Nickelodeon has revealed the names of nine Americans who will be joining its annual writing and artist programs this year. Selected by the ViacomCBS office of global inclusion, four writers and five emerging artists are about to start honing their skills at the Nickelodeon studio.
The four writers include Angel Hobbs (pictured top right), a former engineer turned TV writer who was born and raised in LA; Adam Lujan (pictured top left), an LA-based TV writer who grew up openly queer in a conservative town and wants to tell magical stories centered around queer people; Hunter Toro (pictured bottom right), a writer/comedian from a mixed-race family who has never been sure where she fits in and wants to show those stories on screen; and Saeed Crumpler (pictured bottom left), who was a local hip-hop star in Oakland for 20 years before he embraced screenwriting.
All of the writing program participants will have a chance to network with Nickelodeon’s execs and content creators as they write scripts, pitch story ideas and attend workshops, seminars and classes. They’ll be individually paired with the following mentors: Brian Banks, VP of live action, current series; Kelley Gardner, VP of current series, animation; Bryan Schwartz, director of live-action, current series; and Nathan Schram, director of animation development.
This year’s five participating artists are: Dominique Evans, who was part of AmeriCorps while also freelancing as a comic artist; Anh Bui, who was born and raised in Vietnam and moved to the US to study animation at Columbus College of Art and Design; Carl Edward Mongan, who is an LA-based story artist and party clown; Jasmine Reyes, who was raised in the Bay Area by her Filipino immigrant family before studying animation and storyboarding; and Samuel Pagán, a Puerto Rican artist who specializes in lighting and compositing.
Over six months, they will learn from Nickelodeon’s lead artists about various stages of production. This year’s program is also offering a CG generalist track for the first time, which will get the artists working on some of Nickelodeon Animation Studio’s upcoming CG productions. Pagán will be this new track’s first participant, with Evans and Bui choosing the general program, and Mongan and Reyes opting to focus on storyboarding.
Alumni from Nick’s writing and artist programs now work on shows including The Astronauts, Santiago of the Seas and The Loud House. And other have gone on to land positions with the likes of DreamWorks, Netflix, Disney+ and Cartoon Network.