Looking for a way to do good while geeking out? Are you a Potterhead and want to get together with other Kansas City Harry Potter fans? KC Keepers, the Kansas City Harry Potter Alliance chapter is your opportunity! Accio social justice!
What is the name of your group?
KC Keepers: Kansas City Harry Potter Alliance Chapter
What is your name and what is your role in the group?
Mary Lipp, Chapter Organizer
How would you describe your group?
The Harry Potter Alliance turns fans into heroes by using the power of story to engage fans in activism for equality, literacy, and human rights. KC Keepers participates in the campaigns of the HPA to improve Kansas City and the world, and we also have a lot of fun nerding out with fellow fans.
When was the group founded?
How long have you been a member, and what made you want to found the group?
I was part of the team that founded the group. I had been interested in the Harry Potter Alliance for a while as a way to merge my love of fandom with my desire for social justice. When a group was starting in Kansas City I was incredible excited to get on board and make new friends and figure out how to make a difference in KC.
How big is the group?
About 10 people attend meetings, but our big parties draw about 70 attendees.
How often do you meet?
We have a monthly meeting on the first Monday of the month at 7:30 at the Plaza Library. We also try to have a social event at least once a month and a volunteer opportunity every couple months.
Where do you meet?
Regular meetings and parties are at the Plaza Library and other social events and volunteering vary in location.
What do you do at meetings/events?
At our regular monthly meetings, we plan upcoming events, campaigns, volunteer opportunities, etc. We also host a Halloween Party (October), Yule Ball (January), and End of Year Party (June) every year where we play games, dance, and generally have a lot of fun hanging out. We have more casual social events such as a pool party, ice skating, game night, etc. on a monthly basis. Lastly, we have volunteer opportunities such as sorting clothing at ReStart, Inc. or giving away books at Operation Breakthrough.
What do you love about the group?
I love that everyone is passionate about a wide range of fandoms, but also care about making the world better. We have a lot of fun talking about Harry Potter, anime, Marvel, and more while we are planning our events or out volunteering. We are not just a fan club and we are not just a civic group. We are a unique blend of fun nerdiness and taking action to decrease world suck.
Tell us about a particularly memorable moment in the group.
One of the big Harry Potter Alliance campaigns is a book drive called Accio Books. Each year they select a main donation spot and when people all over the world collect books they can either donate them locally or send them to the main donation spot. In 2015, the HPA selected Kansas City and the KC Keepers as the recipients of the books. This means that HPA members all over the world mailed us boxes of books and we organized an Apparating Library book giveaway event at Operation Breakthrough. We set up tables with almost 10,000 books and families from the community came and we got to give them the joy of free books. We also had a musician, face painting, games, and crafts. It was a really fun day and so many people left with bags full of books and a huge smile on their faces.
What future plans lay ahead for the group?
We have lots of exciting things coming up! Right now we are kicking off this year’s Accio Books book drive and we are collecting books to build a library in Uganda. We are hosting an Accio Books book drive and social event at the Plaza Library on May 7th from 3-6pm. We encourage everyone to bring any books they have to donate (we accept all types of books) and stay to watch a Harry Potter movie, play some games, and meet new friends.
We will also have our annual End of Year Party and House Cup Award Ceremony on June 4th from 8-11pm at the Plaza Library. We will be dancing, playing games, and finding out which house attended the most events and donated the most items over the last year. The campaigns we are working on this year include advocating for library funding, working for transgender rights, and fighting climate change.
Where can someone find more information about your group?
Anything else you’d like to share?
We would love to have you at our events! Anyone is welcome, you don’t have to love Harry Potter, if you’re looking at a KC Geeks page then you are one of us.