A new kind of fan convention is headed to Chicago. This summer, Wakandacon — a three-day event celebrating Afro-futurism, tech and community outreach — will take place at the Hilton Chicago. The convention was inspired by recent films, including Marvel’s Black Panther, from which the event gets its name.
Wakandacon includes a lineup of panels, lectures, workshops and live entertainment. Additionally, the event will feature a marketplace for African-American small business owners. Wakandacon is currently open for submissions for programming, vendors, sponsors and volunteers; applications are available on the convention’s official website.
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The convention was co-founded by Chicago-area siblings David, Ali, and Matt Barthwell, entrepreneur Lisa Beasley and producer Taylor Witten. Wakandacon is officially described as “a fan-driven convention celebrating Afro-Futurism, tech, and pop culture in Chicago, IL” and “a Black-organized and operated convention.”
“The moment we saw Wakanda in film, we wanted a space to gather and talk about everything African-Americans are passionate about. Afro-Futurism is about imagining a future for Black people all around the world. Wakandacon is a space for Black people to look past the present and into our future,” co-founder Ali Barthwell said in a statement.
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“Our people have been hungry for something like this for a very long time, and I hope that Wakandacon only adds to the fire,” added founder David Barthwell.
“My siblings and I were all born and raised in the area, and Chicago is the city that we love. We hope that Wakandacon will not just be an event for people of Chicago but for people all over,” shared co-founder Matt Barthwell.
The first-ever Wakandacon will run August 3 to August 5 at Hilton Downtown Chicago in Chicago, IL. A weekend pass to the event costs $35.