KuroNeko Cultural Association presents KuroNekoCon: an anime, gaming, and Japanese culture convention based in Spokane, WA.
KuroNeko Cultural Association
KuroNeko Cultural Association is a nonprofit corporation based in Spokane Washington whose mission is to promote and support acceptance of diversity and appreciation of differences in cultures, communities, perspectives, and attitudes, by organizing inclusive activities and events centering around anime, manga, and related popular subcultures, and their historic and continuing contributions to art and culture.
Our largest annual event, KuroNekoCon, brings over 2300 people to the Spokane Convention Center in the heart of downtown Spokane each summer to take part in a three and a half day-long community event celebrating Japanese pop culture, individuality, diversity, and artistic and creative expression.
The KuroNeko Cultural Association is staffed by a group of dedicated individuals who volunteer their time towards the organization’s mission. All positions are unpaid volunteer positions; 100% of our budget is allotted towards our events and community support.
The KuroNeko Cultural association is dedicated to fulfilling its mission year round, giving the inland northwest anime community a place to share their common interests and experiences both in person and online. In addition to KuroNekoCon, we host community events such as a formal but nerdy gala charity fundraiser, and help out the cosplay contests at the NorthTown Mall Comic Book Shop. We also show our support by participating in community events such as OutSpokane’s Pride Parade & Rainbow Festival, Couer d’Alene’s Pride in the Park, the Spokane Buddhist Temple’s Obon Festival, and Perry Street Fair.
Raised $1,190.91 for If You Could Save Just One at KuroNekoCon’s Charity Raffle
Raised $600 dollars for the Odyssey Youth Movement at Tsuki & Hoshi’s Enchanted Gala
Donated $1000 to OutSpokane
Donated $250 to OutSpokane
Raised $445.02 for the Spokane Humane Society at KuroNekoCon’s Charity Auction
Raised $442 for Spokanimal at Tsuki’s Lunar Gala
Raised $100 for Odessey Youth Group at Spokane’s Pride Festival
Raised $656.69 for Shriner’s Children’s Hospital at KuroNekoCon’s Charity Auction
In 2009 the convention was created by members of the Spokane Community College Gaming Club as a one-time, two day, event called Otaku Con that primarily focused on anime and video games. An unexpected 300+ people flocked to the event, cementing Spokane’s need for a venue for Japanese pop culture enthusiasts to express themselves.
Shortly after, a group of community members gathered to organize a second “Otaku Con,” with more emphasis on traditional Japanese culture, arts, and education. Support from a local nonprofit organization called “Japan Week Spokane” helped fuel a successful second year at Spokane Falls Community College, after which a group of volunteers decided to pursue the idea of creating a yearly convention.
In 2011 the event was re-branded as KuroNekoCon (Japanese for “Black Cat Con”), named after our iconic black cat Mascot, and in turn our mascot in was named Tsuki. An official volunteer committee called the KuroNeko Cultural Association was created to organize and operate the event so that a wider breadth of organized content could be offered to attendees.
In 2013, KuroNekoCon had outgrown the college campus venue and moved to the Spokane Convention Center, cementing itself as a major staple summer event in downtown Spokane. After two years at the convention center, the event had more than doubled in size.
In 2016, the convention again restructured and registered KuroNeko Cultural Association as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, led by a Board of Directors of eight elected individuals. This shift in focus gave KNCA the structure and resources to expand into helping the community even more. Two more board members were added in subsequent years, Japanese Culture and Outreach, to continue and expand our involvement in Spokane’s rich culture and history.
This support grew to include a strong recurring sponsorship with OutSpokane and visible support at other local pride events, where KNCA’s secondary mascot Hoshi was introduced in 2018. Hoshi was officially added to KuroNekoCon’s roster as a face for the convention in 2019.
During the pandemic, KuroNeko Cultural Association pivoted to online events and hosted both Tsuki’s Spooky Stream & KuroNekoConline in 2020. Due to pandemic fatigue and staff attrition, no events were hosted in 2021, and no convention was hosted in the summer of 2022.
In 2022 a large number of new board members were elected, which was followed by an equally large drive to regain staffing numbers. The convention restructured once more, with large updates to the bylaws to better suit the shifting needs of the community, including changes to the number of Board Members and their roles. A mini-con event is planned for Fall of 2022, with full hope of building back to a full convention in Summer 2023.