June 13, 2015 Meeting of the NJ/NY Costumers’ Guild (aka, the Sick Pups)

Hosted by Diane @ Kendall Park, NJ

Meeting Minutes presented by Tina Connell

Attendees: Diane (host), Byron & Tina, Marcy, Kathy, Rich & Stephanie, Susan

The meeting was called to (dis)order by Byron at 4:15, following the ‘How to Run a Masquerade’ talk by Byron.


Official Stuph:

Review of Minutes: minutes from the March 21st meeting were approved, with two minor corrections.

Treasurer: As of the end of May, we had $403.29 in the account. That’s before deposits for new members, but after the check to the ICG cleared. The Pups have several new members: Lin Daniel (joined at the last meeting), Carol Salemi, and Karen Schnaubelt. Joined at Albacon: the Ford family, the Calkins family (including Dagnir the Dragon), and Carol Provancha.

President’s Report:

ICG activities: There is a motion before the ICG to recognize the Northern Virginia CG chapter. Byron said he thought that some of these may be people he talked to at Anime USA two years ago. At Costume-Con 33, the Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Kathy (Sanders) Bushman. Byron was given a President’s Award for his assistance with the Marty Gear Fund. He recently did an article for the Silicon Web publication.

Lunacon & Lunarians: The next Lunarians meeting will be tomorrow (6/14). Byron & Tina will be going. They missed the May meeting due to CC. The Lunarians are working on organizational matters: code of conduct, new P.O box and bank accounts, By-Laws. Once the By-Laws are complete, the club will apply to the IRS for 501(c)3 status. Marcy & Susan took copies of the Lunarians membership application; Byron will send them the new mailbox address.

Lunacon: Lunacon has another featured guest, Naomi Novik. Diane said that Abi is looking for help for the masquerade – backstage crew, judges, and (of course) costumes.

Show & Tell: Byron & Tina passed around their latest batch of costume books from Daedelus Books for people to fondle. They also brought copies of the Balticon program book, which had great color prints of the Art GoH’s (Ruth Sanderson’s) work. She had a dealers table there, near the art show. Both B&T and Diane bought books illustrated by her.

Activities and Con Reports:

Diane said that Bard Graduate Center (NYC) has an exhibit from the Musée des Arts décoratifs which runs through July 26th, ‘Fashioning the Body: An Intimate History of the Silhouette.’ Diane, Susan and Denice went to see the ‘China Through the Looking Glass’ exhibition at the Met. Exhibition shows modern costume inspired/influenced by historical costume or Chinese motifs, as well as vintage Chinese dress. They also went to see the Indian Deccan exhibit, which is running concurrently at the Met. Kathy, on a separate visit, took photos of embroidered men’s jackets.

Upcoming shows: Diane just saw a preview of ‘Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell.’ She thought that the costumes were very interesting, but wasn’t sure how accurate they were. Byron said it’s an alternate history with magic, set in the Napoleonic wars. He also said that PBS will be staging a production of ‘The Merry Widow’ starring Renee Fleming, next weekend.

Diane went to the red carpet premiere of ‘Testament of Youth’. She got to talk to Kit Harrington, and talked to the producer about locations.


Recent Cons:

Albacon 14.5: Turnout was better than expected, with 173 members. There were some hotel maintenance issues; Byron explained about the previous (now fired) slacker of a maintenance manager, who was let go only shortly before the con. The hotel has been addressing issues as rapidly as possible. There were also 3 fire alarms, on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. There were quite a few younger attendees in costume. Three cash hall costume prizes were awarded during the Saturday evening festivities. Use of the pool area for meet-ups didn’t work out, due to the heat and a roof skylight that couldn’t be opened (also due to the fired maintenance guy). An alternate location was found, but signage to let people know about the change fell through.

Costume-Con 33: Tina did two costumes for the con, for the Single Pattern competition and for Miss Ellen’s Portieres. The latter was based on a fashion plate print from the 1920s. There were hardly any Future Fashion Folio designs made up, because the Folio wasn’t published until 1-1/2 months before the con, which left very little time to make anything. As a result, the Single Pattern and Portieres competitions were pretty large. Byron said there were as many entries in the SP as in the SFF masquerade, and only 3 Folio entries.

Kathy said that the con was small, as expected. The masquerades were on the small side, but all good. Programming was also good; she found things to go to. The dealers room was very limited – only two dealers. Byron said that the con had expected to have Alter Years there, but Janet’s plans changed and she had to fly in, without her stock. The Historical only had 10 entries.

