Can’t wait for ClexaCon? Get the inside scoop on the fan-favorite convention, straight from the directors themselves!
ClexaCon 2018 is right around the corner and we just cannot wait. In preparation for the convention, we sat down with ClexaCon directors Holly Winebarger, Ashley Arnold, and Danielle Jablonski to discuss the importance of this monumental event.
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So, what is ClexaCon? “ClexaCon is a convention designed for queer women by queer women where we bring together some of the most incredible and inspiring women in entertainment to celebrate LGBTQ representation,” the directors told us.
And there’s plenty to look forward to — “You’ll meet amazing people from around the world, and you can meet some of your favorite actresses and the creators behind TV shows and films that are giving us great stories and characters,” explained the directors. “You can catch the best in new films and webseries that feature LGBTQ women at our 3-day film festival, party into the night with thousands of women at our after party, laugh the night away at our comedy event, check out incredible art and artists from around the world in our artist alley, play video games and board games, catch a recording of a great podcast on our main floor, and of course catch panels and meet and greets with the actresses who bring our favorite queer characters to life.”
The women behind ClexaCon went on to explain a little about their motivation for creating the convention. “ClexaCon is named in honor of Clarke and Lexa (‘Clexa’) from the CW’s The 100,” they said. “When fan favorite Lexa was killed — one of the most publicized cases of the ‘Bury Your Gays’ trope that year — members of the queer community responded by raising awareness about the trope. We wanted to create an event that would allow fans and content creators to come together to talk about issues of representation in media, to celebrate the good, and work out how to improve the not so good.”
The actresses and creators behind your favorite LGBTQ characters are headed to ClexaCon!
ClexaCon has a killer guest lineup this year. Chyler Leigh, Caity Lotz, and Amy Acker are just a few of the stars scheduled to appear. But who’s the dream catch? “We all have our personal wish lists,” the directors tell us, “we’ve been incredibly lucky to have had so many fantastic guests in our first two years. We hope that each year we’ll be able to add more amazing guests and also keep bringing guests back! (also, Ellen!)”
A lot of work goes into to organizing such a big event. In fact, ClexaCon 2019 is already in the works! “We firmly believe you need at least a year to plan an event of this size,” they explained. “We’ve already started working on ClexaCon 2019!” But they haven’t always had the advantage of time, the first ClexaCon was planned in only 8 months!
ClexaCon strives to put the fans first, and the directors value fan input. “We’re always on the lookout for new queer characters so that we can bring current shows and creators to ClexaCon,” they told us, adding that they “really look for the fans to tell [the directors] who they want to see.” “Unfortunately,” they continued, “we cannot always afford everyone people ask for, and sometimes guests have other commitments.”
Hoping to become a panelist? Or, maybe you just want to attend, but you’re stranded on the wrong side of the Atlantic ocean. Either way, there’s hope!
It’s not all about choosing guests. There’s also a lengthy application process for those hoping to moderate a ClexaCon panel. “We facilitate an open submission period where we ask people who are interested in moderating or presenting a panel to fill out a form and then we go through a team voting process,” they said. Wondering what team ClexaCon is looking for in panelists? “We want well informed panelists and moderators and we do our best to make that happen!”
“London is a fun city and a major travel hub so we felt that it would be a relatively convenient location for people to get to. We also have a global volunteer team and several team members based in the UK so it seemed like a logical choice. We have fans from around the world asking us to do a ClexaCon event in their country and London seemed like a good place to start!”
And if you’re an ocean too far to attend the Vegas event, don’t despair! ClexaCon is setting up a London event later this year. “The London event is a more like a pop-up convention. It will be similar to the main convention but on a smaller, more intimate level,” the directors explained. Hoping to catch your favorite actress in London? Announcements will be rolling out soon. “Keep an eye on our website!” the directors advise.
As the largest convention specifically for LGBTQ women, ClexaCon is more important now than ever
It’s hard to believe that it’s only the second year of ClexaCon. The convention has made such big waves across social media that it feels like it’s been around much longer. Much of that comes from the convention’s specific, and downright revolutionary, focus. “This is only our second year but we love that we are considered a revolutionary event!” they said. Continuing that, “One of the driving forces for us is our belief that more LGBTQ+ women need to be creating content and be in decision-making positions in the entertainment industry.”
“We think what we are trying to do works well alongside other movements that are pushing for visibility, accountability and a real voice at the table for women and marginalized people.”
Representation is extremely important to the women behind ClexaCon. They passionately explained its importance: “We need more diverse voices from our community involved in the process in order to make sure that our communities are better represented on screen as full, rounded characters that are integral to the story rather than as side characters who are there primarily to move the plot forward for other characters.”
Underneath it all, ClexaCon is just downright fun
For our last question, we asked the ClexaCon directors if there was anything specific they’d like to tell you, our readers:
“We’re really excited this year to be expanding our programming with the addition of two extra days for community events, speed friending, a comedy night, pool parties, video and board game areas, a vidding lounge and a host of other events. We’re also super excited about all of the workshops that we will have on offer for attendees to learn more about the industry and hone their skills. This year’s workshops include: A writers workshop with Emily Andras, a production workshop with Vanessa Piazza, an illustration workshop with Lora Innes, a language workshop with David Peterson, and a YouTube workshop with Jess H-D.”
Sounds like lots of fun!
For more information about ClexaCon, check out their website here.