, chair of the school’s film, television and digital media department, Groening’s annual gift of $50,000 supports animation students producing short animated films with social responsibility themes.