News Reporting

Former A-Kon Staffers Report Layoffs

Project A-Kon LogoOn January 24, A-Kon cosplay staff members Caroline Clavell and Elin Winkler announced on the convention’s official Facebook group that they were no longer associated with the event.

Their full statements are below:

Elin Winkler

It is with great sadness that I must announce that I am no longer associated with A-Kon. I will always cherish the wonderful friends I made there over my 26 years of guesting & staffing, and I am so grateful to have been able to meet and work with so many incredibly talented cosplayers in my 21 years as a cosplay judge and 10 years as a cosplay staff head. I must thank all of my fantastic cosplay staffers who worked so tirelessly and gave so freely of their time and incredible talent to make our show work every year. Vaya con dios, A-Kon, you were my first con, my home con, my favorite con.

Caroline Clavell

Hi all! Most of you may not know who I am, but I am one of the two people who ran the Cosplay contest for the last ten years. As a judge and as an administrator, I always loved seeing the creativity and talent and love that each one of you put into your costumes and presentations. Friends and memories were made over the last ten years that I will cherish forever. Unfortunately I’m no longer associated with A-Kon, but I want to thank all of you for bringing your best to the contest, and to my wonderful staffers who frequently went WELL beyond the call of duty to help make everything work each year. ~(ex)A-Kon Staff (Caroline)

When asked in the comments as to why they were leaving, Winkler responded with “We were told that our years of wisdom and experience were no longer a fit for A-Kon moving forward.”

 A-Kon Elin Winkler Secondary Comment

We have reached out to Winkler, Clavell, and A-Kon for comment.

On January 16, the A-Kon staff announced that the convention has been acquired, and is operating under new ownership. On January 21, eventPower President Frank Powell announced that he acquired the event.

The event’s date was pushed back to June 27 – 30, and the venue will return to Dallas from its current venue in Fort Worth.

Project: A-Kon is North America’s longest running anime convention. The first event ran from July 28–29, 1990 at the Richardson Hilton in Richardson, Texas. The con attracted 380 attendees in its debut year.

Last year’s A-Kon was held at Fort Worth’s Fort Worth Convention Center from June 7 – 10. The event saw 34,684 attendees, with a turnstile count of 126,291. Guests included Richard Epcar, Matthew Mercer, and Tetsuro Shimaguchi.

Sources: Facebook (ProjectAKon) [1] [2] (Thanks to Anne Cobb for the tip!)

About the author

Samantha Ferreira

Samantha Ferreira is Anime Herald’s founder and editor-in-chief. A Rhode Island native, Samantha has been an anime fan since 1992, and an active member of the anime press since 2002, when she began working as a reviewer for Anime Dream. She launched Anime Herald in 2010, and continues to oversee its operations to this day. Outside of journalism, Samantha actively studies the history of the North American anime fandom and industry, with a particular focus on the 2000s anime boom and bust. She’s a huge fan of all things Sakura Wars, and maintains series fansite Combat Revue Review when she has free time available. When not in the Anime Herald Discord, Samantha can typically be found on Bluesky.

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