Skip to main content


 Students at Townsend Harris High School in Queens let their imaginations run wild with the help of a stop motion animation workshop taught by an animation artist through YAI Arts and Culture

The teens, who are in Townsend Harris's District 75 program for students with disabilities, worked with animation artist Howard Better throughout the eight-week class. The 16 boys worked in groups of four to learn the basics of stop motion animation and made their art with the help of an iPad, creating an eight-minute film as their final project. The project included the progression of a happy to sad face, a fire truck cruising down the street, and superman flying in to fight dinosaurs.  

“Howard inspired these students so much and they all loved him,” said Ulrike Fenninger, YAI Arts and Culture Coordinator. “It’s one of those programs that when it’s done you feel really happy you did it and that you made a difference in these kids’ lives.” 

The workshop concluded with students showing the short film they worked on to their teachers and peers at the school. Two of the students who are graduating this year said they want to pursue a career in animation. When asked who inspired them the most, nine of the students mentioned Better. 

“One reason I like working with the students is because each child has unique skills and communication methods, and when I help them make an animated movie, we often end up doing something unusual and unexpected,” said Better. “They take me to interesting places.”