Kathy Hamilton – 2014

has been a major driving force behind filk in Columbus, Ohio, for many, many years.

She has been on the concom of the Ohio Valley Filk Fest since its inception in 1984, and ConChair numerous times. She is good at it, and manages to keep her cool and not stress out the rest of the ConCom when things don’t go as planned. When other ConCom members have been unable to fulfill their duties, Kathy has stepped into the breach and done whatever needed to be done for the convention to run smoothly.

Kathy ran publications for OVFF for over 10 years, including the program books, all the signs, sign-up sheets, and pocket programs. If it’s a piece of paper and it’s official, Kathy made it happen. She ran promotions for OVFF for over 10 years, ensuring two yearly progress reports and initiating many ad trades. She has coordinated registration, and when staff were needed to run con suite, it was Kathy who recruited them.

Kathy took over the reins of OVFF again a few years back, and started a programming push she calls “New Voices”, creating a cross over between other branches of fan music and filk music. Thus she introduced performers of other fannish music genres to the existing filk community, and motivates others to do the same.

Kathy can be blamed for pulling people into volunteering, teaching them the ropes, giving them someone to whine or complain at, and answering “all the questions.” It’s always a blessing to see her at the con.

Marcon was one of the first big regional conventions to run a full filk track. When she was program head, Kathy was instrumental in moving filk from the halls and stairwells of Marcon into main programming. Having worked in the capacity of both master programmer and con chair, Kathy is largely responsible for the breadth of filking programming available at Marcon. She has fought tooth and nail, and taken to being sneaky and devious in, order to ensure that filkers had a place to gather. Other regional conventions have come to Marcon to check out the filk track. Thus, Kathy has helped spread the recognition that filk is as important a track as any other.

She has opened her home as a meeting place for filkers and ConComs. She holds an annual party to draw fans together, enabling the cross-pollination of ideas and fandoms – which can bring more people into filk as well.

All this Kathy has done, and more, and she has done so with grace and professionalism, throughout personal struggles, health issues, and family tragedies. She has touched the lives of many in the local filk community.

For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Kathy Hamilton is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame this twenty-sixth day of April, Two thousand and fourteen.

Photo credit: Howard Scrimgeour