wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,

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The Anything Box

It's a slow morning here at the Evil Banking Neighbor, and I'm mulling over part of the conversation Anna Waltz and I had on Sunday morning. We're going to do a not-really-programming thing there, an "Anime 101" presentation for the benefit of folks who are curious about anime but don't really know where to start, and the conversation drifted from that into the larger question of what's going to become of Diversicon.

It's always been Eric Heideman's convention, really, although other people have run it from time to time, and the last couple of years at the Days Inn Mall of America have not been kind to it. Attendance has been stagnant for a few years, the energy hasn't really been there in a while, and Anna suggested that it might be tie to just walk away from it and let it die, leave the time slot in the convention calendar open for some other group to step up and fill in.

I'm not so sure that would be a good thing, but OTOH I don't have the time and energy to spend on it myself. This makes me a little reluctant to prod others into doing so, but at the same time, I think Diversicon fills a particular niche in the ecology of local fandom that deserves to be maintained. The least I can do is prod others into picking up the load and carrying on. The draw for fans to become involved with Diversicon, of course, is that the existing committee is so small that it wouldn't take a whole lot of volunteers to move in, suggest ideas for directions they'd like to see the convention to go in, and make it happen. A hostile takeover without the hostility, really.

Part of the problem in attracting new fans to Diversicon is that its timing in August conflicts with a number of other local events that are of interest to SF and fantasy fans. Diversicon happens on the same weekend as the Renaissance Festival, the Fringefest, and no matter when it happens in August it always seems to conflict with one or another of the art fairs/festivals. In addition, most younger fans tend to come from media and anime backgrounds and don't really have the literary background that Diversicon's programming has traditionally focused on. This is not to say that Diversicon doesn't have TV and film programming, or even anime programming, but the bulk of the panels have always been on literature and writing. In fact, one of the great strengths of the convention is the large proportion of local pro writers who attend it.

Still, the old warhorse needs a shot in the arm, an injection of new blood if it's going to continue plodding along as a small, comfortable convention that's a little too big to be a relaxicon but not too big to be occasionally silly while it has some serious discussions about SF & fantasy. Anyone else out there want to help me sell this convention to the next generation?
Tags: the bush of fandom
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