Announcing Our 2019 Charity: PEARL Parrot Rescue

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Anthrocon is pleased to announce that PEARL Parrot Rescue will be our beneficiary for 2019's charity efforts. The following is a summary from PEARL Parrot Rescue that summarizes their mission and efforts:

The mission of PEARL is to provide quality education to current and potential parrot or bird owners. Unwanted or found parrots are accepted at Parrot Education Adoption Rehoming League, and in turn, are adopted to qualified applicants. We also assist in home-to-home adoptions for non-parrot pet birds. We are a foster-based rescue, located in the Pittsburgh PA area.

PEARL Parrot Rescue will be at the Charity Auction and will have a table in the Dealers' Room where you can meet them and peruse information about their organization.

More information about PEARL Parrot Rescue can be found at their website, pearlparrots.com.  If you have any questions regarding PEARL Parrot Rescue, they can be reached at info(at)pearlparrots.com.

Anthrocon 2019 Dealers Room : Moving to Curation!

For 2019, the Anthrocon Dealers Room will be selected by curation. I know folks will have quite a bit of questions about the process! We'll break it down into the core questions: What, Why, How, Who, and When.

What does curation mean?

The Dealers who will be approved will be no longer selected by a First-Come First-Serve (FCFS) process. Instead, they will be selected based on various merits of their Dealership. It's also referred to often as a "juried" or "judged" system.

Why are you shifting to this system?

Anthrocon has been pondering a curated system for quite a while, as our Dealers Room sells out faster every year despite price increases. We offer a wonderful environment for our Dealers to make their sales and enjoy their time doing so. Word gets out, and the competition to get a table begins to grow once we surge past capacity.

In 2013, the room sold to completion in 100 days. In 2015, it took 17 days. In 2018, it sold out in a day and a half.

At this pace, if we kept FCFS, we'd be measuring the sellout time in hours, and soon enough minutes. This is where FCFS no longer benefits the prepared, but those who can afford to take the time off from work and are ready to hover at their keyboards. In 2018, we saw the rush to fill out an application result in mistyped information and browser autofill failings. We need our dealers to fill out information thoroughly and with care.

Other large furry conventions such as Midwest FurFest, Biggest Little Fur Con, and Furry Weekend Atlanta have gone to a curated system. We've seen successes and mistakes of their systems, and we hope we'll be able to incorporate the best of them to create ours. We know the system won't make everyone happy, but we're going to do our best to make a fair system that makes an excellent Dealers Room for all our Members.

We are likely to make mistakes along the way, and we'll try to fix any of them for 2020 and future years. Feedback is always welcomed.

How will the curation be performed?

We're going to consider each Dealership based on a variety of factors, which include:

On-Topic: How much of a dealer's wares relate to furry fandom, or other interests of typical Anthrocon Members?

Quality:, Is the Dealership selling quality goods that will interest our Members and make for good sales? This may be based on a Dealers website, prior years in the Dealers Room, and/or additional information.

Variety: Are there many or few Dealers selling product of this type? Are you filling a niche other Dealers will not be?

Prior Status: Have you been a Guest of Honor or Charitable Organization with Anthrocon before?

After thorough consideration, we'll select a first round of Dealers for approval and payment, and place all others on the waitlist. Filling from the waitlist will be done similarly as to prior years, individually as openings occur.

Who will be doing the curating?

The Dealers Room staff, currently consisting of eight individuals including the director, will be handling the majority of the selection process. Other Anthrocon staff may be involved in minor fashion.

When are the important dates?

October 6th is the planned opening date for applications.

October 31st at 11:59pm, EST, will be the final date for applications.

Our plan is to make selections in November, and begin contacting approved Dealers in late November or early December. Quite a few of our dealers may be attending Midwest Furfest, and we know they may not be able to communicate or pay during that time; we will schedule with that in mind.

--Chiaroscuro

Anthrocon 2018 Wrapup!

Photo Credit

There's no question about it, Anthrocon 2018 was an amazing success in downtown Pittsburgh this year!  Eight Thousand Four Hundred and Seven of you made Pittsburgh a little brighter this weekend.  We raised over $42,051 for our charity, South Hills Pet Rescue.  1,980 of you participated in the Annual Fursuit Parade and got to showcase Anthrocon to all to Pittsburgh!  For one weekend, we made Pittsburgh just a little brighter and friendlier.  Crime dropped. We played Asteroids. Cops loved us.  

And then there was the Tiki Bar.

Now that we're back home and unpacking, we have gone through the Lost and Found items that have been turned in. Did you lose something? Please fill out this form, and we'll follow up with you.

