Fans of animé are invited to celebrate at the 15th annual AnimeCon on Friday, Aug. 10, at the main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library, with a variety of activities throughout the day.
Typically, Kate Schiavi, youth services manager, said about 250 teenagers attend the free event, up from about 20 teens in the first year. The program is a celebration of comics and animation, making a great final event for the summer reading program, she said. “It’s an industry that constantly puts out more material and keeps people interested,” Schiavi said.
While the event is a celebration of the genre, it also recognizes Japanese culture. Schiavi said many teenagers who are interested in animé are also interested in the culture and traditions of Japan.
“We always want people to have cultural competency,” Schiavi said. “Any opportunity to engage teens and kids in that way is a worthy educational opportunity.”
Additionally, the event signals an end of the Louisville Free Public Library Teen Summer Reading Program.
The Summer Reading program is free, and requires participating teens to read six books by Aug. 11. Participants who complete the program can win a variety of prizes. About 2,000 teens complete the program each summer.
AnimeCon15 will feature animé screenings, a tea ceremony and discussion, candy sushi, a cosplay contest, a ramen-eating contest, a live action role playing combat session with Kentucky Shakespeare, Game Vault Party mobile gaming theater, as well as Japanese calligraphy and yukata, presented by Ayako Nakajima with the World Affairs Council of Kentucky & Southern Indiana.
AnimeCon will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Teenagers between the ages of 12-19 are welcome to the free event and are encouraged to register online. However, Schiavi said walk-ins are welcome.