Regarding the “Con-joined” article by Bryan Young [July 5, City Weekly], as a staff member for Anime Banzai, I can say we would love to return to Salt Lake City. Sadly, we outgrew every convention hotel in downtown Salt Lake City and had to find another venue.
With the Salt Palace too large and expensive, we picked the only place that fit our needs. This place was the Davis Conference Center in Layton, and we are starting to outgrow it.
So, our return to Salt Lake City is inevitable; we just hope a new venue will be built that can host us properly.
Our staff is open to events that range all over the geek-culture genres. We do lean more toward those that are Japanese culture/manga/anime related, but it’s not restricted to that. I know our staff works hard to obtain comic/manga artists, but we are still a small convention, and flying in artists from Japan is not something we can do just yet.
As for expanding into other things like American comics, that is a decision that the board of directors has to make.
I encourage Young (or any interested parties) to attend one of our planning meetings. This way, he can introduce himself and chat with the staff members who make things happen. Anime Banzai is 100 percent volunteer operated—even the board of directors is made up of volunteers.
I always say to people: “If you want to see something happen, volunteer and help make it happen.” But showing up and giving us good feedback helps a bunch as well. Meeting dates/time/locations/ can be found on our website, AnimeBanzai.org.
Design Department Director
Salt Lake City