Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS) was forced to cancel our annual convention, Balticon 54. BSFS is a 100% volunteer-run organization that depends upon Balticon as its main source of revenue. This funding supports our efforts to develop new writers and foster literacy among Baltimore City’s disadvantaged youth, and helps pay for the maintenance of our East Baltimore building, which houses a free lending library of more than 12,000 volumes. Canceling Balticon 54 means:
A lack of funds to support future awards for writers. While funding for the 2020 awards was allocated when the contests were announced, 2021’s awards depend on Balticon to provide almost $7000 in seed money. BSFS Books for Kids will not receive funding from our annual auction. This program provides as much as $1,800 in grants to Baltimore City neighborhood organizations and schools to help support youth literacy. The loss of approximately $18,000 in revenue for ongoing BSFS operations.
BSFS will not be forced to shut its doors this year, but we will need to use funds that had been intended for long-term capital needs, including future repairs to the roof and heating system, ADA access to our second floor, and expanded capacity for our library. While our doors will stay open, we need your help to continue offering our regular programs that support literacy and the development of new writers.