4th Street Fantasy…
continues June 16–18, 2017 in Minneapolis, MN

CLOSING CEREMONIES - 4th Street 2017
Transcribed and Edited for Online Archiving


OPENING STATEMENT

Thank you again for 4th Street. 4th Street is not just rooms, it is not just a panel grid, it is not just music circles and tea and writing exercises, it is all of these things. It is you, the attendees, those who have sustained 4th Street from the very beginning and those joining us for the very first time. Whether you’re just arriving or you’ve been here all along, you are all equally the future of our conversation.

We’re not just here to talk about our dreams, we’re here to talk about the pick and shovel work that goes into engineering dreams and making them look like they grew naturally. We’re here to do the good work of curating, sharing, and making stories, in the company of others who recognize that it is a good work, and a worthy work, whether it’s done for an afternoon, or a weekend, or an entire life.

EXPRESSIONS OF GRATITUDE

We have a long list of people to thank, as always, and we apologize for any omissions or errors in our list.

Thank you to Anne Totusek for running a bad-ass hospitality suite.

Thank you to Janet Grouchy for overseeing the program book and for laying a great deal of convention groundwork.

Thank you to Liz Vogel for the Intermediate Writers’ Workshop. Thank you Sherwood Smith for the two-page critique exercise.

Thank you Ctein and Jon Singer for tea. Thank you Elise Matheson, Beth Friedman, and all the purveyors of yarn and shiny objects.

Thank you to everyone who brought something to share or to demonstrate.

Thank you everyone who transcribes panels, writes down book titles, takes notes, and blogs or tweets our conversation.

Thank you Skyler White for suggesting the Theory of Mind panel. Thank you Marissa Lingen for critical input on That’s Another Panel.

Thank you to the ZOE team for sharing Strowlers with us and the conversation around it.

Thank you to Holly Black and Ben Dobyns for participating in our seminar. Thank you to Doris Egan and Larry Dixon, who were unable to participate due to personal emergencies.

Thank you to Max Gladstone, Arkady Martine, Beth Meacham, Liz Vogel, and Skyler White for the writers’ workshop.

Thank you to Angie Cousins for ambassador coordination. Thank you to all of our meal ambassadors.

Thank you to Corwin Brust and Michael Butler for our sound system.

Thank you to Kit Gordon for registration.

NOTE FROM THE BOARD

This has been an administratively challenging year for us, and we appreciate your patience and forbearance as we evolve and strengthen our procedures to bring you the smoothest possible convention. The members of the board are currently Alex Haist (primary purview safety), Scott Lynch (primary purview programming) and Brad Roberts (temporarily anointed Benevolent Monarch of Literally Everything Else). We’re pleased to announce that Arkady Martine will be joining us as a board member as of the end of 4th Street 2017, and we’re having ongoing discussions in order to return the board to its full and proper size.

CONCERNING PROGRAMMING

(From Scott Lynch): This is my third year as head of programming for 4th Street, a duty that was passed to me from the capable hands of Alec Austin. My hope was to attempt a five-year tenure and then evaluate what I and the convention both needed at that time. To prepare for that eventuality, and to build a more robust programming team in case of accident or emergency, I’m very pleased to announce that Casey Blair will be taking on the role of programming understudy, starting with 4th Street 2018.

Many of you have asked about the possibility of joining or suggesting programming. Please do contact me via the website (we are currently working as quickly as we can to add new contact channels, and hope to have them functional very soon) any time before the next con. Also feel free to use my e-mail address, scott (at symbol) scottlynch.us, and watch our announcement channels on Twitter and Facebook when lists of provisional panels begin to be released in 2018. I welcome feedback at any time. Please don’t be shy, unless you desire it to be anonymous, in which case please send it to me in care of Alex Haist and ask her to remove your identifying information before passing it on.

4TH STREET 2018

The dates for next year’s 4th Street will be June 22, 23, and 24th. We will be returning to the same hotel, the Doubletree Park Place.

CLOSING STATEMENT

We, the board of the 4th Street Fantasy Convention exist to facilitate energetic and even challenging conversation. We want to provide spaces to do so, in both a moderated and unmoderated fashion. At 4th Street, the conversation is intended to spread from our shared spaces to more private spaces where attendees may consent to discuss, discourse, blather or argue about anything on any terms they desire.

We do not prescribe a mindset or an approach for attending 4th Street. We do not demand that anyone be made to endure anything against their will. We want to provide a space in which everyone feels welcome, and everyone respects the welcome we desire to extend. What we do here can be hard, it can be frightening, it can be exhausting. We want to support you in doing it. We want you to know that we take your needs, your comfort, and your sense of safety very seriously. As a friend of the convention said this weekend, “It is difficult to be bold in front of strangers when you don’t feel fundamentally welcome.” We are here to listen to you, we are here to have your backs, and we are doing our damnedest to kindle that fundamental sense of welcome, to sustain it, and to make it grow, in this year and every year to come.

NOTE: This document has been edited from the remarks presented at the closing ceremonies of 4th Street 2017. Spelling and identification errors have been corrected, a glaring omission in the expressions of gratitude has been corrected, and a few points have been edited for clarity in reading. No changes have been made to the board’s closing or opening statements.