Accio Books!

This April and May, 2017, the Harry Potter Alliance will be hosting the annual Accio Books Campaign!  The goal of this campaign is to collect books for use in our communities and schools, and to build libraries around the world.

 

The Portland Chapter of the HPA will be donating books to Beaumont Middle School, with a focus on stories with under-represented protagonists.  All new and like-new books are welcomed, but there is a list of most needed books available.  All books not needed by the school will be donated to Words Alive, a San Diego based organization that strives to create more opportunities for life success by cultivating a commitment to reading.

 

Books for donation may be dropped off at:

 

A Children’s Place Bookstore

1423 NE Fremont St

Portland, OR  97212

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Hogwarts Early Admission Program – Year Two

On Saturday, March 25th, the HPA hosted the Hogwart’s Early Admission Program in the Small Hall at the Hollywood Public Library.  This event was the kick-off of our Accio Book campaign, collecting books to donate to Beaumont Middle School and the HPA.  Much like HEAP – Year One, we had a small but amazing crowd!

 

Attendees started the program by meeting with our resident wand maker, Mr. Rednavilo. (Olivander?  Who?  Never heard of him.)  For our event, he hand-crafted special wands designed to test a prospective student’s magical ability.  After being selected by their wands, each student had the opportunity to customize it to their tastes.  Styles varied from the aggressively glittery to the geometric, and no two were alike!

 

After a rousing version of the Hogwarts school song, Katie led our Transfiguration Class. Teams were formed and assigned the task of transfiguring some clay into both every day and magical items.  It was a beautiful cacophony.  (Until the librarian came in and asked us to be quieter, as we were disturbing the muggles.)  The first round was very close, and the second round was a tie, so we held a transfigure-off to determine first, second, and third place teams.  Prizes included a number of magical items, including Portable Patronuses, vials of Felix Felicis, and Butterbeer Drops!

 

Last, we practiced our dueling. Students were asked to decipher a series of clues to determine the appropriate spell, and then outcast their opponent.  Training wands were used, so no visits to Madame Pomfrey were required.  When the duelers could not guess the clue, it went to the remaining students to attempt, to win House Points!

 

At the end of the program, the points were tallied as thus:

Slytherin – 4 Points (All given by the Deputy Headmistress…to the Deputy Headmistress.)

Hufflepuff – 21 Points

Gryffindor – 50 Points

Ravenclaw – 50 Points

 

We had our first ever tie! The students were overwhelmingly Gryffindor, so it was a strong showing by Ravenclaw to match them!

 

Most importantly, we collected a lot of books for donation, and connected with some new people who hadn’t heard of the HPA before. Accio Books will be continuing throughout April and May, but we could not have asked for a better start.

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Hogwarts Early Admission Program – Year Two!

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Fantastic Beasts at the Bagdad Recap

On Friday, November 18th, the PDX HPA hosted “Fantastic Beasts at the Bagdad”, a ticketed fundraiser for TransActive Gender Center, in the Backstage Bar at the Bagdad Theater.  Food and a ticket to the movie were included in the night, and we had quidditch pong, a wand raffle, and some truly excellent swag bags for each guest.  We also were allowed to enter the theater through a “Portkey Door”, which meant our guests didn’t have to stand in the long line that had formed at the front.

 

We sold enough tickets for a small donation for TransActive, but our guests once again demonstrated that they are the best people in the world. Aside from buying tickets for the wand raffle, a number of people insisted upon donating without receiving tickets in return.  The proceeds were large enough to allow us to split them between the HPA and TransActive.

 

We will be donating a total of $400 to their organization, but this event was about far more than that. TransActive and organizations like them need support more than anything else right now.  Aside from the people who attended and donated, we also spread the message of TransActive’s good work to a lot of new people.  Jenn Burleton, director of TransActive, was at our party, and she spoke to me of how genuinely kind and giving she’d found everyone to be.

 

All in all, it was a fun night, and we did some good. That’s as it should be.  We don’t know what we’ll be doing next, but I can guarantee it will be magical.

Fantastic Beasts at the Bagdad!

Get those Time Turners ready! Our next event is going to be “Fantastic Beasts at the Bagdad”, on Friday, November 18th, 2016, at the Bagdad Theater.  We have two rooms reserved in the Backstage Bar, where we’ll be celebrating the newest addition to J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding world.  There will be food, drinks, a wand raffle, and a special Very Magical Person entrance into the theater, so our guests do not have to wait in line.

