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.
Welcome to the February edition of Digging Up Positivity. This episode our featurette is a very well known and loved horse from the Netherlands and we will cover a new social network, the return of a species many thought extinct, charities, and more!
Fur Affinity’s flagship convention, FA: United, announced that it would be closing their doors due to COVID-19, permanently. While many other conventions have ‘suspended indefinitely’, or ‘canceled for 2020/2021’, this marks the first event to indicate a more definite suspension as a result of the pandemic.
Welcome to the November edition of Digging Up Positivity. The nights are getting longer, and with the end of the year in sight, we can look back at a chaotic year, but plenty of good things happened too!
It started out with some good conventions, but soon things changed! Our fandom adapted with online events, fundraises, ranging from small local charities to online events with visitors all over the world. While all of
this is wonderful, some of them are not getting noticed at all! If you were part of such an event, please do use the linked contact form, and I would love to include them in the upcoming yearly charity video!
Hello there and welcome to October's episode of Digging Up Positivity. This month we have a whole bunch of animation news, lovely charity items, and a passionate animated weasel from Estonia. Plus more news from the fandom and beyond!
Hello there and welcome to September's episode of Digging Up Positivity. This month we have a lot of charity and animation, and our featurette is a coyote that really made her mark on our community [Ash Coyote].
The Fandom is certainly not the first documentary to be done by furries about our own fandom. Over the past decade a handful have been made. Sometimes they focus on a particular incident surrounding an individual such as Rukus. Or perhaps they talk about the group in a way that may be more useful for political discussion within the community rather than introducing us and where we came from such as Fursonas.
I can say that if you were to want to introduce someone to the concept of what the foundations of the community are and its growth in the modern era, then this would be the one you would want to show. It covers our history in the same vein that Joe Strike’s Furry Nation did in book form.
Its release comes at a very appropriate time as the world has been set on pause, so it is a great time to reflect on where we came from and where we are going. This certainly appears to be the goal of this film as it explores the growth of our communal spaces in the world from the 70s to today. You can help support their efforts by buying a copy here.
Four activist furries raise nearly $9,000 for in four hours for charities to assist Black and Indigenous peoplePosted by Sonious on Tue 30 Jun 2020 - 07:51
As conventions have been closed, the charitability of the fandom marches on as Pibble, Chise, Nas, and Wolf (aka Kind7ed) lead a fundraising effort collecting nearly $9,000 for Project Okra and the Navajo Nation. They did this during the stream on Picarto where they played Jackbox games while hanging out and telling stories.
Project Okra is an organization that pays black trans* chefs who provide meals for black trans* individuals who are facing food insecurities, along with other community services. The Navajo have been fundraising to help deal with the impact of the Coronavirus on their people. Each received $4,365 dollars as a result from the stream.
Some truly awesome people - Wolf @woIffangs , Vatika @PIBBLEBITCH, Chise @sailorrooscout , and Nas @nasfk_ !! The $9k you guys raised for two vital charities is incredible and shouldn't be overlooked. I'm glad I got to watch for a bit You're amazing and deserve to be proud! pic.twitter.com/HvdT1bmnlb
— ◽ GHOSTFLANNEL ◽ (@ghostflannel) June 28, 2020
Capital City Fur Con has closed any future gatherings after its premiere in January 2020 due to financial mismanagement. Staffers came forward to discuss the issues caused by the chair’s fiscal malfeasance, and guests have reported that honored guests who were promised compensation were left out in the cold.
The greatest grievance, though, is that it is alleged that the charity they were raising money for, the ALS Association, also were not given their money. ALS has gained infamy in the fandom due to the disease that took the late Tony “DogBomb” Barret, and many conventions over the year have been raising money toward research for a cure since.
More information can be seen on Global Furry Television’s coverage on the below video which is transcribed below.