Stumptown Comics, Inc. is restructuring its presentation of the Stumptown Comics Festival in 2014 and joining forces with Rose City Comic Con to make it happen. Beginning next year, the Stumptown Comics Fest will no longer be held as a single convention-style event, as it has been for the past ten years. Instead, Stumptown is moving its panel programming and the annual Stumptown Comic Arts awards to Rose City Comic Con in September while the group's board of directors works on a new schedule of Stumptown community events to debut in 2015.
After achieving its big-picture goal of being granted nonprofit status as a 501(c)3 in April of 2013, the board of directors of Stumptown Comics, Inc. began working toward a new vision for the festival, focusing more on its educational goals and less on staging a consumer-oriented convention.
Chair of Stumptown's board of directors, Shawna Gore, explains the change in approach: "From the very beginning, Stumptown's goals were to bring an artistic and educational focus on comics to Portland. In those early days there was only one other comics convention in Portland, so the Fest eventually took the shape of a more mainstream-style show to give us a place to gather creators and fans together for our workshops and symposiums. But now Portland has multiple comic and pop culture cons. By partnering with Rose City Comic Con as a venue to present both our programming and our awards, we can focus on new ways to pursue our organizations educational mission."
Rose City Comic Con co-founder Ron Brister has been a longtime supporter of Stumptown and has been working closely with the nonprofit's board to implement these changes. "Stumptown is such an important part of the Portland comics community, and Rose City Comic Con is eager and happy to partner with Stumptown for the future. We're looking forward to having a portion of our programming directed in partnership with Stumptown, enabling Rose City Comic Con to offer focused educational panels and workshops. I'm personally excited and looking forward to our September 2014 event to expose more than 25,000 attendees to Stumptown and what it represents."
Beginning in January, Stumptown's board of directors will be recruiting four new members to fill recently vacated positions and further expand its reach into the Portland cultural community. Further announcements on this will be forthcoming, and interviews to fill the available board positions will take place in early 2014.