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All of this, of course, is in continued support of the Protego campaign. Our charity partner for the event is TransActive Gender Center, a local organization that focuses on supporting children, families, and educators.  All profits from ticket sales will be donated to them, with the wand raffle proceeds being applied to future HPA endeavors.

 

You can buy tickets here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2706955

 

The Fantastic House Elves working to plan and manage this event are truly fantastic! A continuing thank you goes out to Andrea Snow, Robin Coon, Wes Cronin, and Brandie Sylfae!

August 2016 Meeting Recap

August 21, 2016

Belmont Library Meeting Room

 

Attended by:    Bas Porter

Morgan Johnson

Brandie Sylfae

 

 

The group discussed the success of HEAP and what our next event should be.

 

I proposed a fundraiser tied to the release of Fantastic Beats, to benefit a local transgender support organization, which falls in line with the HPA’s current Protego campaign. In preparation, I’ve been in touch with the event coordinator at the Bagdad Theater.  There are two rooms attached to the Backstage Bar (For those unaware, the Backstage Bar is a beautiful space behind the theater with an eclectic 20s theme.) that are available for private events for the cost of catering.  Our event would be a 21+ “speakeasy” party and would include food and a ticket to the movie, with a private entrance into the theater just for party-goers.  Due to space limitations, there would be a VERY limited number of tickets available.  The fundraising will primarily be from tickets sales, but there is the possibility of a raffle and the sale of “charms” and candy.

 

I proposed our charity partner be the TransActive Gender Center, a local group that focuses on supporting young people and families. I will be reaching out to them soon to see if they’re interested.

 

Unfortunately, the Bagdad is unable to confirm that they will be showing Fantastic Beast until October. They are “leaning toward it”, and so excited about the idea that they’ve reserved the rooms for us without a deposit.  Because we will have very little turnaround time after getting confirmation, we will need a work team ready to make final decisions and help prepare for the event.  I will follow-up on that as we get closer.

 

For other potential future events, Brandie shared an idea of Bart’s, to begin a dueling club. The Hogwarts Dueling Club – Portland Chapter.  The concept would be reoccurring dueling lessons aimed at all ages.  It would combine spellwork with physical activity, including tumbling and performance in reaction to spells.  The culminations of these lessons and practices would be a mass duel in a public space, done flash mob style.

 

Morgan also informed the group that there is a new deck building Harry Potter game coming out in September, and the group discussed the idea of a game night at Guardian Games. They offer reserved gaming space for free, and there are a variety of Harry Potter games we could play in groups.  She will do some follow-up and post about the new game soon.

 

We talked briefly a Portland HPA team going to the Muddy Muggle in June of 2017. Not all team members would have to participate in the main race itself, as there are other activities, a feast, and a festival.

 

The group also discussed the possibility of opening our Facebook group in order to better promote ourselves and our events. Given the effect on the privacy of the group as a whole, we agreed that we would started a secondary group, open to the public, to be used to promote and manage events, while keeping our existing closed group as an place for internal discussion and planning.

 

We discussed a meet-up on Saturday at the Rose City Comic Con. As we get closer and the schedule is released, we can pin down a specific time.  No costumes required, but a chance to say hello and get familiar with each other’s faces.

 

Finally, we decided the date for the next meeting, which will be on Sunday, October 16th, at 1pm.  It will again take place at the Belmont Library meeting room.

Hogwarts Early Admission Program

On Sunday, July 31st, the first ever Hogwarts Early Admission Program took place!  Meeting in the Hogwarts Small Hall (temporarily located at the Multnomah Central Library), students, alumni, and interested Muggles got together for an afternoon of well-mannered frivolity.  Dueling skills were honed with the ancient game of Reducto, Protego, Expelliarmus.  Teams formed to compete in a fast-paced Transfigurations challenge.  The History of Magic exam tested even the most attentive of students on their knowledge of recent Wizarding history.  We finished our afternoon with a special reading from “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”, led by our very own Headmistress, Brandie.

 

Prizes were given to the top students from each class, and to some students who, while not well-informed, were at least very creative. House points were awarded, and Ravenclaw took the House Cup!  Congratulations, Eagles!

 

Of course, it was great fun for everyone involved, but we came together for a more important reason. Our charity partner for this event was Youth Progress, an organization that helps high-risk youth.  We put out a call for school supplies, clothing, and hygiene items, and the response was overwhelming!  Donations came from almost every person walked through the door, in quantities we did not expect.  It was a very good thing that several backpacks were donated, or we would have had difficulty carrying it all out!

