Spin Master is rolling out a Future of Play scholarship program to support the education and career advancement of individuals from historically excluded communities. Scholarships will be provided for students seeking post-secondary education in toy design, digital gaming and app development, animation, and creative production.
The Toronto-based company will invest up to US$100,000 annually in financial aid, mentorship and job placements. The program will kick off this fall, with Spin Master granting eight scholarships annually—three in entertainment (Canada), one in gaming (Canada) and four in toys (two in the US and two in Canada).
Future of Play is open to Black students, Indigenous students and students of color, as well as women, members of the LGBTQ+ community and indigent students. In addition to receiving financial support for their studies, scholarship recipients will also have the opportunity to secure an internship at Spin Master with the potential for full-time employment when they graduate.
Submissions will be reviewed by committees that include members of Spin Master’s employee resource group for diversity and inclusion. The application deadline for the first round is July 23, and more information is available online.
Spin Master’s Future of Play program joins a number of new scholarship offerings designed to increase diversity in the kids industry. Sesame Workshop offers the Sesame Street Writers’ Room Fellowship to amplify underrepresented voices and develop new screenwriting talent, while Boat Rocker’s Ottawa-based animation studio Jam Filled Entertainment recently launched a Diversity in Animation program to attract diverse students to the industry.
But Spin Master’s initiative is unique in that it also covers toys and digital gaming. That broader focus makes sense, considering the company’s digital games segment grew by 394% in Q1 2021 to generate US$34.1 million in revenue.