Neosho Arts Council hosting ArtCon to support arts education

Highlight of virtual event will be Star Trek Discovery's Noah Averbach-Katz

Staff Reports
Neosho Daily News
  • Comic book artist and writers from "Star Wars" "Stranger Things" "Green Arrow" and many more in 4 free panels
  • Disney makeup artist will be doing a live princess cosplay demo
  • 10 total free panels for kids and adults
  • Special Guest from Star Trek Discovery - Noah Averbach-Katz - free Q&A Panel over zoom (personalized and mailed autographs for sale too)

The Neosho Arts Council is ready to kick-off ArtCon 2021, a pop culture event Feb. 11-13. What's new this year is an expanded schedule and new events all in a virtual setting.

"We've actually expanded the event to three days and added events to take part in. We will still be hosting a cosplay contest (you just have to submit your entry in advance), NAC's Sarah Serio said. "Also, we will be hosting a virtual Artist Alley and Vendors Room which is a big part of ArtCon and this year we have a one stop shopping platform that allows you to buy from multiple vendors and only have to check out once. We have people joining us who have joined us in person the last two years and we have people joining from across the US and around the world."

The highlight of this year's virtual event will be Star Trek Discovery's Noah Averbach-Katz. He was just seen in the most recent season of Discovery as Ryn, an Andorian. Katz is also a long time Star Trek fan so being cast was a dream role for him.

Katz will be talking about his work, the process of getting into character, and letting those in attendance ask questions. There is also an opportunity to purchase a personalized signed photo which will go towards NAC's fundraising efforts.

"This is one of the few fundraising parts of this year's ArtCon. ArtCon is normally our single largest fundraiser to support our work of bringing the fine arts to all ages and walks of life in our community," Serio said. "We are thrilled to have the ability to present a virtual event that will be fun for the whole family. I think we all want to be together in person but realize that this large of a crowd isn't the best idea right now. We have gotten a very positive response."

Serio said in 2019, NAC hoped to draw a few hundred people. The event drew over 1,000 and in 2020, the attendance grew to over 1,500, some driving several hours to participate. This event is designed to support the fine arts that make comics, tv, and movies possible while supporting art, dance, theatre, and more in the community.

"This year will be different but I hope we see people attending virtually so we can gather in 2022 in person which is the goal," she said. "Several of our panels will be with comic book artist and writers. Ande Parks, who recently had a comic adapted into the Netflix film "Extraction" with Chris Hemsworth will be joining us for two panels. One about comics in general alongside Phil Hester. Both have worked extensively on the Green Arrow comics and even created characters. Ande will also be doing a live drawing and inking demo with Megan Levens. Then we have Phil Hester and Jeremy Haun (of Joplin) doing a panel focused on horror in comics. Plus Megan Levens, Charlie Kirchoff, and Michael Moreci will be talking about their work as artists and writers for Star Wars Adventures comic book. We also have Chelsey Johnson who'd worked extensively with Disney and will be doing a princess cosplay makeup panel where she will be transforming live while answering questions via zoom. Plus several more including an intro to competitive cosplay, a virtual concert, a kids/teen creative panel, and one geared to teachers and educators."