About KC IMAGINE

The Kansas City Institute for Media, Animation and Graphic Innovation in Education (KC IMAGINE) brings together area leaders from educational, business and civic organizations to explore ways to improve how we prepare talent to serve the region’s digital media industry.  Thank You Walt Disney Inc. (TYWD) and digiSTORY KC, two 501 (c)(3) organizations based in Kansas City, established this program to promote collaboration between stakeholders in our region’s digital media industry.

Kansas City’s digital media industry is extensive, but very decentralized.  KC IMAGINE provides a forum for stakeholders to address their talent pipeline challenges.  A study[1] by the Mid-America Regional Council revealed these facts about our region’s digital storytelling industry:

  • 34,743 jobs
  • 484 firms
  • Workforce will grow 15.2% by 2022

Recent updates to MARC’s research on this industry indicate that digital media is an economic cluster worthy of greater development support.  The location quotient for KC’s digital storytelling industry is 1.07.  This ranks us 9th among our 31 peer cities.  MARC’s recent update also indicated that KC’s strengths lie more on the technical side and less on the media side.

KC IMAGINE believes that a consortium of regional educational institutions, digital media firms and civic programs can accelerate growth in this industry by:

  • Helping colleges adjust curricula to better meet the talent requirements of digital businesses
  • Establishing career readiness programs that encourage high school students to explore occupations in digital media
  • Building community awareness of our region’s digital media industry
  • Fostering entrepreneurial growth in digital media
  • Providing forums and continuing education to promote best practices in digital media business and technology

TYWD & digiSTORY KC believe that Laugh-O-gram, Walt Disney’s last studio here in Kansas City offers the opportunity to continue Walt Disney’s legacy of animation and entrepreneurship. In addition to being a home for Disney’s legacy, it can become a hub of creative media innovation, an educational resource for lifelong learning and a catalyst for entrepreneurial innovation in digital media.

[1] Digital Storytelling in the Kansas City Metro: Occupation and Workforce Data, Profiles and Resources, Mid-America Regional Council, 2013.