Some of you may not yet realize but I also do work with a talented bunch at Sketchfed Studios, LLC. This company is based out of Brooklyn and produces various YouTube shows, podcasts, web comics and then some. I'm currently on board as a production manager but I also do editing, writing, hiring, direction, you name it. So while I was at the NYTimes Travel show Asia section this past January 2020, I saw a promotional poster for FanfareNYC. Having no clue what it was, but expressing my interest after seeing an anime character on their flyer, I spoke with a young girl at the Thailand booth.
She explained that FanfareNY is a local, small pop culture and art related convention that's hosted by her high school. I handed her my card, and acquired press passes for my Sketchfed crew to cover the event.
While I didn't attend FanfareNYC personally, I did find out about the back story of the con which I thought was insightful. FanfareNYC is an annual 2 day event that was created by the High school for art and design's parent teacher association.
About 4 years ago, the high school had just acquired a new head principal and he, along with members of the PTA, were trying to brainstorm on how to raise more funds for the schools programming.
I believe it was their new principal who stated he recently had been to a NY comic con event and got the idea to try it at the school. The school has so many famous alumni artists that could possibly come back to help out during the event as well.
So they planned to have the FanfareNYC event structured like a typical convention: with an artist alley, panels, and exhibitors to showcase their wares.
Students are allowed to sell their artwork by renting a table like a typical exhibitor. This has the benefit of not only exposing the mini- adults to some sweet side income, it also teaches them about responsibility of "running a business".
They make a surplus of their artwork, or jewelry, or whatever they're planning on selling, they buy a exhibitor table, and interact with the public, trying to make a sale. For some kids, this is their first exposure to any type of job as some are as young as 12 and 13 years old. There's a few students that have actually bought a booth at bigger local cons, like NY Comiccon, so they help the newbies in establishing themselves at this con as it can be pretty overwhelming for some. H.S for art & design is a great public school that helps low income families get schooling for their talented kids.
The con allows for special alumni to come back and host panels, mentor the students or even sell their products at the con. For 2020, some of their big name alumni included, Neal Adams and Bob Camp, who both do a lot of work for DC Comics; animator Abe Audish who's worked on The Simpson's movie, Futurama, & the original Power Puff Girls. This alumni interaction gives the students a great opportunity to get their portfolio's reviewed by a proper, legit, artist.
The con also boasts having a D&D room, gaming halls and a cosplay contest (but no E-sports, yet). There's some great vendors too.
I absolutely adore this con, its backstory & how it helps shape the future for alot of these young artists. I missed it this year but I will definitely be around for the Fanfare NYC 2021. Believe it!
Check out Sketchfed studios' Quick-a-topians show for exclusive access to FanfareNYC 2020:
For more info, to sign up as a vendor or panelist, the link is