Anthrocon

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Anthrocon
Anthrocon logo.png
"Secret Societies" in 2014
Status Active
Genre Furry
Venue David L. Lawrence Convention Center
Westin Convention Center Hotel
Location(s) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Country United States
Inaugurated 1997
Most recent 2014
Attendance 5,861 in 2014[1]
Organized by Anthrocon, Inc.
Filing status 501(c)7
Website
http://www.anthrocon.org/

Anthrocon (abbreviated AC) is the world's largest furry convention, taking place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania each June or July. Its focus is on furries: fictional anthropomorphic animal characters in art and literature. The convention was first held in 1997 in New York State, and draws over 5,000 attendees annually. Attendance in 2013 was 5,577, with a fursuit parade of 1,300 and an economic impact of $6.2 million.[2]

Background and History[edit]

Anthrocon was founded in 1997 as Albany Anthrocon (AAC) in New York State, with a membership of about 500. The convention was renamed to 'Anthrocon' and moved to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in 1999 and 2000; then to a larger hotel, the Adams Mark, on the outskirts of Philadelphia in 2001. Attendance grew each year, Anthrocon becoming the largest furry convention in 2001 with an attendance of 1,457; It has retained that position of the largest furry convention since. In 2004 it had climbed to 2,404 attendees in its final year at the Adams Mark.

Due to the unforeseen sale of the Adams Mark Hotel in November 2004, Anthrocon chose the Wyndham Franklin Plaza in Philadelphia as the site for its 2005 convention. Attendance that year dropped slightly to 2,373, due in part to higher parking fees, a different and unfamiliar hotel (the Wyndham Franklin Plaza in downtown Philadelphia), and possibly due to Hurricane Dennis's effect on the southern United States which closed many airports and prevented people from traveling. In June 2005, a contract with the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Pittsburgh was signed, and Anthrocon was scheduled to be held at the adjoining David L. Lawrence Convention Center between June 15 and 18, 2006. Despite concerns that the move to Pittsburgh would decrease attendance, it actually rose to 2,489, which was enough to ensure the future of the convention in Pittsburgh.

In 2007 Anthrocon was featured in the Guinness World Records (2008 Edition) as the "largest furry fan club" in the world. In 2008, Anthrocon became the first furry convention to have an attendance exceeding 3,000 members, the official count reaching 3,390.[3] In 2009, attendance rose 11% to 3,776, and the Fursuit Parade count jumped to 640—a 41% increase.[4][5] Anthrocon 2009 brought approximately $3 million to the Pittsburgh economy.[6]

Anthrocon 2010 had an attendance of 4,238, the first furry convention to exceed 4,000 members; and by 2012 saw 5,179 attendees, with a Fursuit Parade exceeding 1,000. The admission price was also set overall at $60 for a four day pass, though pre-registered attendees paid $50.[7] In 2013, Anthrocon contracted roomspace with seven of Pittsburgh's ten downtown hotels.

The chairman of the convention since 1999, Dr. Samuel Conway (nicknamed "Kagemushi" or "Uncle Kage" among attendees), oversees the operations of Anthrocon, with the help of convention staff and volunteers who donate their time and energy throughout the weekend to assist the multitude of small tasks which arise. Since 1997, Anthrocon has raised more than $200,000 for animal-related charities.[3]

Anthrocon 2006 Artists' Alley
Anthrocon's dealers, artists and art show share one large hall (photo: dealers area)
Fursuit dance at Anthrocon 2005
Several Anthrocon 2007 directors
Mark Evanier and Carolyn Kelly

Typical Anthrocon programming and events[edit]

There are areas open most of the day to accommodate sales by Dealers and Artists as well as an area to congregate and socialize (see "The Zoo" below).

Anthrocon provides a number of specialized 'tracks' of programming with similar furry based themes and scheduled 'events'.[8][9]

The programming tracks involve discussions and work groups focused on the application of furry in Art, Comedy and Improv, Computer Gaming, Costuming (Fursuits), Music, Puppetry, Role-Playing (both gaming and real-life), and Writing.

The scheduled events that take place are the Charity Auction, the Masquerade, the Fursuit Parade, nightly dances, Art Show Auctions, and special presentations by Uncle Kage and "2 the Ranting Gryphon".[10]

Locations, attendances, and charity donations by year[edit]

Themes and Guests of Honor by year[edit]

Every year the convention has several Guests of Honor – prominent individuals who are compensated for their attendance and travel expenses. Past Guests of Honor at Anthrocon have included:[17][18]

