Arisia Progress Report #5
January 2020

New England's Largest, Most Diverse Sci-Fi & Fantasy Convention
Arisia 2021
January 15-18
Gone Virtual
Welcome to Progress Report #5!
Arisia 2021 is coming! In roughly 6 days we will join together on multiple platforms tied together by a fantastic infrastructure being built by the amazing Remote Conference Division. We can't wait to show you, and we can't wait to gather with you in the New Normal. We are bursting at the seems to share with you this final Progress Report hopefully addressing all of the pre-convention questions, important details about joining us on your device(s) of choice, and sharing the heads up on some highlighted events you won’t want to miss!
Registration/Memberships to Arisia 2021
You can still purchase a membership to A'21!! The rates are $25 or a “sustaining membership” of $75 available to those who choose to pay that much. There are also scholarship memberships available ($0) to anyone who needs them. Go to

This year, Arisia plans to donate the greater of 50% of our profits or $1,000 to address systemic racism in the Boston area. The recipients of the donation will be determined by the Arisia Corporation.

With the Convention just a week away, we are no longer processing any further rollover requests as we are now well pas the December 31, 2020 deadline. The Con Chair team will consider requests we have in hand, once the Convention has finished. We hope everyone understands that staff need to focus on making A'21 the best possible event it can be within the next week.

How-To Arisia 2021
This year Arisia will take place on a newly created Virtual Convention website, built specifically for our attendees. We’re harnessing the usual suspects, Discord and Zoom as well as the newly created Arisia Virtual Convention website.

Interactive Schedule
The interactive schedule will have live links to the Virtual Site room for each of the panels, where you’ll find panel information and Zoom links. Discord will have a myriad of channels for you to chat with other convention goers or ask a few more questions of panelists after the panel ends. Fan Tables will be using Discord this year as well!

Due to privacy concerns, the panels on Zoom will not be recorded. Associated Discord channels will be active for the length of the convention for you to catch up with panels you missed. 

Getting Access

As we get closer to Con, our registered attendees will receive email instructions on how to access the member content and set up Zoom and Discord so you’re ready to go. You’ll need to log into the new website using the login information you use to register for the convention. Please keep your username(s) and password(s) in a safe and yet easily-accessible-to-you place as they will be needed any time you want to log in to Con space.

As always, our Help Desk will be standing by, ready to assist with any technical issues you encounter while setting up your account.

spinning sideways yellow & red checkerboard plain with distressed face
  For online help and prep tips, check out
Team Arisia Services
Hello from Team Arisia Services! 
We still have several opportunities to volunteer for Arisia 2021!
Current jobs looking for volunteers:
  • Con Suite Staff
  • Help Desk Staff
  • Incident Response Team (IRT) Staff
  • Gaming Expeditor
  • Gaming Zoom Greeter
  • Minecraft Helper
  • Party Room Hosts
To see the full list of jobs click here:
For more information on volunteering, see:

Have questions? Contact us at
Access Division
The Access Division is committed to ensuring that our 2021 Virtual Convention will be accessible to all Arisia community members, inclusive of those with and without disabilities. This year, we will have CART services available by default to over 90 hours of programming and events. We have also built our platforms using guidance from web content accessibility guidelines 3.0. If you would like help on how to prep your assistive technologies, the list of CART-default programs and events, or would like to make a request for other access needs please contact us as soon as possible. 

Note: please keep your username(s) and password(s) in a safe and yet easily-accessible-to-you place as they will be needed any time you want to log in to Con space. There are a few cool apps for smartphones/computers that can help keep them organized and accessible. Contact us if you'd like recommendations!

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions please reach out to the Access Division. Thanks!!
Annual Arisia Blood Drive

Arisia '21 will be going virtual and so will the Blood Drive!

Heinlein Society Blood Drives, including the successful Arisia Blood Drive we've held since 2004, are reimagined this year, as so much else has been. Please consider donating whole blood, power red cells (double reds), platelets, plasma for transfusion, or COVID-19 antibodies via convalescent plasma any time from now through the end of the con at a place, time, and with an agency convenient for you. Special thanks for those going to our long time partners, Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital!

  Please take a selfie with:

  • "I donated today" sticker
  • the institution's name and/or logo
  • something with the con name (T-shirt, badge, water bottle, Souvenir Book, hand drawn sign...).

As long as the photo has the required items, you don't need to be in the photo. Please send the selfie to and include:

  • Type of donation (Whole Blood, Double or Power Red, or other)
  • How you want to be listed on our website (Badge name or "Attendee at [Con Name]" is OK)
  • Do we have permission to publish a thumbnail of your photo? 
  • If you would like a Heinlein Society Blood Drive pin
  • Name and a valid USPS return address so we can send you a thank you card, ribbon for your next in person con, and a pin (if desired).