Looking for the Fursuit Group Photo? Here it is. A high-resolution 14,920 x 4,077 pixel version of that photo can be found over here.

Want to see some news coverage?  Here's what we've found so far:

Many thanks to our attendees, our staff, and the city of Pittsburgh for being such a hospitable host city!

Do you have more thoughts or feedback to share with us?  Please take our post-con survey!

Anthrocon 2019 will be held July 4-July 7, 2019 in Pittsburgh, PA, USA and the theme will be "Surf Pacific".  Pack your wetsuits and surfboards!  We’ll see you then.

 

Hotel Room Reservations Close on June 12th!

Need a hotel room for Anthrocon?  All double rooms are sold out except for Marriott and Wyndham Grand.  Room blocks close on June 12th, reserve your hotel room now! 

Head on over to our hotel page to get started!

Just as we did last year, we will also have a shuttle service running between overflow hotels and the DLCC this year every half hour.  Schedules will be finalized and posted closer to the con.

 

Charity Auction/Raffle Donations Needed For 2018 Fundraising!

As you may have heard, Anthrocon's selected charity this year is South Hills Pet Rescue. While cash donations made at the convention are great, the plurality of funds are raised via donations of artwork and merchandise to our Charity Auction and Raffle. We're looking for popular items and unique craftwork that will make people say, "I want that!"

Here are some examples of donations that went big in past years...

Great examples from prior raffles: Crafts based on hot trends ("Toothless" Build-A-Bear plus - $381); Popular media (Sherlock Hound DVD set - $147); Art bought at prior convention art shows ("Wrath" art by Terrie Smith - $83); Giant, brand new plush of popular animals or characters (Border collie plush - $129); Merchandise based on popular fiction (Dr. Who's sonic screwdriver - $158); Gift cards (Amazon $100 gift card - $305).

Great examples from prior auctions: Fursuit costumes and commissions (Griffon fursuit head - $460); Rare convention memorabilia (Full set of all AC t-shirts since 1997 - $200); Professional sculpture (Softsculp poseable gryphon - $350); Unique opportunities (A speaking part in audio version of Diane Duane's "The Last Meow" - $500); Dorsai fursuit tags (Tag #1000 - $1600); Contemporary culture ("Zootropolis" movie poster - $300).

If you have an item you believe would be appropriate and would like to donate, please contact charity(at)anthrocon.org!

Helpful links:

* Donations are distributed between the Raffle and Auction based on available space, time, and perceived and past value.

Anthrocon 2018 Fursuit-Friendly Cruises

Anthrocon 2018 Fursuit-Friendly Cruises

In conjunction with the Gateway Clipper Fleet, Anthrocon is once again offering two Fursuit-Friendly Cruises.

  • An Afternoon cruise will be offered on Thursday, July 5th.
  • A Sunset cruise will be offered on Friday, Jul 6th.
  • Boarding will take place at the Convention Center Riverfront Plaza.
  •  Ticket prices will be $19.99 each and space will be limited.
  • A complimentary bottle of water will be offered to all passengers and long straws will be supplied for use by fursuiters.
  • The boats have both open decks and closed air conditioned decks so the cruises will be sailing rain or shine.
  • You do not need a con badge to board the cruise. However, you will need your cruise tickets for boarding, whether it be in hard copy or electronic format.

Thursday, July 5th Afternoon Fursuit-Friendly Cruise

  • Sailing on the Gateway Clipper Fleet Duchess
  • Boarding begins at 2:30 PM EDT Thursday July 5th
  • Ship sails at 3:00 PM EDT
  •  Returns to the dock at 4:00 PM EDT
  • Capacity: 175

Friday, July 6th Sunset Fursuit-Friendly Cruise

  • The Friday Sunset Cruise is currently sold out.  Tickets will be made available if there are any cancellations.
  • Sailing on the Gateway Clipper Fleet Duchess
  • Boarding begins at 7:30 PM EDT Friday July 6th
  • Ship sails at 8:00 PM EDT
  •  Sunset at 8:54 PM EDT
  • Returns to the dock at 9:00 PM EDT
  • Capacity: 175

The sunset cruise will be sailing past PNC Park during the Pirates game.  Perhaps we can get noticed and put up on the Jumbotron!!!

Don't wait, click here to buy your tickets today!

