Imagine Con Launches Kickstarter to Bring Comic Con Experience to Spartanburg, South Carolina, in 2014
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Imagine Con seeks to bring Comic Con experience to Spartanburg
Nonprofit Convention raising funds to create a convention at Spartanburg Expo Center this Fall
Spartanburg, SC: You likely have heard of Comic Con and other conventions where fans gather, wear costumes, play games, buy toys and comics, and basically let their geek flag fly. If two local residents have their wish, you will soon be able to experience that excitement this fall in Spartanburg at a new convention called Imagine Con.
Scott Freeman and Keith Bishop, both from Spartanburg, have put together plans to bring a large scale convention to the Spartanburg Expo Center the first weekend of October. They founded a SC nonprofit organization last year, and they have been working for the last 9 months planning and preparing for the convention. Now the planning is in the final stages, but now they need the help of local residents to make their plan a reality.
The duo wants to make Imagine Con a multi-fandom event, which means that fans of all genres of pop culture will feel at home. “Some conventions focus on one element, but we want fans of science fiction, fantasy, comics, horror films and TV, anime, etc. to feel that Imagine Con offers something for them.” Keith, Imagine Con’s Media Director, explains. Because they are a nonprofit corporation geared toward education, they want to use the interests people have in pop culture to educate as well. Scott, the Event Director for Imagine Con, states, “Today’s science fiction is tomorrow’s science, and interests in horror, fantasy and costuming can lead to career paths in entertainment.” They point to the popularity of shows like Face Off and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge and evidence of the knowledge required to make movie magic happen, and with the Southeast becoming a popular place for filming shows like The Walking Dead and movies like The Hunger Games, education in those skill sets can be a valuable asset.
Scott says, “We see Imagine Con as a great opportunity to bring a multi-fandom convention to Spartanburg. We have seen the impact that a convention can have on the community, and we want Spartanburg to experience that, as well as using the convention as an opportunity to give back to the community.” To accomplish that, Imagine Con is planning a charity auction with the proceeds going to two local charities: The Hope House for Children and The Spartanburg Humane Society. In addition, Imagine Con will provide the charities space at the convention and groups of tickets.
Imagine Con is also planning to partner with The Blood Connection to have their van present at the event and to offer a special incentive to give blood. Keith states, “We see that as a basic need and we want to use the Con to help make sure we have an adequate blood supply for the community.”
Beyond the charity aspects, Keith and Scott feel that bringing a convention to Spartanburg has many other benefits. Keith explains, “A convention like Imagine Con can bring attendees from all over the Southeast—attendees who will stay in local hotels, eat at local restaurants, and shop at local businesses.” If thousands attend as they are expecting, they also say the event could also have a long reaching effect of showcasing Spartanburg as a destination.
Keith and Scott have started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funding for the convention and gauge local interest. Keith says, “We need to see if Spartanburg can really support a large scale convention, and we want to give those who believe that it can an opportunity to get in on the ground floor and donate, as well as have the chance to get in on special pricing for attendance, vendor tables, and sponsorships.”
Scott states ,“Putting on a convention of this magnitude is a daunting and expensive task. If the people of the Upstate are willing to support our plan, we promise an awesome convention experience.” If the goal is not reached, the convention will be postponed until alternate funding can be found. As Keith puts it, “We do not want to close the door, but if we can’t reach the goal through Kickstarter, we will have to seek our corporate sponsors and that will make launching this year a difficult target.”
If you want to see Imagine Con become a reality, you can donate to their Kickstarter, and be sure to like Imagine Con on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to get the latest information as the convention progresses.
About Imagine Con: Imagine Con is a SC nonprofit corporation founded in 2013 to promote education around science fiction and fantasy as portrayed in the media arts. The primary means to achieve this goal is a family-friendly, multi-fandom convention planned for October 2014 in Spartanburg, SC.