In 2003-04, Casey Safron was hosting animation screenings in downtown Manhattan. The events grew in popularity. Animators needed a venue to showcase their films in a world before YouTube. Safron’s college roommate owned a coffee shop in East Williamsburg called The Archive that had access to a screen down the block. The first official Animation Block Party took place on Sept. 9, 2004.
In 2005, ABP received corporate sponsorship and began working with the Brooklyn Academy of Music. ABP partnered with Rooftop Films in 2006. The festival became a full weekend event and by 2015 was passing 5,000 attendees per July. Animation Block Party's 15th annual summerfest is July 26-29, 2018.