What is Programming at RPCC and Why Should I Care?

by | Jan 24, 2019

Guest Post by Bruce MacIntosh, Convention Programming Director 

One of our missions at Reno Pop Culture Con is to provide all of our fans with as much value as possible for the price of admission.

It’s not just about the geeky purchases you make from any of our hundreds of vendors and artists, and signatures from our celebrity, author, and comics guests.

No matter your interests, we want you to be able to walk in the door every morning and have something fun and interesting to do — until your friends and family have to drag you out, or we have to close the doors on Sunday evening at the end of con.

We refer to all of the things you can see and experience — such as panels, demonstrations, performances, and meetups — collectively as “Programming”.

And at RPCC there will be a LOT of Programming, with the panel schedule alone providing you with hundreds of hours of entertainment options.

With so much to do, we thought it would be helpful to provide an introduction and high-level overview of the major areas of Programming you can expect at the con in 2019, so let’s get to it.

Something for Everyone – By Design

 The key phrase here is, “no matter your interests.” Here’s a sampling of the types of Programming you can expect:

Celebrity Q&As
See your favorite actors in their solo question and answer sessions on the Main Stage and watch the collected casts of the most popular shows.

Reel Heroes Filmmaker Panels
Want to know what goes on with your favorite films and TV shows on the other side of the camera? Check out the Reel Heroes Filmmaker Series of panels, where YouTubers, independent film directors and writers, stunt people, and animators walk you through what happens between script and screen.

Artist Panels and Demos
RPCC will also host scores of artists and creators, from local and independent talent, to the hottest names from the biggest comics of past and present.

You can meet those celebrity comics guests at their booths in Artist Valley and you can see them brought together in one of our panel rooms where they will talk about their craft and their part in the last 75 years of comics history.

We also have rooms devoted to art demonstrations and workshops, where the pros will discuss their work while helping you hone your own craft.

PCC Kids’ Lab Stages
Programming also applies to the Pop Culture Classroom (PCC) Kids’ Lab. The Lab is a large, dedicated space on the main show floor, devoted to fans from the younger-set through teenagers.

The Lab includes two stages that will feature ongoing programming throughout the con weekend, along with the nonstop activities and demoes going on throughout the space.

The All Age Stage is where celebrities read to and interact with your kids, and voice actors from the hottest anime act out the character your child has drawn with our guest comics pros.

The 8Bit Stage is where – for example – we bring comics creators to discuss topics like how your teens can overcome bias to break into the industry, or where women scientists from NASA inspire young women to pursue a career in science or education.

Author Appearances, Panels and Literary Conference
Meanwhile, the most popular authors will sign your books for free in Author Alley, then team up on dozens of panels with their fellow writers to talk about the literary genre, their techniques, and provide advice to amateur writers of all ages.

Another “lit” track of programming is our own academic literary conference, where scholarly writers present papers about the most topical elements of modern pop culture. This three-day event is always open to anyone who wants a more scholarly take on this year’s pop culture issues.

Plus, there are also hundreds of panels about sci-fi and fantasy TV and movies, like Doctor Who and Star Wars, science and technology, and cosplay.

Educational Programming
Since we’re a kids’ literacy nonprofit, we are most proud of what we call our “Educational” programming. These are the sessions aimed at parents, students, and educators (kids and adults alike), and deal with topics like:

  • The best new books and graphic novels for teens, so teachers and librarians know what to use in their classrooms and libraries.
  • How teachers can use game development or technology to inspire their students, and what inspires young adult readers who are dealing with issues about their own families, body-image, and gender and sexual orientations.

As with all RPCC panels, despite being labeled “educational” all these sessions are open to any con attendee – but get to the rooms early, because they are often full!

Performances, Events and Surprises
Programming is not just about panels, workshops and celeb Q&As in the panel rooms or Main Events theaters. There are always events during the day and at night – all included with your admission.

From our traditional Opening Night event Friday that features comedy, music, special movie screenings (and always a special guest or two), to our Saturday night open-to-all Cosplay Celebration, there is always something going on for you to do, see and experience.

So, remember: After you’ve bought your admission, you could be entertained non-stop with panels and events for three solid days, without spending another dime. You’ll have fun, see some celebs and you might even learn something. Above all, have fun!

Interested in Putting Together a Panel?

If you’re an educator who uses pop culture in the classroom – or would like to share your knowledge, experience or passion about any of the topics above – we’d love to have you present a session at this year’s event. You even get free admission just for getting involved that way! Please submit your panel application to www.renopopculturecon.com/apply prior to July 31, 2019.

And as always, if you have any ideas or questions, please subscribe or ‘friend’ us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or send them to info@popcultureclassroom.org.

Live Long and Prosper
Bruce MacIntosh
Programming Director


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