Hello everybody and welcome to the April edition of Digging Up Positivity! This episode is filled to the brink with charity events and fundraisers. And now that most of the world is slowly opening up again, the urge to go out and have fun again is real with many of us! When I visited some of them, like Elfia, it was like a reunion from a long lost time, and many conversations went like this [scene from the Witcher]:
I haven't seen you since the plague.
But besides new events, charities and just plain old outside fun, recently a new furry social network has been rapidly growing: Barq. And this social network has been founded by a Dutch Fur, Woutske, who is our featurette of this month, but now, without further ado: The charities.
A letter coming out of Motor City Fur Con highlights a situation that furry conventions may need to be made aware of, and to take actions protecting against. This opinion piece will go over this situation, and why it's important that our community address this situation, and against possible weaponization of it.
Primarily, conventions are a big deal in the furry world. These organized efforts of staff and volunteers are an excellent opportunity for friends from great distances to come together and meet one another. Something that can seem quite simple on the surface creates great stress to those at the helm. Earlier this year we found a small group of furs overburdened and liquidating a company when they took on too much workload. The tragedy being there was probably no ill intention, but their small group taking on too much created vulnerability and eventually it all came tumbling down.
Leaders of conventions, and those that volunteer, sacrifice a lot in order to keep these essential functions for our fandom running. This sacrifice was emphasized through recent news out of Detroit’s Motor City Fur Con when the convention chair of FurSquared announced that in order to attend Motor City Fur Con, he lost his job. Now Alkali, a convention chair who has done an untold amount of hours for charity work and running panels at other various conventions, looks for subscription support in order to focus on creating content for the fandom he loves with his spouse Xanni. And in spite of this rock to his world, he is still running FurSquared this very weekend.
While Flayrah has been critical of leadership of conventions in the past, today the focus goes in the other direction, toward the attendees. Because the loss of employment of one of the volunteers of Motor City Fur Con was followed up by another troubling letter from the same convention about how other attendees chose to spend their time.
Hello and welcome to the March edition of Digging Up Positivity. Where one global challenge is slowly nearing its end, another is waiting in its place to take over. But together we stand strong, and remember, in darkness even the smallest ray of light shines the brightest. And with that, I would like to mention that some of this episodes causes are about the Ukraine situation, including this months’ featurette: Blajn.
This months’ episode is packed with so many amazing charities, and even more. It is good to see that there is still plenty of force for good in the world. And with that, let's go on with listing them all!
Hello and welcome to the February episode of Digging Up Positivity from a very, very windy Netherlands. Of course we have some lovely charities, including furries making a tremendous impact in Madison County, USA. Furthermore we have some lovely animation news. While I always get a little bit of mixed feelings with reboots, some of the upcoming ones do make me quite curious.
And we have some interesting developments regarding the environment and our special guest is a spectacled cat from the USA, chairman of the Western PA Furry Weekend, car enthusiast and owner of a golden voice: Manicknux. Oh, and if you like my art, or are a LEGO enthusiast, please do check out my twitch channel! Currently I am building the big Ecto-1, the famous car from Ghostbusters.
But now, first, the wonderful causes we have been raising funds for!
Corgi Events LLC, a for-profit organization that operated five furry and two brony conventions, is to be disbanded according to a letter released by one of the conventions, AquatiFur, on February 12th. This follows a series of events and malfeasance concerns that started with an unusual email sent out to their Dealer’s Den mailing list. This letter, sent February 8th, alleged the LLC's sole-proprietor, Corey “Treble” Woods, was going to file for bankruptcy and bail on the organization.
This troubling news followed a stressful slate of Corgi Events running Sin City Murr Con’s première instance, just after Painted Desert Fur Con a month prior. Testimony from Boiler, a prior member of staff, shared their side of the story on this unrelenting demand on staff. It talked of a loss of faith in their organization’s leader due a spate of problematic behavior, including alleged drunkenness, prolonged response times to urgent financial matters, and delays in compensation. Tempers finally blew over into the public sphere when Treble terminated Koi from staff, a person who he admitted was running many day-to-day operations.
As a new year comes upon us, the article which has served us from the start of the pandemic to this point in keeping track of closures and cancelations of furry gatherings shall be put to a close. That article with historical information around closures for the pandemic from the years of 2020 through 2021 can be found here.
Unfortunately we are not through our long night in these woods quite yet as recent news from Further Confusion has shown. They will be postponing their gathering due to the a new wave of the virus. Therefore this, like the prior article, this will be used as a archive for 2022 conventions who need to close or suspend operations for the year.
Last updated February 28th 23:45 ET. Latest update description: FurcoNZ Postpones 2022
Hello and welcome to the November episode of Digging Up Positivity. October and November are traditionally busy months filled with all sorts of conventions and events, and boy does it show in our overview. We got a lot of fundraisers for various charities all over the world this time! Which brings us to our featurette: Joe G. Bear, our American friend who is one of those wonderful people behind Team Tony, one that is working so hard to raise funds against this terrible disease of ALS [Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis]!
But first we have the other charity news, followed by some animation news including Disney’s Zootopia+ and of course after all of these things, we will find out who has won that wonderful Thabo Meerkat T-shirt ‘I am just a mere kat’.
So now, on with the show!
Welcome to the October edition of Digging Up Positivity. This month we are pleased to see the conventions returning, and with that, all those lovely charities that they support. The featurette of this month is Cassidy Civet, known by many as that critter that appeared at the Eurovision Song Festival, but by all means, this feline is not limited by that. But first, lets start with this months charitable highlights.