 

It was a warm reminder that the HPA and fans of Harry Potter everywhere are capable of doing so much good and making a tremendous change in the world. We came together to make this first event of a new era the best it could be, and from here, anything is possible!

 

Why Cons Are Still My Safe Space — the Wizard Activist — The Harry Potter Alliance

Why Cons Are Still My Safe Space — the Wizard Activist

via Why Cons Are Still My Safe Space — the Wizard Activist — The Harry Potter Alliance

PDX HPA Meeting Minutes February 16, 2014, 11:00AM

Location: Multnomah County Library, Belmont

 

Attendance: 7

Brandie S.

Bas P.

Corinne M.

Jeff C.

Bart S.

Suzanne V.C

Lily V.C

 

Minutes: Brandie S.

 

Old Business:

Brief over view of progress on book drive. Discussed Justin Stanley of Uprise Books Project and Stephen as potential partners for the           project. Justin had planned to attend the meeting, but was unable to. Stephen of NWFLYA is proving difficult to contact currently. Brandie is attempting to set meetings with both people ASAP.

 

New/Continuing Business:

First order of business: Jeff read the press release for the Imagine Better project and we discussed its potential impact on our group

 

Second order of business: Discussion of next and future steps for the non-English language book drive.

Immediate Action:

Book recipients: Suzanne will contact ChildrensBookBank.org (Spanish is primary need)

Brandie will contact other HPA chapters in TX, AZ, NM a& SoCal to see if we                                                       could do an English for Spanish trade with them

Bas will contact Katie (work with children’s literacy programs)for other                                                             potential recipients.  Also will contact IRCO.

Flyer: Jeff will start work on a flyer for the project. Brandie will help.

NWFLYA: Brandie will try again to set up a meeting with Stephen, the organizer. Hoping to have                                               a table and book drop off at this event.

Facebook Group and Twitter account for the book drive: Brandie will set this up. Others will also                                                             be made admins of the pages. Volunteers?

PDX Browncoats tag alongs: Brandie will discuss the possibility of having a book collection at                                                      EDCC since she will be hanging out with them for the event. Will they allow us                                                to advertise on their social media?

Ongoing Action:

-Create a calendar of cons that we might have a presence at to collect books.

-Possibly purchase a PDX HPA stamp to mark the donated books with

-Brandie and Beka will meet to discuss progress and future plans

 

Future Action:

Book Mooch: another possible way to convert English language books to non-English. Corinne                                                             may be the point person on this.

-Potential community partnerships (responsibility to be assigned at a later date)

Jeff suggested the idea of creating an Imagine Better Panel for future cons and benefits

Meeting adjourned at 12:00pm

Introducing HPA’s newest initiative, Imagine Better

From the press office at the HPA:

The HPA is in the midst of expanding its model to go far beyond Harry Potter through a new organization called “Imagine Better.” Through Imagine Better the HPA is bringing together fan communities of blockbuster movies, books, television shows, YouTube celebrities, Twitterers and best-selling authors in an
unprecedented network that takes a grassroots approach to harnessing the energy of social media, popular culture, and modern mythology for social change.

In Imagine Better the theory of social change used is “cultural acupuncture.” As HPA Executive Director Andrew Slack writes in the Huffington Post, “cultural acupuncture is !nding where the psychological energy is in the culture, and moving that energy towards creating a healthier world.” The University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication has hailed the HPA’s work and approach as the premier model for civic engagement in the twenty-!rst century.

In the HPA’s model, the organization imagines people working to end global warming, racism, and genocide as energetically as they flock to movies, television shows, and “self-help” books. Although many people care just as much about these issues as they do entertainment, activism and civic engagement do
not have a Stephen Spielberg or a Walt Disney to make them exciting and accessible. This disconnect between values and action stems from a lack of imagination on the part of social organizers.

Just as the HPA has authentically used the language of Harry Potter and respected each Harry Potter fan site and
Wizard Rock band’s autonomy, so too does Imagine Better respect the autonomy of each fan site and fandom with which it works. The idea is to serve as a welcoming space for sites to connect, promote each other, and
work within the canon of each fandom to draw parallels that can create positive social change.

After speaking glowingly about the HPA in Time Magazine and on her website, J.K. Rowling writes in a letter to Slack, “The HP Alliance is, without doubt, the purest expression of ‘the spirit of Albus Dumbledore’ yet to emerge
from the Harry Potter fandom.”