HPEF presents Infinitus 2010, a Harry Potter conference            TEXT  MENU

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July 15-18, 2010
Orlando, Florida

Growing Grassroots Projects in Fandom
Heidi Tandy, Melissa Anelli, Andrew Slack, Edward Drogos, Matt Maggiacomo

Get a Clue in 2002. Dumbledore's Army. Habitat New Orleans. Accio Books. Help_Haiti/Helping Haiti Heal. Katie O'Brien Scholarships. Over the last ten years, the Harry Potter fandom has developed amazing charitable projects - some spontaneously, some more structured - to help those in need - over half a million dollars has been raised over the years for charities by this panel's participants, and more is yet to come - including at Infinitus itself. This panel looks back at some of these historical events - what led to the creation of projects like Get a Clue and Help_Haiti/Helping Haiti Heal - and what amazing results have come out of these  grassroots initiatives by fandomers. We will also look to the future and discuss what we have learned through the years, organizing and structuring projects within and beyond the Harry Potter fandom.


Heidi Tandy has, over the years, been involved with the Help_Haiti auction community, FictionAlley, HPEF, the Organization for Transformative Works, the 2008 and 2009 Comic-Con Harry Potter panels and The Leaky Cauldron. In real life, she is an intellectual property attorney in South Florida, the mother of three Harry Potter fans and a firm believer in the maxim “Fandom is my fandom.”

Matt Maggiacomo is The Whomping Willows. Combining an offbeat sense of humor with light political commentary and catchy melodies, Matt has written four full-length albums (loosely) from the perspective of the violent tree at Hogwarts. The Whomping Willows have been touring the United States and Canada for four years and have played over 400 shows to date.

Edward Drogos is a 22-year-old student and writer from Chicago, Illinois. He first discovered the Harry Potter series in 1999, and became fully immersed in the online element of Harry Potter fandom after the explosion of podcasting in 2005. Edward is the Senior Site Editor of The Leaky Cauldron (LeakyNews.com), and serves as a member of the LeakyCon Board of Directors, overseeing the Media and Communications arm for its 2011 conference in Orlando, Florida. When not working on Leaky, he enjoys sales at bookshops, Eddie Izzard, anything made by Apple, working through his Netflix queue, and visiting Los Angeles as often as possible.

Andrew Slack is creator, co-founder, and Executive Director of the Harry Potter Alliance which takes a creative approach to activism by mobilizing thousands of kids to spread love and fight for justice in the spirit of the Harry Potter novels. The HP Alliance has been featured in over 200 US publications including Time Magazine, the LA Times, and the front covers of both the Chicago Tribune Business Section and Politico Newspaper. In his prior career, Andrew performed comedy at hundreds of venues across the US and produced four videos that have been viewed close to eight million times.

Melissa Anelli is the New York Times Best Selling author of Harry, A History. A former NYC news reporter, she joined the Leaky staff in 2001 and has had a ball serving as its webmistress. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, and currently writing her second nonfiction book. In Melissa's free (ha!) time she works on more projects than she can handle, sees more theater than she can afford and consumes more coffee than is healthy for anyone. Her first book, Harry, a History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon, has been (or shortly will be) published in more than eight countries and four languages.
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