Selfie thumbnails are on a virtual Blood Drive page under each con on the Heinlein Society Web Page.

For more information, please go to

Art Show
Over 30 artists will participate virtually this year!  Several artists are exhibiting with us for the first time including Kaysha Siemens and Kristin Richland. Make sure to visit the Art Show to check them out.

We are *also* very excited to be part of the Virtual Duck Hunt.  Several artists contributed images for you to find around the virtual con including at least 1 piece created especially for us. Keep an eye out for them! 
Events at Arisia 2021
Be on the lookout for some of your favorite events at Arisia this year. In our new on-line format, we'll present:
  • Post-Meridian Radio Players with a gender-swapped Star Trek episode 
  • A new Mrs Hawking play
  • Teseracte Players traditional of shadow-cast events  
.....and much much more!

We're bringing our Masquerade, too, to a new online format.  See the costumes presented in our online Presentation Hall on Sunday night.
Trailer: All New Mrs. Hawking Play!!

Gaming is doing lots of things this year using lots of platforms. As such, we have lots of information for you! Here are the highlights:

  • There will be LARPs! Yes, even online. Read further below for detailed information
  • We have tournaments this year! Read more here
  • We will have a Minecraft server this year. We need helpers/mods who know Minecraft and can help folk out when they run into technical or gaming issues. This is a great gig for folks 11+, who are willing and able to work a 2hr shift paired with a responsible older teenager. For more information or to volunteer, email
  • Space Cats (the game): You're a cat working on a Class 8 cargo space-freighter, transporting an important shipment of kibble to Sector B. You're not just any cat. You're Space-Cat. Sadly Captain Fig has found a vole in the airlock and is permanently focused on staring at it - you won't be getting through to the good Captain anytime soon. You and your colleagues are going to have to fly this ship yourselves! Your systems computer, C.A.T.B.O.T is finicky and demanding but that's ok, you and your team of Space-cats can surely fill all the technical requirements to get you to sector B even without Captain Fig. It'll be easy! Like herding...something. Check out the Discord channel throughout the convention (teams of all ages are welcomed & encouraged)
  • If you are running a game during Arisia 2021, you should have received a email from If you did not get an email (or did) and think this is an error, please contact us as soon as possible.
On Friday, 1/15/21 at 7pm gaming staff will run a panel to introduce the many facets of gaming at Arisia 2021 to attendees.

For more information and all the details fit to print, click here
Get Your T-shirts (and more) Here!!
image of Arisia 2021 artist guest of honor tshirt design
Do you love collecting Arisia merch? Would you love to claim some Arisia history? We can help with that! This year, we are selling Arisia logo t-shirts, stickers, and magnets. We are also selling Arisia 2021 t-shirts with one of Hannibal King's designs (Artist Guest of Honor). 

There is also a limited (size and quantity) supply of t-shirts from Arisia 2017, 2018, and 2019 available for sale with priority shipping! Supplies available while they last.

Priority 2-day shipping is included in the price of the t-shirt(s). To get your order in, please click here 
Guests of Honor
Suzanne Palmer, Author Twitter | Facebook | Website

Hannibal King, Artist

Kat Tanaka Okopnik, Fan Twitter | Facebook
Live Action Role Playing (LARP) ONLINE!

It is now possible to sign up for LARPs at Arisia 2021! It’s possible that many games will fill early, so check them out as soon as you can if you want a spot!  

You may sign up for as many LARPs as you'd like, but please be considerate to others, but please be considerate to others and only sign up for those that you are actually planning to attend. The system doesn’t enforce this, so it is up to you to follow the rules. If your GM needs additional information for pre-casting, they will contact players who have signed up via the signup links. 

Some games may require specific technology, so please make sure you have access to that technology before the game runs.

By signing up for a LARP, you are making a commitment to show up and play. If it turns out you cannot make it to your LARP after you sign up, please remove your sign up for it and also send an email to the signup contact to let them know. Several of these games require a specific number of players or have pre-game reading, so please be respectful.

Descriptions and Signups

As an Arisia event, Arisia LARPs are covered by the Code of Conduct. 

Larping online is a new format for some, and many of these games were written specifically for online play, so we’re excited to be able to share these excellent games with you.

Schedule Time!

After much anticipation, we are thrilled to share the convention schedule with you. Currently, there is an HTML version of the schedule that is updated manually. Once the Con goes live, we will use a KonOpas-like schedule that will be updated in real time. 

Check out and get your calendar ready!


We know collecting ribbons is a huge part of the fun of going to a convention. We're planning to provide ribbons that can attach to a "badge" (actually your profile) on the Virtual Arisia website. At previous in-person cons, anyone could order ribbons to pass out as they socialized. We've gathered the list of physical ribbons we've used in the past and added some ideas already. Still, we would very much like to get your ideas for additional ribbons. What would you like to see?

Submit your ideas using this form:

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