July 15, 2017 Meeting of the NJ/NY Costumers’ Guild (aka, the Sick Pups)

Meeting held at Diane’s house

Meeting Minutes presented by Tina Connell

Note: the May meeting at Heidi’s house had to be canceled, due to health issues.

Attendees: Diane (hosting), Byron & Tina, Rich & Stephanie, Kathy, and Abi (with son Hayden).

The meeting was called to (dis)order at 3:37 pm., following a food break and a ‘workshop’ of Diane’s photos and memorabilia from the Madrid Museum of Costume.

Official Stuph:

Minutes: The minutes of the March 4th meeting were distributed and were approved after one minor correction by Rich (“and planned to attend Shore Leave”).

President’s Report: Byron reported on the discussion on the ICG Board of Directors list, about how chapters can improve themselves (attachment from Lorien Fletcher - Time Travelers CG, Portland OR). One suggestion was developing a series of interviews with prominent costumers (audio - oral history). Lisa Ashton volunteered to take the lead on that. Bruce and Pierre are working on a video production for costumers. Something that could be shown at DragonCon, on the ICG web site, and at other cons.

Treasurer: Byron reported for Marcy, as she was unable to attend. We have $462.76 in the account, as of the most recent statement, but some of that is owed to the ICG for dues.

Byron expressed his concern about the job Marcy is doing as Treasurer. Byron & Tina’s membership dues haven’t been sent to the ICG for this year, and as a result, Byron is actually unable to represent us on ICG matters, since he is considered to be delinquent. In addition we are several years behind on filing paperwork to the ICG and the IRS; he can’t get Marcy to do even the minimum necessary. Reports to the ICG of our membership are only supposed to include ICG members, but the reports that get sent to them include our entire membership, which leads to a lot of confusion and requests for clarification. The ICG provided Marcy with a free copy of Quick Books (which would make generating the necessary reports quite easy), but there is no sign that she is using it. According to the ICG’s GEL administrator, the IRS has revoked our IRS 501(c)3 status, due to failure to file the necessary annual reports.

After some discussion, it was unanimously agree that we need a Treasurer who will perform hers (or his) duties. Election of officers normally take place at the last meeting of the year. One of those present volunteered to run for Treasurer in December, but that left us still needing someone to do the necessary until then. Hearing no other volunteers, Tina agreed to wear two hats until December. Byron will ask Marcy to send her Treasurer records to him, so that we can start straightening out our finances and get back into good standing with the ICG.

Discussion of ways to improve the Pups’ visibility:

Kathy suggested adding the Pups’ contact info on the back of our hall costume ribbons. Meeting places: most public venues, such as libraries, may not want to commit space for our type of meeting, which runs up to 5 or 6 hours long. We should try to find other groups, and invite them to our meetings. There is a cosplay group in the Albany area that has 1200+ members. Other meeting locations: we mostly meet in central NJ locations. Perhaps hold an occasional meeting further north, to make it easier for members and others to attend (Debi, Chris, Lin). Byron & Tina have hosted at the Hyatt House suites in West Harrison, NY (near the Westchester Hilton/former Lunacon hotel). That would be somewhat closer for the more northern members, as well as for Kathy.

Social Media: Someone to take charge of: we should try to have posts a couple of times a week to platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr. We will need to create separate Pups accounts for those we do not have already. Diane said that she would be willing to help with that, but she will need to figure out how to have things automatically post when she is away traveling. Kathy suggested, for sometime in the future, a blog about projects. Tina said that on any public forums, we should use ‘NJ/NY Costumers’ and not ‘Sick Pups’ as that might be misunderstood.

Recent Cons:

Albacon: There were some room problems - blocked rooms changed around without notice to the committee, for instance. But those were ironed out, and things went pretty smoothly. The costume contest, which was done informally, without stage or tech, was intimate and very popular. There were 23 costumes presented. Stephanie said that the pizza in the con suite was wonderful. Byron said that Albacon will be moving back to its traditional Fall schedule next year, which will also avoid competition for Lunacon and Heliosphere.

Lunacon: Diane thought they were very disorganized. Stephanie said that she, Rich, and the DerpyCon volunteer tech people were just about it, for tech. The masquerade had a total of four(!) entries, one of which was out of competition. There was an 11 year old who entered as Novice, not Young Fan, who made her own costume and designed her own routine. Byron felt that Lunacon is unlikely to continue the masquerade, as a result. He also said that they had no new book dealers, just used books and collectibles.

Costume-Con 35: Kathy said there were problems with the hotel room block. Byron said that the Masquerade Runners Meet-up on Sunday morning was very successful. He also said that the dealers’ room was small, and that the masquerades were huge (he thought there were 40+ for the F&SF, and about 25 for the Historical). The Historical MC was not up to the standard we have come to expect at Costume-Cons.

Kathy noted that Costume-Con three years from now will be fairly close, in Montreal. Byron said he knows people on the Montreal bid, and he’s sure they are competent to put on a good con.

Balticon: Diane went. She said that the con suite was next to the dealers room. She went to a lot of science panels; they need to assign bigger rooms for the science track. The best panels were on Monday. The masquerade was well done, she thought there were about 20-25 entries, but couldn’t remember who won best in show. There was no post-masquerade newsletter. Stephanie said that Balticon is in the process of changing Tech Directors.

Shore Leave: Rich & Stephanie went. The masquerade was about 20 entries. It was not ICG-guideline based. They did not publish masquerade rules. There was a 6 year old Groot, who made their own costume.

AnimeNext: Abi reported that the con moved to Atlantic City, and are doing very well there. What she saw of the con seemed to be going very well.

Upcoming Events and Cons:

DragonCon (Labor Day weekend): Diane is going. She will be staying out near Georgia Tech; there are no hotels available near the con. It’s been up to 60,000 attendees, and keeps growing. She does not expect to return next year.

Confluence: (8/4 - 6, Pittsburgh): Byron & Tina are going. It will be a good opportunity to get together with Lisa and Karen.

Philcon: (11/10-12): Abi has volunteered to run their masquerade, but she hasn’t heard back from them. GoHs: Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant, Don Maitz, Jani Wurts.

LI Who: (also 11/10-12): Kathy mentioned several guests they are expecting, including Sylvester McCoy. She said that last year they had about 1,000 attendees.

Show & Tell: Kathy showed us some samples of needle lace from her lace tour of Spain. She went to museums and other places with lace, even some private viewings. At the Royal Tapestry Factory in Madrid, which does reproductions of artwork as tapestry, there is also a restoration and conservation area, and she got to see ‘back stage.’ Diane asked her how she found out about it. At the Ithaca Needle Lace days, via word of mouth from the organizer. It was a small group with two vans. Next August, there will be a lace conference in Bruges – 2-1/2 weeks of all workshops, and some special exhibits, and a tour of Belgium.

Diane showed postcards and publications from her Spain visit. Byron & Tina passed around some of their newest books for people to enjoy.

Diane asked Byron if he had seen Wonder Woman. She was curious about his ‘take’ on the WW I uniforms. Although he had not seen it, he mentioned that for US-made movies that include US uniforms, they must include some inaccuracy in the uniform, even if slight, so it is not ‘impersonating a serviceman.’

Upcoming Meetings / Workshops:

12/2/17: (Election of Officers): Byron & Tina will host at the Hyatt House in West Harrison, NY

Meeting was adjourned (relapse into chaos) at 7:00 pm.