We’re just about 2 weeks out from our convention at Hofstra University on Long Island, NY, and if you haven’t made your hotel reservation yet, go do it! TODAY is the last day for the discounted room rate. Also, please register (and update your membership as well) because the longer you wait the more work it is for our manager Wanda — and we don’t want to wear Wanda out because she has been Wonder Woman for the AAEC these past several months and we want her to stick around.
If you’re coming in on Wednesday, drop your bags off at the hotel and head over to the Cradle of Aviation Museum where our hosts from Newsday are putting on a lovely reception for us. Reconnect with your colleagues, relax and enjoy yourselves because Matt and I have lots planned for you in the coming days.
Take a look at our updated schedule and I hope you’ll be as excited as we are about all the wonderful panels and speakers lined up. Our first full day starts with an entire morning session discussing free speech. Then-AAEC president Ben Sargent will be moderating the first panel looking back almost 30 years to the Hustler v Falwell Supreme Court decision and how it relates to editorial cartoonists today. Joining Ben will be Roslyn Mazer, who represented the AAEC as “friends of the Court” and Newsday editorial page editor Rita Ciolli, who covered SCOTUS during that pivotal case.
The second part of the morning session continues with AAEC board member Kevin Siers moderating a topic which has been in the news a great deal lately — free speech & safe spaces on university campuses. Get ready to hear some spirited debate with panelists Signe Wilkinson, Steve Artley, and Dr. Sofia B. Pertuz, Dean of Students at Hofstra. After which we’ll hear from Floyd Abrams, one of the country’s leading legal authorities on the First Amendment and U.S. Constitutional Law. Mr. Abrams will be doing a Q&A at the end of his presentation so come prepared with those questions about Citizens United.
And if that’s not enough, the afternoon session will include the amazing Anita Kunz moderating a panel of top illustrators from the New York area, Liza Donnelly and a group of New Yorker cartoonists, and Wiley Miller (who is again an AAEC member — welcome back Wiley!) with The Nib’s Matt Lubchansky showing us all how powerful editorial cartooning doesn’t have to fit into a rectangular box. We’ll end the day with a reception on the 10th floor of the Hofstra Library where we’ll have a beautiful view of New York City and be entertained by our wicked colleague from across the pond, Martin Rowson of the Guardian.
Friday we’ll welcome local high school students to a session with our top notch presenter Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher and then we’ll all head off to NYC for a luncheon at the historical Society of Illustrators Club. The legendary illustrator Ed Sorel will be interviewed by Signe Wilkinson while we enjoy the upstairs dining area and the club’s iconic bar. If you’ve never seen this wonderful place with work from every cartoonist and illustrator you’ve ever admired, you don’t want to miss it.
Saturday we’ll take care of AAEC business (with Scott Burns, Ed Hall, and Chip Bok contributing with news you can use) and after lunch we’ll have a MAD magazine panel with the usual gang of very talented idiots so you can get in mood for our closing night banquet where we’ll honor CRNI’s Courage in Cartooning award winner, the young cartoonist Locher Award winner, and the first recipient of the Rex Babin memorial award.
So, get moving and get registered! I don’t have to tell you this year’s political developments have shown us just how important satire and editorial cartooning is. Come renew your commitment to your craft, get together with your colleagues and do what you do best — debate, draw and drink (responsibly).
Looking forward to seeing you,
To see the complete lineup of events, go to https://editorialcartoonists.com/aaecweb/convention.cfm# and click on Convention Schedule. Deadline to register for the gathering is Wednesday, October 25.