Fursuit-Friendly Cruise Refund Policy

  • The deadline to request a refund for the Fursuit-Friendly cruise is June 17th, 2018 at 11:59pm EDT. Refund requests after this time will not be granted.
  • The cruises will set sail rain or shine. If conditions on the river itself prevent a safe departure and the cruise is cancelled, refunds will be issued for that cruise.
  • Refunds will not be issued if you miss the boarding time for your cruise.
  •  Refund requests must made by email to refunds@anthrocon.org.  We need your LEGAL NAME, EMAIL USED FOR PURCHASE, CRUISE THAT TICKETS WERE PURCHASED FOR and NUMBER OF TICKETS PURCHASED to properly identify you for a refund. We cannot accept refund requests made by PM on the website, by Twitter, by Facebook/G+ posts, or other methods.
  • Refunds must be approved/requested by the person who purchased the tickets.

 

Introducing our Second Guest of Honor: Ursula Vernon

Our next Guest of Honor is a two-time Hugo Award Winner, and a Nebula Award Winner: Ursula Vernon!  Her credits improve Mythopoeic Award (2013) winning webcomic Digger and her book series “Dragonbreath” which won the Sequoyah Book Award for Children’s Literature. Her short story “Jackalope Wives” won the Nebula Award for Best Short Story,

You can read more about her on our Guest of Honor page.

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What to Expect When Hotels Open

On Friday, February 2nd, 2018 general hotel reservations will open at 11 AM Eastern Standard Time (GMT -0500).  If we were to post the link on this website at 11 AM, the website would quickly become overwhelmed with all the requests.  So instead, we will once again post the link on our various social media channels.

Shortly after 11 AM (as shown by the service at https://time.is/), the link to reserve hotel rooms will be posted in the following social media channels, in order:

...in the event that one service is down or otherwise unreachable, we will move onto the next service.   The first 3 services (Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus) do not require accounts on those services to view--the page may simply be loaded (and refreshed) in your web browser.

As room types and hotels sell out, we will post updates to our Twitter feed.

After about an hour or two, once things have calmed down, we will then update our hotel page with details on each hotel's remaining inventory.

Tips For Booking A Room

  •  From VisitPittsburgh Housing Services:  "If you know the legal names of your roommates when you make your booking, of course you can enter them, and if you have your roommates’ email addresses, enter them in the email field and your roommates will receive a copy of the reservation acknowledgment. If you do not know the true names of your roommates at the time of booking, please do not add fake names or generic names such as Guest #2, Guest #3.  Instead, leave those names blank and then reach out to Visit Pittsburgh as described in the next step...
  • If you need assistance after your reservation is made or need to add/change guests, please email housing(at)visitpittsburgh.com for assistance.  Replies may be delayed for a day or two after reservations open due to volume.
  • From PassKey: "We recommend that you only have one browser window open. Using multiple browsers/multiple windows at the same time may cause problems."
  • While we will try to post updates when a particular hotel sells out, your best bet is the PassKey website itself.  If a hotel is not listed, then it is very likely not available.

Now that I got a room, what do I do with it?

First, please visit our Anthrocon 2018 Hotel Reservation Experience Survey and let us know your thoughts on the reservation experience.

Next, make travel plans!

Finally, if you need roommates, you could ask on our Facebook Room Share Group or perhaps on #roomshare on our Discord server.

 

(Photo Credit WESA FM)

Announcing Our 2018 Charity: South Hills Pet Rescue

Anthrocon is pleased to announce that South Hills Pet Rescue will be our beneficiary for 2018's charity efforts. The following is a summary from South Hills Pet Rescue that summarizes their mission and efforts:

Nick Ferraro ran South Hills Pet Resort, a boarding and training facility, and purchased it in 2012. Ashley Rittle was having a hard time with her dog, and called Nick to request his training services. Little did they know the adventure ahead; they were married in June 2013, and that August, they were asked to help a local animal rescue that had been overwhelmed with dogs pulled from high-kill shelters set to be euthanized for behavioral issues. They agreed to take 13 dogs, but 62 dogs were dropped off at their door filling all of the Resort’s boarding kennels. Nick and Ashley cared for all 62 of these dogs in need, rehabilitating them before finding each dog a forever home. Ashley will tell you this is the moment they knew what they had to do. The plan was to dedicate ten of the Resort’s boarding kennels to dog rescue, but as we all know, plans often change.

Today, South Hills Pet Rescue (SHPR), an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, houses an average of 50 rescue dogs at all times. Apart from three part-time staff members who care for the dogs onsite, SHPR is run by volunteers. Your support of SHPR directly helps dogs in need!

South Hills Pet Rescue will be at the Charity Auction and will have a table in the Dealers' Room where you can meet them and peruse information about their organization.

More information about South Hills Pet Rescue can be found at their website, southhillspetrescue.org.  If you have any questions regarding South Hills Pet Rescue, they can be reached at shpr88(at)yahoo.com.