KotoriCon: More than just a convention

What’s up guys and gals,

Today we are going to be doing something a little bit differently. While I usually do pre-event and event day coverage of conventions, I’m going to be talking about a local convention that took place a few months ago.

Kotoricon, dubbed on its website as “the little anime con with a big heart,”  is an event ran by students at Rowan College at Gloucester County, with the goal of the event being to raise money for various charity organizations. First started in 2010, the annual two-day event is jam-packed with fun things for attendees to do, including everything from checking out vendors, panels, and screenings of various anime shows.

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A screenshot from https://kotoricon2017.sched.com showing off the schedule for the first day of KotoriCon 2017.

For those interested in how things such the programs and panels are selected, here’s a quick soundbite from an interview I had with Amanda Cancelmo, who was in charge of the of the volunteers and programming at KotoriCon.

To me, there are several aspects of KotoriCon that stood out to me after talking to some of the members of the KotoriCon team.

In addition to the programming, one of the biggest things that stood out to me was the guests that show up to KotoriCon.

This past event, for instance, attracted voice actors such as Tiffany Grant, Michele Knotz, and James Carter Cathcart. These names may sound unfamiliar, but to break it down, they voiced characters such as Asuka Soryu in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Jessie from Team Rocket and Weevil Underwood in Yu-Gi-Oh. (Shout out to YouTube user Anouk van Waardenburg for making this compilation video. I couldn’t help linking to it.)

When I talked with Kelly Terry, who is in charge of guest relations, she mentioned some interesting things about the guest selection process. Here’s a snippet of the interview.

While having a variety of panels and guests is nice, it doesn’t fully touch on what makes KotoriCon special.

KotoriCon is a charity fundraiser with “over $28,000 donated since we started in 2010,” according to the organization’s website.  At this most recent convention, donations went to groups such as Liberty in North Korea, Childs Play, and Seabrook Buddhist Temple, among others. They even raised enough money to rescue two people from North Korea.

Andrew Reeve, one of the members of the KotoriCon team discussed the fundraiser aspect of things with KotoriCon.

While KotoriCon won’t take place again until 2018, this is a convention that should definitely be on everybody’s radar. To find out more, you can check out this page on their website which breaks down the history further.

 

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