entered fandom in 1975 by joining the local science fiction club in Dayton, Ohio, while a college student. The following year, she attended a Marcon and quickly discovered filking. She is a regular attendee at North American filk conventions, and has travelled to support her friends, twice going as far as FilkContinental.
Kathleen is active in the Denver filk community, participating in the cycle of local house filks, and helping out in the con suite at their local SF convention. But she staunchly avoided becoming involved in actual convention organizing, until Denver won the bid for the 2008 Worldcon and she took on the role of co-head for the filk track.
She tapes concerts and open filks, and craftily uses these tapes to mine for the very best songs, which she learns and performs, spreading filk gems throughout the community. In recent years, she has become much more visible as a performer. Her clear soprano is a joy to listen to and always welcome in the filk circle, accompanied by her signature travel guitar. She is a harmony slut, and her vocals have been in demand for recordings, live performances and more spontaneous efforts in the filk circle. Kathleen has been prompted to write more songs of late and, while her repertoire of original material is small, it’s notable for songs like “Meat” and “Catalogue Queen”, reflecting her wicked sense of humour; and “Take It Back”, a translation into song of Sally Childs-Helton’s assertion that music and other arts are intrinsic rights of all humans. “Take it Back” has become an anthem for the filk community, and has been adopted as the official opening song for FilKONtario.
Kathleen has been an invaluable resource to Interfilk, since she was invited to become a Director in 1993; she is currently serving as vice-president. She travels extensively and is always suggesting new talents in the ever-widening filk community. She has an uncanny ability to assess talent, guest skills, and best fit for the host convention. At west coast conventions, Kathleen often does the majority of the Interfilk auction work: organizing, auctioning, taking payment and keeping records. She has supported Interfilk with a constant stream of donations for auction, ranging from wildly bizarre items to exquisite examples of her beadwork. Kathleen has raised auction wenching to a high art. Few of us can forget seeing her in action, racing through the audience to “gently” encourage a higher bid, sometimes against herself.
Kathleen is a community-builder in every sense. She is witty, friendly, encouraging, and supportive to others. She is generous to friends, with time and advice or just support for their own projects or concerns. Her feedback is honest and can be invaluable in working on improvement. Indeed for many years she has promoted the value of exercise, and demonstrated by example. She is also the evil influence that has caused several filkers to take up beading as a hobby. Her financial generosity to filk is legendary. She has also been a true filk gardener, encouraging shy filkers to add to the sings, working to bring filk to conventions without it in her part of the country, and teaching what she knows to others around her.
For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Kathleen Sloan is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame this twenty-fourth day of March, Two Thousand and Seven.
Photo credit: Walter Korynkiewicz