Meet the Illustrious Melissa Fahn!

Melissa FahnJoining us for #AnimeUSA2015 is the very talented Melissa Fahn! Fahn is best known for her role as Cowboy Bebop’s eccentric child hacker, Edward, though is also notable for her roles as FLCL’s Ninamori, Digmon Tamers’ Rika, Fire Emblem Awakening’s Maribelle, and as Gaz on Nickelodeon’s Invader Zim.

When not lending her voice to animation and gaming, Fahn is an accomplished singer and stage actor, having appeared in musicals on and off Broadway, including Wicked, Grease and West Side Story. Her debut R&B album, Avignon, was released in 2007.

Come meet her this Halloween weekend, October 30th – November 1st!

Anime USA Announces 2015 Con Chair, Kat Sartafi

Anime USA Convention Chair, Kat SarfatiWe’re pleased to announce our new Convention Chair for the year of 2015, Kat Sarfati. Sarfati has been working for Anime USA since 2009. She has over 8 years of professional experience with educational non-profits. Her own journey to fandom began as a child growing up with science fiction and anime; she was introduced to anime when she saw Sailor Moon on television after school.

Sarfati got involved with fan-hosted conventions in 2005, starting with Balticon and then soon after, Anime USA and Katsucon. She has held positions in convention security, programming, staff registration, and more. In 2014, she served as the Director of Personnel for Anime USA. Sarfati looks forward to serving our members as well as our staff to the best of her ability. If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to reach out to her at chair@animeusa.org.

In 2015, we will be expanding on our children’s programming to include fun Halloween-themed events and more Please join us Halloween weekend, October 30–November 1, 2015.

Head to Anime USA 2014 with Uber!

uber_DC_anime-conference_email_600x700_r2Need a ride to Anime USA 2014? Uber’s got you covered! Sign up at www.uber.com/go/AnimeUSA now and get up to $30 off your first ride. Make sure you use promotion code, AnimeUSA.

Download the app to request a ride within minutes:

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This offer is available to new Uber sign-ups only. This offer is not valid on uberTAXI.

A Con Chair’s Guide to Parking at Anime USA

After many years of parking in Washington D.C.—and at conventions in general—I have my developed my favorite ways to deal with the limited spaces and high cost of parking in the District.

First, the easiest method to save money for those parking for the whole weekend or for those at least parking long enough to be departing over the weekend, is to use the D.C. Metro. Metro parking garages are free to park as long as you depart anytime after Metro closes on Friday night and before Metro garages open fee collection on Monday morning. Knowing this, you can choose to park at one of the larger Metro garages and take the train indirectly.

However, if your like me and are traveling with a considerable amount of gear, you will need drive to the hotel first, pull to the front valet area, tell them that you need to check-in (this will give you about 45 minutes) and leave your car at the front while you unload. Then, once your done, drive back to one of the larger Metro garages, park (for the weekend) and use Metro to get back to the hotel—and back to your car when you leave. This isn’t completely free as you will need a Metro ticket to Woodley Park Metro station (the hotel’s Metro stop on the red line), and the return trip fee from which ever garage you choose to park. If you plan on at coming to D.C. more than one time in your life, consider purchasing a SmarTrip® card; this will make using the Metro considerably easier. Although I have never had a problem with any of the other larger Metro garages (while parking over multiple days), only 3 Metro garages are designated for multi-day parking: Huntington, Franconia-Springfield, and Greenbelt, so keep that in mind if you want to play it safe.

This other alternative option is also risky, but if you play it right, you may have both a close parking spot and save money doing it: street parking. Street parking is either controlled by meters or by zone passes. Both are only in effect at particular times of particular days. If you do enough exploring and a little research, and have a bit of luck, then you can find a sweet deal. Many of the streets around the hotel area have availability, albeit limited, just be careful to properly read all signs around the area to make sure that you will be OK for the time that you are planning to park and that you know how much and what form of payment is required. If you want a guaranteed street parking, garage parking, or other alternative parking spot, check out Parking Panda.

The last option, if you want lower cost (than our $22 a day special hotel rate), or if the parking at the hotel is full, is to use a parking app—we recommend Parking Panda. Many of you probably have a smartphone or a tablet. Downloading an app for parking, especially one that caters to the D.C. market, will be indispensable if you want something concrete closer to the hotel and for whatever reason other options are not available (or affordable). I’ve used a parking app for Android when I am looking for a garage near my destination (in D.C proper). If you don’t mind walking and/or taking a short ride, there are plenty of lower cost garages within approximately a mile of the hotel (just not so much on the closer side of that).

There is also an overflow lot at UDC which is only one stop away on the Metro red line ($20 a day), which is already listed in our Parking options.

Check out this comprehensive guide with information about the Metro and Union Station (in PDF form)

See you soon!
Tim Garman
Convention Chair, 2013, 2014