Year Location Attendance[11] Charity
Donation
Charity
1997 Albany, NY 300 est $2,200 Therapy Dogs/K9 Friends
1998 Albany, NY 600 est $3,092 Whiskers
1999 Valley Forge, PA 842 $3,600 Great Valley Nature Center
2000 Valley Forge, PA 1,128 $6,534 The National Greyhound Adoption Program
2001 Philadelphia, PA 1,457 $7,237 Reins of Life
2002 Philadelphia, PA 1,648 $13,280 Canine Partners for Life
2003 Philadelphia, PA 1,949 $8,348 Support Our Shelters
2004 Philadelphia, PA 2,404 $7,200 Forgotten Felines & Fidos (FFF)
2005 Philadelphia, PA 2,370 $6,470 Greater Philadelphia Search & Rescue
2006 Pittsburgh, PA 2,489 $8,407 Western Pennsylvania National Wild Animal
2007 Pittsburgh, PA 2,849 $7,608 Animal Friends
2008 Pittsburgh, PA 3,390 $13,154 Pittsburgh Parrot Rescue
2009 Pittsburgh, PA 3,776[12] $8,993[13] Animal Rescue League Wildlife Rehabilitation
2010 Pittsburgh, PA 4,238 $12,849 Fayette Friends of Animals
2011 Pittsburgh, PA 4,400[14] $11,522[15] ToonSeum
2012 Pittsburgh, PA 5,179 $20,656 Hello Bully
2013 Pittsburgh, PA 5,577 $31,255[16] Equine Angels Rescue
2014 Pittsburgh, PA 5,861 $32,372 The National Aviary
Year Theme Guests of Honor
1997 An East Coast Furry Convention artist Daphne Lage
author Watts Martin
1998 Here There Be Dragons artist Jim Groat
author Jeffrey A. Carver
1999 Join the Furry Revolution artist Vicky Wyman
author S. Andrew Swann
2000 Furries of Myth and Legend artist Sara "Caribou" Palmer
author Paul Kidd
2001 Furries in Flight comic-book artist Dan DeCarlo (creator of Josie and the Pussycats)
syndicated cartoonist Bill Holbrook
2002 Inventions author Lisanne Norman (of The Sholan Series)
artist Heather Bruton
2003 Creatures of the Night artist Guy Gilchrist
artist Mark E. Rogers
2004 Summer Games artist Stan Sakai (creator of Usagi Yojimbo)
artist Michael Gagne
2005 Heroes Peter Laird (co-creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Timothy Albee (director "Kaze, Ghost Warrior")
2006 Making History artist Scott Shaw! (creator of a number of comic book and cartoon characters)
Diane Duane (author of several series including So You Want to Be a Wizard
2007 Looking to the Future voice actor Rob Paulsen
writer Mark Evanier
artist Carolyn Kelly
2008 It's a Jungle Out There animator and Disney Legend Floyd Norman
2009 OMG Aliens character developer and artist Joe Harris
character artist and story designer Ben Balistreri
illustrator and television producer Bob Boyle
2010 Modern Stone-Age Furries author and illustrator James Gurney
puppeteer and director Jim Martin
2011 The Anthropomorphic Institute of Magic author and illustrator Andy Runton
writer Peter S. Beagle
2012 A Midsummer Night’s Dream Comic Artist, Animator, Director, TV Repairman Mike Kazaleh

of Sly Cooper fame, Jim Martin with Gary Gnu from The Great Space Coaster, etc. Dev Madan

2013 The Fast and the Furrious Writer Mercedes Lackey
illustrator Larry Dixon
animation writer, storyboard artist Tom Minton
2014 Secret Societies voice actor Lee Tockar
voice actor Jim Cummings
2015 Vikings invasion [N/A]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "AC2013Attendance". Anthrocon. 2014-04-23. 
  2. ^ http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/furries-leave-visible-prints-downtown-and-in-pittsburghs-coffers-694266/
  3. ^ a b Anthrocon, Inc. (2006-03-29). "Anthrocon History". Archived from the original on 4 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-14. 
  4. ^ John Cole (2009-07-07). "Anthrocon 2009 – A Final Look Back". 
  5. ^ Karl Jorgensen (2009-07-06). "A Bunch Of Anthrocon News Coverage In One Convenient Post!". 
  6. ^ Brandolph, Adam (June 28, 2008). "Furry Convention $3 Million Cash Cow for City Businesses". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  7. ^ Katie Notopoulos (June 20, 2012). "Are Furries Really So Bad?". Buzzfeed. Retrieved June 21, 2012. 
  8. ^ http://www.anthrocon.org/files/anthrocon/active/0/Anthrocon%202009%20schedule.pdf
  9. ^ "Anthrocon Events". 
  10. ^ http://www.ranting-gryphon.com
  11. ^ http://www.anthrocon.org/history
  12. ^ http://www.anthrocon.org/node/4310
  13. ^ http://www.anthrocon.org/node/4299
  14. ^ "Anthrocon 2011 attendance". Anthrocon. 2011-06-26. 
  15. ^ Brian Harris (2011-06-28). "Anthrocon 2011 Charity Event Followup". Retrieved 2011-06-28. 
  16. ^ http://www.anthrocon.org/node/13724/anthrocon-2013-charity-event-followup
  17. ^ Anthrocon's first guest of honor named, Uncle Kage, Anthrocon LiveJournal, 19 August 2006
  18. ^ Anthrocon's 2007 Guests of Honor announced!, Uncle Kage, Anthrocon website, 12 Nov 2006

External links[edit]