WisCon Continues to Welcome People of Color

Welcoming people of color to WisCon is a central value of the entire WisCon convention committee, and has been so for over a decade.

We are aware that our efforts in this area have been incomplete and sometimes unsuccessful and we are committed to doing better.

To that end, we continue to welcome suggestions for how to improve. The more constructive and specific those suggestions are, the more likely it is that the all-volunteer WisCon committee will be able to implement them. WisCon’s history shows that change happens best when spearheaded by a champion or a group of champions who bring additional energy along with their ideas. However, we care enough about this issue that many current committee members are ready to commit additional time and energy to improving our track record.

To that end, we are proud that WisCon 33 will host the first Cultural Appropriation 101 class that we’re aware of in the science fiction world, as suggested and created by the Carl Brandon Society. The class will take place on Friday afternoon and (again at the request of the Carl Brandon Society) will be clearly delineated as “highly recommended” for anyone who wishes to attend any programming on these topics. In addition, moderators of panels related to this topic will be provided with class materials well before the convention.

We are currently about 2 months away from the convention. We’re looking for additional ideas that we can implement in that time frame, as well as ideas for WisCons to come. Because WisCon is a physical space with many tendrils extending into the virtual world, one of the things we can best provide is space for face-to-face networking and problem-solving. To that end, we’re planning to set aside a room during the convention for discussion of moving-forward strategies and potential improvements. We will work closely with people of color to ensure that this does not become a space in which the offenses recycle.

We’ve extended our guest of honor nomination process for an additional 3 weeks specifically to encourage nominations of potential GoHs of color. To nominate a GoH for next year, send an e-mail to gohnoms@wiscon.net by Sunday, March 22 describing why you think they would be a good guests of honor.

One WisCon member, Kate Nepveu, is organizing scholarships to bring people of color to WisCon: more info on this at her LJ community, Fight Derailing .

These issues are not just important for people of color; they are important for all of us. The more we can do to improve in this area, the better WisCon will be. We ask for your help and guidance in achieving this goal: contact chair@wiscon.net with your ideas.

Reminder – Deadlines for Programming & Readings Signups

Just a reminder that this is the last week you can volunteer to be a program participant, be a moderator, or sign up to do a reading or throw a party for WisCon33.

Note that the sign-up process is brand new and utilizes a new, purpose-built database (we’ve given last year’s hamsters a well-deserved retirement.)

There are three basic steps involved in signing up to participate in programming or to be a moderator: Setting up your account, defining your personal information, and signing up for programs/telling us about your availability. Full details are on the WisCon33 programming page. Look for the “My Account” link in the left sidebar to see your options.

Full instructions for signing up for a reading are also on the WisCon33 website.

Participant sign-up will close on this Friday, March 13, 2009. That’s Friday the 13th. Sign up now, don’t delay. After sign-up closes, we’ll be looking at participant availability and starting to block out programming.

For Authors Attending WisCon33…

Posted on behalf of Jeanne Gomoll:

If you have a new book coming out and are going to attend WisCon, I’d like to contact your editor and invite them to buy an ad in the WisCon souvenir book. Selling ads to the publishers of authors attending WisCon was very successful last year, so I’d like to do it again.

As soon as you can, let me know what book of yours is coming out, the name of the publisher and when it is due. Give me a name and email address for the best person for me to contact about an ad.

I can also send you an ad guideline sheet if you would rather contact your editor yourself. Just ask.

I will certainly try to sell ads to publishers even if you aren’t planning to attend WisCon, but judging from WisCon 32’s program book last year, I’m far more likely to be successful if I can assure your editor that you will be here at WisCon, actively promoting your book.

Please respond to advertising@wiscon.net

Thank you!

WisCon 33 Call for Programming Ideas!

The WisCon 33 program committee is excited to announce that program idea submissions are now open!

WisCon gets its best programming ideas from you. We invite you to submit programming ideas for WisCon 33 through January 31, 2009. To submit an idea, please go to the Wiscon programming page and click on the link to the program idea submission form. We eagerly await your suggestions!

Please note that this web page is part of a new programming database system. We’ve tested it extensively, but please bear with any unexpected bugs as we implement it.

Joanna Lowenstein and Cat Hanna
Co-Chairs, Programming, WisCon 33.

Wiscon 33 Call For Artists!

Dear Artist,

We invite you to participate in the WisCon Art Show.

As you know, WisCon is the pre-eminent feminist science fiction convention in the world. We believe that Art is an important aspect of SF, and that an exciting Art Show is an important part of any convention. We strive to make the WisCon Art Show a continuing success by integrating the art show with the rest of the convention.

Art show focus:

Work by women artists
Work by regional artists
Work with feminist themes, whatever that may be

We don’t plan to define feminist themes. That’s up to you. We do, though, plan to continue to have popular awards for the Most Feminist and Most Outrageous items in the Art Show, as have for the past several years. We are interested in original work by the artist, which may include 1 copy of limited edition reproductions. For additional print sales, you are welcome to participate in the WisCon Dealers Room, or make an arrangement with one of the dealers. We also have a small print shop for items with fixed sale prices; let us know if you are interested in participating, since space will be limited.

Please complete an application at www.wiscon.net/events/art-show/ now. Artists must have completed the application process and have received an acceptance notice in order to enter art into the Art Show.

We are doing things a little differently this year. In order to include more new artists, we are requiring all artists to submit an application and photos of their work to the Art Show Staff by January 31 of this year. We will start sorting through the applications then and notify the applicants of their status by February 15.

Completed applications must be submitted by January 31. On about February 15 we will notify accepted artists and about May 1, we will send forms, check-in and shipping information, and other details.

If you attend, you will need to purchase a WisCon membership. Please register at the website or mail in your registration form if you plan on attending. Note that there is a $20 refund available if you volunteer and work 6 or more hours on the convention (ideally, in the Art Show) or participate in programming. Program information is available at www.wiscon.net. If you are interested in participating, you should go to the site and sign up.

While we are not charging for space, we do need to know in advance how much you will need. Our standard hangings are 4′ square pegboard. Artists new to the convention may reserve up to 2 4×4’ panels; for continuing artists, the maximum is 3 panels. It may be possible to get more space, but only at the discretion of the art show director based on the space available. Last year, we filled up, so more than 3 panels is unlikely. Table space is available as well, up to a full 6′ x 36″ table. Please include your space needs when you apply for entrance into the Art Show.

Convention members will have the opportunity to vote on the Art Show awards again this year. WisCon 33’s Art Show will continue to focus on feminist art, art by women, and art by Midwestern artists. For art show information please check the box on the registration form, email artshow@wiscon.net or visit the WisCon web site.

You can write the art show at the WisCon address. We can also be reached at artshow@wiscon.net. I would be happy to answer your questions.

Jane Washburn
WisCon Art Show