By Avery Wood
This summer’s upcoming Comic Con Palm Springs, occurring August 25-27, is quickly becoming one of Coachella Valley’s most anticipated events. With over 15,000 attendees last year, Founder/Executive Producer Christopher Spellman believes that the event has a positive impact on the local economy and talks about efforts they are making to form partnerships with local business and organizations.
One of the non-profits is Boo2Bullying, an organization that “provides outreach, education, mentoring, inspiration and support for youth and their families.” Spellman hopes that CCPS can help raise awareness to the issue and is looking forward to coming alongside Boo2Bullying to bring much needed attention to a worthy cause.
Comic Con Palm Springs is also working with the Palm Springs International Animation Festival(PSIAF), a new event that will occur November 11, 2017. “There’s a natural tie-in with comic books and graphic novels and animation…and pop culture and things like voice over actors… it’s a natural fit,” Spellman says. “We are going to be screening one or more of their movies.” You can find more information on Palm Springs International Animation Festival at http://www.psiaf.org
Other nonprofit’s that CCPS is proud to be working with is Desert Arc, a Palm Desert based non-profit organization that provides “opportunities for people with disabilities” and The Boys and Girls Club of Palm Springs where Director Andrea Madrigal will once again get the kids there involved in volunteering for the event. “When she and I spoke this year, she let me know that the kids were excited already to volunteer and help out,” Spellman says. The kids will be tasked with going to businesses in downtown Palm Springs to pass out fliers and ask if the businesses will hang posters.
Volunteers are also being accepted for the event itself. “Volunteers are the most important piece to the puzzle of the operation. We’re going to be working with both Edwards Air Force Base as well as Twentynine Palms Marine Base, and local volunteers from around the valley.” Spellman notes that one volunteer, Karen Ann Porter, was such an integral part in last year’s success that we made her the Volunteer Coordinator.
“What we did last year and what we want to do every year is make sure that our Downtown Palm Springs businesses do well” Spellman says. “It’s the time of year when the Coachella Valley is just not as busy and it effects everyone. There are a lot of people who are just out in the community for an event like ours and they are staying and visiting, even if they’re local. When they come to Palm Springs to spend time at the event their dollars are making a difference to even the smallest of stores, whether they’re spending the evening downtown shopping or at a restaurant, it all helps. We are looking at some of the moves that we’re making and how that has an economic impact.” Spellman wants people to see the event as a three-day festival, saying that he wants visitors to see CCPS as a complete experience. “If we can get them to stay for one or three days… check into a hotel or just go out to eat, that’s what we hope to do. Every little bit affects the local economy and local businesses.”
Comic Con Palm Springs recently partnered with Blaze Pizza. Both the Palm Desert and Palm Springs stores will be providing promotional codes for discounted tickets to CCPS with every purchase. Other restaurants, like Lulu’s, has their employees wear Comic Con Palm Springs t-shirts preceding the event. “Our goal is to keep the Coachella Valley thriving and as such we try to keep all our business needs with local companies like RSP Productions who will be taking care of all our staging and production needs and Canyon Copy and Print who currently handles all of our printing needs.”
Comic Con Palm Springs will also feature Coachella Valley resident Lindsay Wagner, notable for her portrayal of the Bionic Woman television series. Tickets to the event and an application to volunteer can be found at ComicConPalmSprings.com.