The following is a Newsletter written by the Vice Chair for Tails and Tornadoes, Koori Kitty
After almost two years of uncertainty caused by the pandemic, Tails and Tornadoes Fur Con made its triumphant return to the Southern Hills Tulsa Marriott hotel over Labor Day weekend, September 3-5,2021. The convention, led by Koori Kitty (President / Vice Chair) and Mattew (Chair) provided a safe and fun atmosphere for furry convention goers during the weekend. During the event, TTFC raised more than $6000 for their charity, Safari's Sanctuary. In addition, TTFC welcomed more than 568 attendees and over 160 fursuiters in the parade.
This year's convention theme, "Rawring 20's" was originally intended for the event scheduled in 2020, which was to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the "Roaring 20's" era complete with art, dapper costumes and decor. However, due to the pandemic, TTFC along with many other events were forced to postpone. There were many challenges and difficult decisions to be made when planning for the return of furry conventions after what we experienced in 2020. We spent many long hours planning and meeting with various teams, government officials, and our hotel team to ensure attendees not only had the best experience but the safest experience possible
Like many conventions, TTFC implemented a variety of pandemic safety measures, including required mask wearing coupled with vaccine proof or negative test results. The convention took great care in making sure the health of their attendees, staff and guests were priority. Although challenging at first, TTFC's staff came together and sucessfully screened hundreds of guests.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Tails and Tornadoes is a young convention that's been running in the Central U.S. state since 2019. Its premiere year was reviewed here on Flayrah by one-time contributor Koori Kitty. Like the weather system it was named after, the con has subsequently found itself in a whirlwind that's rattled its organization.
The first shakeup was one that affected most gatherings, in that its second year was unable to be held in 2020 due to COVID-19 closures. But on top of this, the same year brought in political fallout from the final year of Trump's presidency. Riots in the American Midwest soon spurred worldwide protests following the murder of George Floyd by a law enforcement officer, where the unarmed black man was strangled by a knee to his neck that was held there for over eight minutes. The entire duration of the strangulation was recorded on a smartphone and shared over the Internet.
The United States government, under the leadership it held, decided to go against the advisability of de-escalation in these matters and instead responded with hostile rhetoric. Given the shutdown of many non-essential jobs due to the pandemic, this created a perfect storm of vocal protests and rioting towards an unsympathetic system, sentiments that spread far beyond the Midwest where the murder took place.
Update: Correction made about staffing shifts from 2020 to 2021 in Tails and Tornados per Koori.
Welcome to the August edition of Digging Up Positivity! Slowly we are sliding into convention season and of course this comes with plenty of the traditional charitable goals. Speaking of which, this months featurette has a big role with that in South Africa. We have some animation news, and we see where badgers teach traffic safety! And also, if you want to win this T-shirt? Then stay until the end of the show!
For the first time since January 2020, one of the eight largest furry conventions opened its doors to an in-person gathering. Megaplex 2021 saw 2,889 attendees on the first weekend of August 2021, ~80% of 2019's pre-pandemic total. $50,000 was raised for the C.A.R.E. Foundation.
Staff set COVID-19 policies and required masks in most cases, doing their best to make guests comfortable while cautious of the viral crisis that plagues our world. Unfortunately, despite all their efforts, one vaccinated individual said they tested positive after the event.
As pressure continue to rise to get things back to normal, reported COVID cases over the past few weeks have started to amass concern. The rate of reported cases in the United States suggests a spike in infections and hospitalizations on an early exponential trajectory starting around mid-July. This is especially worrisome given that the growth for the first wave in the United States was linear in Summer 2020 before growing exponential that Fall.
This time, however, unlike 2020's wave that touched everywhere fairly evenly sooner or later, the second wave is so far biased toward certain states suffering the brunt of the impact. Looking at the 50 states, it appears to be based on a combination of tourism and the state's political actions. Florida, as a result, is one of the worst hit, with its seven day moving average already over the peak of its highest prior infection wave.
Welcome to the July edition of Digging Up Positivity! This month we announce the Art & Biro winners at the end of the video. And of course we are covering charities, more positive news, and our featurette for this month is not just drawing awesome comics like Simon and Freddy, but is an esteemed teacher as well: Hukley.
A few weeks ago, con chairman Samuel Conway wrote a Twitter thread about how a customer was stiffed by a seller in the Dealer's Den at Anthrocon.
OK, I just deleted a long thread where I detailed how an unscrupulous fursuit maker made Anthrocon look bad in the eyes of our friends in Pittsburgh. I intended to demonstrate that the whole "well, that's just how furries do business" affects ALL of us, not just one or two.
— Uncle Kage (@Unclekage) June 18, 2021
Bad business practices have been an ongoing issue in furry fandom. Taking the money and running is not only detrimental from a financial angle; it erodes trust in our fellow fans, and embitters the dreams of getting fursuits and art commissions. Since this frustrating problem has now reached a level where it's occurring within our Dealer's Dens, it also threatens to harm the reputations of the entrepreneurs who call those marketplaces home. If the fandom wants to secure the economic integrity of its spaces, new solutions will need to be developed to protect the honest exchange of goods and services.
Today we go over the harm that these situations cause, the extent and mitigation that furry fandom has committed already, and finally present a baseline of discussion for solutions to bring a sense of security back to the furry buyer.
Welcome to the June edition of Digging Up Positivity! This month we cover some animation, of course charities, and our featurette is a Paco Panda from Mexico. This episode you will have a chance to win a lovely hard cover comic book by him.
How? I will explain near the end of the video together with the lucky winner the Fandom bluRay of the last episode.