Find a school near you!
Animation? Design? Game Art?
Kansas City Animation Careers - A Profile of the Art Scene, Top Employers, & Animation Schools/Programs
Kansas City Art Scene
Yes! Kansas City has an art scene—and film and multimedia art are a big part of it. The city is home to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. These art museums co-exist with dozens of art galleries, artist studios, and production studios.
All Kansas City artists can find inspiration at the areas art museums and galleries. Digital artists and filmmakers can find inspiration and resources at the Film Commission of Greater Kansas City. The commission offers information about current and future productions, up and coming studios, and other opportunities for animators and filmmakers.
Finding inspiration and resources for animators is easy in Kansas City, but finding the right training programs might take some work. The city is home to several colleges that offer outstanding animation programs, but for more options, you’ll have to travel outside of the city.
Kansas City Animation Schools and Programs
Kansas City is home to the renowned Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI). KCAI has an award-winning animation program that prepares students to work in film and video, advertising, technology, and many other fields. The school offers internships at large studios from Disney to DreamWorks.
Other Kansas City Area colleges that offer animation programs include Kansas City Kansas Community College (KCKCC), Johnson County Community College, Overland Park (13 miles from Kansas City), and University of Kansas (Department of Design), Lawrence (38 miles).
More Animation related programs to consider:
Kansas City Animation Employers
Most animation jobs can be found in principle cities such Kansas City, Wichita, Overland Park, and Lawrence. Aspiring animators interested in working on film and video productions may find employment at:
- Blue Wall Design, Kansas City
- Foundation Media Solutions, Kansas City
- Intake Studio, Kansas City
- Wombat Studios, Overland Park
- Real Media Digital production, Overland Park
- Gizmo Pictures, Topeka (61 miles)
Kansas City animators can find work in education at one of the states 67 colleges and universities or 1,447 elementary and secondary schools. Animators also work in technology and advertising. Fortunately, the state is home to hundreds of technology firms along with dozens of advertising agencies from the ADDY-winning Premier Studios to Rhycom, which was listed as a Top 25 Area Web Development Firm by Business Journal of Kansas City in 2010.
Animation Careers at a Glance
Animation is showing no signs of slowing down. Across the nation, job growth is expected to average 14 percent between now and 2018. Salaries are growing as well. In 2006, U.S. animators averaged $51,350. By 2009, the average salary for animators had jumped to $58,510.
Here’s what you can expect in Kansas City. The animator population was only 70 in 2006. By 2009, the population had increased to nearly 200. Along with population increase, came an increase in the average salary. In 2006, the average salary for animators was $39,590. By 2009, it had reached $44,510. Although Kansas City animators make less than animators in other large cities, they earn more than the national average for all occupations (40,711.61) and the cost of living is considerably lower here than it is for most other major cities.
For more information about the animation industry in the U.S., visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics at www.bls.gov.