Fandom fanatics to host CG2 convention


Photo Courtesy of Tabitha Rees

Muggles Association president Megan Ammer cosplays as Louise from Bob’s Burgers at the 2014 CG2 Convention where all types of student-produced fan art is displayed and for sale at the event. The 2015 CG2 Convention will be held April 17 and 18 at Stage Two in the 618 S. Michigan Ave. Building.

By Senior Campus Reporter

Witches, wizards and other magical beings from the college’s Muggles Association, Whovian Society and Japanese Anime Club student organizations will gather April 17 and 18 for their second annual Columbia Geek Culture Gala, otherwise known as CG2.

The convention, to be held at Stage Two in the 618 S. Michigan Ave. Building, is celebrating another year of fandoms. The organizations are working on panels, screenings, presentations, workshops, cosplay and an Artist Alley submission panel for anyone to attend. CG2 will be free for Columbia-affiliated attendees with a $5 admission fee at the door for non-Columbia visitors.

“[CG2] was started last year by our former president of the Muggles Association with the Japanese Anime Club and the Whovian Society,” said Megan Ammer, a senior journalism major and current president of the Muggles Association. “Basically, they wanted to give an alternative to C2E2 in Chicago for students who couldn’t afford to go.”

C2E2 is a widely renowned pop culture convention that spans topics from comics, movies, television, toys, anime, manga and video games. Columbia’s CG2 has many similarities despite following one major theme, Ammer said.

“We really want this convention to be for Columbia, by Columbia,” Ammer said.

In order to make the event student-led, Ammer said students from the three organizations will host all of the discussion panels, and any artwork or screenings at the event will be created by students as well. 

The event will include celebrity guest speakers that the Muggles Association plans to announce on its Facebook page closer to Spring Break, Ammer said. In addition to the discussions, Ammer said two students will present fandom films and there will be student artwork displayed for sale as well as games and opportunities to meet other cosplayers and fandom fanatics. 

Sydne Gernaat, a sophomore cinema art + science major, said they plan toy bring in a wider audience by limiting the artwork to fan art submitted only by students.

“I think last year, everyone was just setting things up and establishing it, so this year, it’s just going to get bigger and better,” Gernaat said. 

Columbia artists can submit work to the event’s Artist Alley—a display of the different pins and pictures of their chosen fandom—until March 1, Gernaat said. 

Hosting a convention and creating a space for the various fandom clubs to use to celebrate their passions creates a more open and safe space for students with such interests, Gernaat said.

“A lot of times [the club members] will get into these conversations that sometimes will just spiral into other conversations, and before you know it, you’re not just talking about characters or settings—they feel like real people,” Gernaat said. “You’re discussing all these character traits, things you admire, things you hate. It’s almost philosophical at times.”

Tabitha Rees, a sophomore business & entrepreneurship major and secretary and event coordinator of the Muggles Association, agreed with Gernaat, saying the clubs allow the students involved to open up, be themselves and find friends at the college with similar interests.

“[CG2 is] like a community gathering for people like us,” Rees said. “Everyone who joins the club is geeky and nerdy. We make friends through fandoms and things like that, so this [convention] is a day to celebrate [our similar interests and bring us together].”