Next years convention of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists will be held in Salt Lake City, UT. Salt Lake Tribune editorial cartoonist Pat Bagley will be heading up the local logistics of the hosting. I asked him a few questions about the announcement and what we can expect.
A: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this is the first time the AAEC has come to Salt Lake City, right?
P: This will be a first for Salt Lake and Utah. And I didn’t even have to dispense bribes.
A: Do you have a vision yet for the format or venue of the convention?
P: The AAEC will be exploring all of the possibilities, but I see a relaxed, wide-ranging venue with activities open to public participation. It will be equal parts showing off our great state to my peers and showing off some of the greatest creative talent in the country to my fellow Utahns. I’ve talked to several community leaders and they’re all eager to help and participate in our party. I see a lot of love. In fact, you could call it Big Love.
A: Who would be at the top of your speaker list for the keynote?
P: I have some candidates in mind but don’t want to say anything before running it by the board. It’s too bad our fellow Utahn, Big Daddy “Ratfink” Roth, is no longer around. He would have been perfect.
A: Are there tentative dates yet?
P: We are looking at the last half of June. I will keep you posted.
A: Back when Salt Lake City was trying to win the 2002 Olympics there was a lot of consternation about the restrictive local liquor laws. The laws have changed a bit since then, but Utah’s reputation may not have. What would you tell individuals who might be thinking it would be a dry AAEC convention?
P: Here’s how I put it in the proposal. “You can get a drink in Utah. In fact, you can get several. Liquor flows freely in most restaurants and Salt Lake is home to several award-winning brew pubs. Beer is available in grocery stores while wine and spirits are sequestered in state run liquor stores. Bring your ID.”
As a local I’m looking forward to it and I know several others who will be as well. The Salt Lake area has a lot of organizations who, as Pat mentions, will be a natural fit and supporters of the convention.