Animation Company to Make Gallaudet Campus Its Home

On May 28, animation development company Pigmental Studios announced its new headquarters will be on the Gallaudet University campus in the District of Columbia. Pigmental will start work on an animated feature film and TV series in its new location this fall.

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser joined Pigmental CEO and co-founder Marina Martins, Gallaudet University Provost Carol J. Erting, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner, and the D.C. Office of Motion Picture and Television Development Director Angie M. Gates to announce the unique partnership. Pigmental Studios produces animated programming for film, television, gaming, commercials, and the web.

“We look forward to working with Pigmental and Gallaudet to support their efforts to grow the District’s creative economy,” said Mayor Bowser. “By leveraging the District’s position as a hub for innovation and technology, we can improve the lives of District residents, create jobs, diversify our workforce, and grow a more sustainable creative economy.”

The announcement of Pigmental’s new D.C. studio is part of Mayor Bowser’s month-long “innoMAYtion” initiative to highlight innovation programs that engage residents, position the District as a hub of innovative activity, and open pathways to the middle class.

Among Pigmental’s current projects is KONG, which was announced at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2014, and is being produced as a Chinese co-production with producers Gary Zhang and JJ Kim of Aquamen Entertainment. The first animated feature that will be produced in the District will be announced as a co-production with the creator of Despicable Me, Sergio Pablos.

“The District is a unique and ideal location for us to expand our business,” said Martins. “We are excited to be a part of the innovation economy here and to inspire the community’s youth to embrace the STEM disciplines through the art of animation, as well as provide opportunities for new jobs in the District. We are especially pleased to be sharing space with Gallaudet University, and we believe our partnership will enhance the already dynamic revitalization of the surrounding neighborhood.”

Pigmental will renovate and move into the Appleby Building on the Gallaudet campus at the corner of 6th Street, NE, and Florida Avenue. In support of the university’s drive to increase job opportunities for its students, Pigmental will create and deliver an academic program in animation design and programming for Gallaudet students as well as offer internship and training opportunities.

“This partnership brings our students limitless possibilities in the emerging area of digital media, which is a rapidly growing field,” said Gallaudet’s Erting. “The addition of this academic partnership allows our students to develop innovative skills and first-hand experience to help them land jobs in this dynamic industry.”

The D.C. Office of Motion Picture and Television Development (MPTD) played an instrumental role in attracting Pigmental to the nation’s capital. MPTD plans to work closely with Pigmental to create a robust animation platform that will, in turn, help to strengthen the District’s burgeoning entertainment industry.
“Attracting animation companies and professionals is a critical component to our effort to build a first-class creative economy here in the District,” stated Director Gates. “Having Pigmental build its headquarters here in the nation’s capital is a game-changer and we are thrilled to have them as a partner.”

Working with JBG, a private real estate investment, and development firm, Pigmental Studios also will serve as an anchor for the new development. The goal is to establish a cluster of creative and innovative entrepreneurs and companies in a prospective development on adjacent to the Gallaudet campus.
“We view this as a very creative partnership, which we believe will produce meaningful cultural and economic dividends for Gallaudet, for the community, and the city of Washington,” said Robin Mosle, a JBG executive vice president. “This initiative fits with JBG’s cultural goals and makes us proud to be a partner in this endeavor.”

“Today’s announcement illustrates the District’s commitment to attracting innovative companies to increase jobs and workforce development,” said Brian Kenner, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. “By offering new skills training for Gallaudet students and local residents, Pigmental will help us further diversify our economy.”

innoMAYtion is Mayor Bowser’s pioneering month-long initiative highlighting innovative programs that create jobs, engage residents, position the District as a hub of innovative activity, and open pathways to the middle class. Highlighting various sectors, including the arts, transportation, and technology, innoMAYtion will concentrate on how the city will respond to the needs of residents through the innovation economy and create Pathways to the Middle Class.

Pigmental Studios, which has offices in Washington, DC and Los Angeles, is home to a corps of renowned animation artists and technologists who produce groundbreaking work in cooperation with international production partners.

Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English.

Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world.

Headquartered in Chevy Chase, Md., The JBG Companies is a private real estate investment firm that develops, owns, and manages office, residential, hotel and retail properties. The company has more than $10 billion in assets under management and development in the Washington, DC area. Since 1960, JBG has been active in the areas where it invests, striving to positively impact local communities.

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