With another successful KansasFest in the rearview mirror, it’s time for the organizers to review the post-conference data. Initial feedback has been positive on everything from the cafeteria food to the overall management of event itself. The Garage Giveaway was again hugely popular with attendees. Presenters and sessions were, for the most part, kept on schedule without too much fuss. Huzzah!
Two sore spots we do need to address are the venue’s broadband and our own broadcasting equipment. We had a smattering of technical troubles that were attributed to Rockhurst. We also determined our aging laptop just isn’t up to the task of streaming live events anymore. We’re going to get those issues addressed.
I want to thank everyone who attended, both in person and virtually for your support of KansasFest. Without YOU, there wouldn’t be a KansasFest. The Apple II community is diverse, alive and thriving. It’s amazes me how we, who come from so many walks of life, with different views and experiences are all united by our affection for the Apple II and retrocomputing in general. Thank you everyone for being excellent to each other.
I also want to thank our volunteer organizers. Over the years, I’ve grown to know my fellow committee members on a personal level. I can say without reservation that I’ve never worked with a more community-minded, selfless and dedicated team than the KansasFest Committee. They are like family to me. I am both proud and humbled to lead these people. That’s why I was saddened to learn that there were concerns being discussed in social media that we are insensitive about our attendee’s health, women’s reproductive rights and transphobic. I want to assure the Apple II Community that these perceptions are not what we strive to be about. I have personally reached out to some of the people who shared their concerns online to listen and learn from them. I agree that our team needs to be more aware and understand these concerns and hopefully prove ourselves accountable and worthy of trust. This isn’t just talk. We will hold ourselves to a higher standard and promote a conference environment that anyone should feel safe to attend. I swear that this will be a priority for us. If I fail in this mission, I will resign and the committee will find a more capable leader.
While we do have a Code of Conduct, the TL;DR version is essentially basic:
- We are all human beings that deserve dignity and respect. Be excellent to each other.
- Leave your politics and religion at the door. We are here to celebrate the Apple II and have fun.
- There are no other agendas.
- If you can’t abide by these simple policies for our gathering, then KansasFest probably isn’t for you. Stay home.
We welcome everyone. The only judgements going on at KansasFest are during our contests. The only people we tease are Atarians, albeit good-naturedly. That’s all I feel the need to say about that topic.
Regarding our pandemic response: in addition to masks and sanitizers, we made tests available to all attendees during the conference, and attendees were encouraged to take a test home with them. During the event, there were no reported positive cases. We will keep the community updated, but as of now we have not heard anything else. If you were an attendee, please inform the committee if you develop any symptoms or test positive over the next few days.
The rest of the committee news is much more down to business! First, we’ve enacted the following organizational changes:
- In Memoriam, Tony Diaz will be made a permanent member of the KansasFest organizing committee. His name will symbolically appear as a member in all our official documents, his attendance will be recorded as present at meetings and any votes recorded as abstaining. We are doing this because Tony made a huge impact on the Apple II community at large, not just KansasFest. I could dedicate an entire page or more to his many accomplishments but it would exceed the scope of this post.
- Please join us in welcoming Javier Rivera to the Organizing Committee! Javier has been a dedicated member of our community for several years. He’s actively podcasting Apple II content, retrobriting, creating 3D parts, designing and reproducing Apple II art and… and… wow, I could just go on and on. Javier will be focusing on our marketing and promotion initiatives. Bienvenido a bordo, Amigo!
We have tentatively scheduled KansasFest 2023 for the week of July 18–23, 2023 at Rockhurst University, Kansas City, MO. We are still investigating other venues, but until we select a replacement, RU is the place to be next July!
Until my next update, please be safe. I want to see you again at KansasFest.