OTW Guest Post: Jackson Bird

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Interviews by Fans
Title: OTW Guest Post: Jackson Bird
Interviewer: Claudia Rebaza
Interviewee: Jackson Bird
Date(s): February 26, 2017
Medium: online
External Links: OTW Guest Post: Jackson Bird – Organization for Transformative Works,
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OTW Guest Post: Jackson Bird is a 2017 interview done as part of a series. See OTW Guest Post.

"Jackson Bird is the Director of Wizard-Muggle Relations for the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA), a nonprofit that activates fan communities towards social action. When not defending the rights of wizards and muggles alike, Jackson produces videos about identity, social action, and what happens when you put tacos on a waffle iron."

Some Excerpts

How did you first get into fandom and fanworks?

I got into fandom and fanworks long before I had a name for what I was doing. I joined the Royal Club of Oz in fourth grade after devouring all of the original L. Frank Baum books and spent a good part of my time doodling Bailey School Kid monsters. A few years later, I discovered Harry Potter fansites and it just grew from there. I read fanfiction, listened to podcasts and wizard rock, and eventually — many years later — discovered the Harry Potter Alliance.

How did you come to join the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) and what’s your role in it?

I was blown away by the HPA’s great success in 2010 when they joined with young adult authors, video creators, and Harry Potter fan leaders to raise over $120,000 and send five cargo planes full of relief supplies to Haiti. That coordination of online communities and pure passion turned into praxis led me to join up as a volunteer video editor. I spent college volunteering in various video and social media capacities and then in 2013 was hired full time to head up our external marketing and partner relations. Basically, I’m the guy that goes to conferences and make speeches about what we do.

What fandom things have inspired you the most?

One thing that’s really inspiring to me is seeing everything that people create at conferences and conventions. Sometimes there can be a culture of bringing movie celebrities to cons or fawning after big name fans (all of which has its place and is totally cool), but they’re not the only ones at cons who have created awesome things. I love watching attendees arrive in their cosplay or with their crafts and artwork to share with friends old and new. The amount of creativity in fan communities never ceases to amaze and inspire me.