On -isms: Universal Fan Con

By | Thursday, December 15, 2016 Leave a Comment
Never heard of Universal Fan Con? It's the "first multi-fandom Con dedicated to inclusion, highlighting Women, LGBTQ, the Disabled and Persons of Color." It actually doesn't exist yet... but it could! They're running a Kickstarter now to raise money for it. Here's their pitch...
We’ve all been to cons. We do so because we are proud geeks, who love geek culture and want to celebrate its awesomeness with others who love it as much as we do. We go because we relate to the characters, so much so that some of us dress up like our favorite heroes or villains. But often times, we don’t see the incredible inclusiveness that is in our communities as a whole represented at cons.

Many cons, no matter how well meaning, limit the idea of inclusion to a diversity panel, never really integrating the spirit of an inclusive world into the fabric of the con itself. This can leave many feeling isolated and marginalized, in essence, like the outsiders so many of our heroes tend to be.

Universal Fan Con grew out of the idea that a con should be a space where everyone can see themselves represented in the genres that they love. From the panels, to the celebrity guests and activities, all the way down to the parties, we believe that the con experience should be a celebration of the differences that make us strong. In this time of political divisiveness rooted in fear, Universal Fan Con is here to celebrate the power of inclusion and representation.

Universal Fan Con will take place on April 27th through the 29th of 2018, at the Baltimore Convention Center. Our goal is bring together at least 10,000 of our closest geek friends from all over the nation to have fun and celebrate geekdom in a place where all are welcome. The world of fandom is one in which personal identity plays a pivotal role. From cosplay to live action role play (LARP), identities of race, gender, and sexual orientation contrast with identities of genre, era, medium and myth.

Yet, so often festivals that are focused on “diversity,” end up being divisive, more about forming exclusive groups instead of building an inclusive respect for differences. For the fan community this is all too common. Universal Fan Con provides an inclusive forum to celebrate intrinsic personal and interest-based identities, offering different groups a place to revel in fandom, while also experiencing the kick-ass otherworldly immersion that an epic con can bring!

Universal Fan Con is more than just a geek event, it is a movement. From New York to Hollywood, the buzz surrounding what we're doing is growing, and exceeding even our expectations. Our team is currently in talks with several celebrity guests who are excited about joining Fan Con. As such, we are super excited to make our first of many celebrity partnership announcements with this Kickstarter.

Lamorne Morris from Fox’s hit show New Girl will be partnering with us to help bring a lot of fun and excitement to the Con. As well as hosting panels and special events for fans, as a comedian, we are fortunate to have Mr. Morris’ leadership in presenting and shaping a fun and interactive fan experience. This is just the first of many celebrity announcements. Stay tuned as there will be more exciting news to follow in the upcoming weeks and months leading up to the Con!

As you can see, we’re already off to a great start, but there’s a lot more that needs to be done. We have a goal of raising $25,000 to assist with some of the costs associated with making this the best Con experience ever for the fans. Your support of as little as one dollar will help us in creating the largest and most inclusive Con ever!

In honoring your support of our mission, every one of our kickstarter backers will be recognized as a stakeholder and receive an inaugural Universal Fan Con Commemorative Program and personalized thank you note, but that'a not all. Because a Con is a participatory experience, all of our rewards are crafted around not just getting you to the Con, but ensuring that you have an amazing time while you're there. We encourage you to check out our rewards and see where you fit in!

Whether you are a fan of anime, comics, gaming, movies, or television, or you just believe in our mission of inclusion in a time when intolerance seems to be on the rise, we ask that you join with us and support this kickstarter. Not only will you have an amazing experience, you will help us take one small step closer to making the world just a little bit better for everyone.

Support Universal Fan Con, because being a fan is truly a universal experience.
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