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Carin Powell

RespectAbility Entertainment Professionals Lab, Summer 2020

Carin Powell smiling headshot

Carin Powell

Carin Powell is the creator, writer, and director of the forthcoming animated short With The Beat. Having gotten her start as a 3D animator, Powell rose through the ranks at Anamon Studios in San Francisco, becoming a lead animator and fix team lead on their short film, Let’s Eat. In January of 2020, Powell – along with her producer Nora Ng-Quinn – co-founded Signing Animation, a California non-profit dedicated to correcting employment disparities for Deaf artists in the film industry.

This is a second career for Powell, who was a professional classical musician for fifteen years before transitioning to animation. Ever since her parents started explaining the special effects in Star Trek as a way to reassure 5-year-old Powell that the actors weren’t in danger, she’s been in love with movie magic, and she was inspired to switch to animation following a viewing of Pixar’s Monsters University. She had the good fortune to secure one-on-one lessons in Maya from animator Eric Cerda, then continued her education at Cañada College under Paul Naas, eventually learning and working at Michal Makarewicz’s Animation Collaborative in Emeryville. It was there Powell learned about Anamon Studios. After Let’s Eat successfully wrapped, she decided to use her leadership experience to make a difference in her industry by empowering Deaf/Hard of Hearing artists to tell stories about Deaf culture in the medium she loves.

Today, Powell and her dedicated crew are in visual development on their short With The Beat, a story of artistic truism and the power of embracing one’s identity. Production updates and opportunities can be found at


After an extensive search and interview process, 30 individuals were invited to participate in RespectAbility’s Summer 2020 Lab for Entertainment Professionals. This 5-week, 15-session virtual summer Lab series for people interested in – and with experience in – development, production and post-production, including careers as writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, animators and other production roles, will take place June 16 – July 16, 2020. Participants include diverse people with physical, cognitive, sensory, mental health and other disabilities. Learn more:

This program, which continues building the talent pipeline of young professionals with disabilities looking to work behind the scenes, is made possible with support by:

  • Platinum Sponsors: Murray/Reese Foundation and The Walt Disney Company
  • Gold Sponsors: Cast & Crew, Comcast NBCUniversal and Final Draft
  • Silver Sponsors: Fox Corporation and Sony Pictures Entertainment

Meet the Author

Eric Ascher

Eric Ascher is the Communications Associate for RespectAbility. He is responsible for supporting RespectAbility’s Vice President, Communications in developing and implementing advocacy efforts and communications of various types. Ascher manages RespectAbility’s social media channels, website and emails; organizes and develops webinars; and supervises Communications Fellows.

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