Brian Austin, TAP’s Founder and Executive Director, created TAP (est. 2008) in order to translate 20+ years of experience in the arts and animation into a new form of therapy designed to reach at-risk youth and provide them with an opportunity to broaden their personal and professional horizons.
TAP uses digital art technology in a group therapy setting to:
- Improve emotional well-being by engaging youth in a therapeutic process.
- Enhance interpersonal skills through collaborative animation production.
- Develop job readiness through instruction in industry-standard technologies.
TAP provides three levels of programming: Animation Group, Intern Group, and Digital Studio. Each level is designed to impart graduated, supportive experiences that set participants up for professional and personal success. A robust Workforce Development Program (Intern Group and Digital Studio) provides 80 interns a year with a stipend to develop the animation and soft skills needed to join the workforce. TAP has developed relationships with some to the city’s leading studios, who advise TAP and offer internships, shadowing opportunities, master classes, and networking opportunities to TAP interns. Companies include BlueSky Studios, T2 Interactive, FOX Media, Avalanche Studios, and many other big studios.
TAP believes that rehabilitative efforts that emphasize training and skill acquisition alone fail to address the fundamental psychological issues that transform proficiency into gainful and sustainable employment. We provide youth with both a practical understanding of professional-level computer programs and the emotional capacity to lead a dedicated and successful professional life.