Balticon: Diane was annoyed by the photographic aspect of the masquerade; alleged ‘copyright issues’ prevented photos of the presentations. There was a separate fan photo area, but it was terrible! In a corner next to the elevator, with no lights, no backdrop, and hardly any space. Con registration was a catastrophe! Everyone had to stand on (long) lines in order to find out what line one should be on. They were using a new registration software package, and were trying to do it using tablets only, with no hard copy backup. And their wi-fi connections to the tablets kept going down.

They had a good art show & dealers room. Diane said that the science track was wonderful, and that her girls loved the dances; they went to all three. She went to the hair styling demo on the costuming track, but not the workshop (too expensive). Byron said that next year is Balticon’s 50th anniversary, and George RR Martin will be their GoH, so they will be moving to the downtown Renaissance hotel.


Upcoming Events and Cons:

AnimeNext, Somerset, NJ (6/12 - 14) is also this weekend.

Pi-Con: (7/31-8/2): Our next meeting will be held there. It will be a two hour meeting on Saturday, time TBD. This year will be Pi-Con’s first masquerade.

Sasquan (WorldCon Spokane, WA, 8/19-23): At present, Sasquan has over 9,000 members (including supporting), and they are expecting approx. 4,000 to show up. Byron went to the all-hands meeting at the end of May. The concom seems to be pretty competent. The convention center and the adjacent DoubleTree are very nice; the DoubleTree and a new hotel are connected to the convention center with walkways. As membership has increased, the con has kept adding more hotels. There will be three separate shuttle loops, because the various hotels are in three separate areas. There will be almost 24-hour shuttles, both peak and off-peak periods. The theater has raked seating for 2,800 with two balconies. Kevin Roche will be MC for the masquerade, and David Gerrold will MC the Hugos. There are places to eat: concession stands in the CC, and restaurants in the immediate area. It looks like they’ll have a dynamite restaurant guide.

DragonCon (Labor Day weekend): Diane will be going. She was able to get a room in the area, because a friend wasn’t able to go and Diane was able to get her reserved room.

World Fantasy Con (Saratoga Springs, NY, 11/5 - 8): Has reached their cap, and has a waiting list. The main hotel is full and has a waiting list, and they have an overflow hotel nearby. Lots of artists, pros and publishers, a juried art show, limited programming.

LI Who (11/13 - 15): They’re moving to a larger hotel. Susan said to look on line to see who their guests will be.

Philcon (11/20 - 22 – weekend before Thanksgiving): Very little info from them. No GoH announced yet.

Arisia (1/15 - 18, 2016 – Martin Luther King weekend): John Scalzi & Johanna Klukas are GoHs. Same hotel as usual. Byron & Tina, Rich & Stephanie will be going.

Albacon 2016 (3/4 - 6, 2016): Byron is setting a goal of 175 members, hopes to hit 200. He’s intending to have an Art GoH, but doesn’t have plans for a Fan GoH at this point. If people want, there could be a masquerade.

Lunacon (3/18 - 20, 2016): There will be one. As noted above, Naomi Novik has been added to the guest list, joining Robert Sawyer and Rick Sternbach as featured guests.


Election of Officers: Byron stepped down as Prez, due to his anticipated duties as Chair of Albacon next year, and solicited members who would be willing to serve. Kathy Draves said that she would be willing to do so. Due to Toni Lay’s serious illness, it was obvious that she would not be able to serve as Vice, at least for the foreseeable future. After some discussion, Diane Kovalcin said that she would be willing to accept the nomination, since many of the meetings are at her house anyway. The positions of Treasurer (Marcy Huston), Corresponding Secretary (Elaine Mami) and Recording Secretary (Tina Connell) did not change. There being no contested seats, the slate was put to a vote, and was passed unanimously.

The Elected Officers:

President: Kathy Draves

Vice-Prez: Diane Kovalcin

Treasurer: Marcy Huston

Recording Secretary: Tina Connell

Corresponding Secretary: Elaine Mami

New Business: Diane asked that those of us who have photos of her and the girls please let her have copies; she lost all of her photos when their basement flooded.


Upcoming Meetings / Workshops – set dates beyond Pi-Con:

Weekend of July31-August 2 at Pi-Con at the Sheraton Hartford, next to Bradley Airport (Windsor Locks, CT). On Saturday: exact time/function room will be announced later. To be hosted by Debi Chowdhury. She said that the meeting will have cake, as it is her birthday weekend. No workshop, since we’ll only have 2 hours, and the meeting will be open to all con members, as well as Pups who don’t have Pi-Con memberships.

10/17: Location TBA. Tina will look into suites hotels in Westchester as a possibility.

12/5: at Diane’s.

3/12/16: To be determined. Weekend between Albacon and Lunacon.

Meeting was adjourned (relapse into chaos) at 7:02 pm.