February was quite a busy month here at Portus headquarters. The team has been working very hard, and we are glad to report a very successful site visit to the Hilton Anatole. The weekend was filled with creativity and additional planning, so be on the lookout for lots of new and exciting announcements in the upcoming months. The first additions to the Portus lineup are the Portus Premium Packages.* The premium packages are a great way to attend your favorite events and stay at the Anatole for discounted prices. We are pleased to announce two great new packages this month with more coming soon, so stay tuned.

With our next addition, we hope you’ll have a little pre-Portus fun. This month’s Portal includes the first of our Portal contests. Dust off your blenders and cameras; it’s time to mix it up and put your thinking caps on.

We would like to thank all of you who attended the Portus Meet & Greet at the La Esquina restaurant in the Hilton Anatole. It was such a pleasure to meet all of you, and we can’t wait to see you all again in July . We had so much fun that we made a Meet & Greet video of the event (to be posted soon!) featuring some of the Portus chairs and attendees who will be here in Dallas this July. Keep checking back to our Portus YouTube page for the latest videos on symposiums past and present. You can subscribe to the Portus YouTube channel by visiting our page here and clicking subscribe.

Best Regards,



Aziza Aba Butain
Editor-in-Chief

Portus Previews

The February edition of the Portus Previews featuring Edmund M. Kern is now available for download! To listen to the podcast, you can do either of the following:

  1. You can subscribe through iTunes by searching for “Portus Previews.”
  2. You can enter the following: http://www.portus2008.org/podcast.xml into your podcast player’s “Subscribe” field.

Enjoy!

Dessert Mingler

Need some quiet time away from the excitement of Portus while not missing a moment with good friends and scrumptious treats?

On Friday night from 8-10pm, we offer you and your friends a low-key setting to enjoy coffee, tea, and decadent desserts away from all the hustle and bustle.

Tickets are available for $25.00 each. Spaces are limited, so reserve your spot today by modifying your registration. Refunds are not available for the Dessert Mingler.

Spellcast LIVE!

O Harry, O Harry! Wherefore art thou Harry?

Attention all thespians: want to show off your Shakespearean skills? Spotlight your talent at the live Spellcast play brought to you by FictionAlley.org. Auditions will take place at 3pm on Thursday, July 10th for the performance on Saturday, July 12th. There are a limited number of roles, so keep checking back with The Portal for more details as they become available.

Coming in April, learn how you can submit a script for the SpellCast Play Challenge, and win a Portus registration and two nights at the Anatole Hotel, sponsored by FictionAlley.org.

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Mystery Masquerade Ball Package*

Break out the dancing shoes; the Mystery Masquerade Ball is here!

On Saturday night July 12th, Portus will host the Mystery Masquerade Ball, featuring not only the best Muggle music has to offer but also your favorite wizard rock tunes from Ministry of Magic and Oliver Boyd and the Remembralls.

The Mystery Masquerade Ball package includes a one-night stay at the Hilton Anatole for the night of July 12th (not including incidentals), a Saturday registration, and one ball ticket, all for the discounted price of $200.00.

Bringing a date to the ball? Our couple’s package includes a one-night Hilton Anatole stay for the night of July 12th (not including incidentals), Saturday registrations, and ball tickets for each, all for the discounted price of $275.00

Spaces are limited, so reserve your spot today by modifying your registration.

Luncheon & Tea Package*

Can’t decide between luncheons and teas? How about both!

Enjoy lunch on Friday with Dr. Henry Jenkins as he presents "Beyond the Borders of the Book: The Transformative Power of Fandom in the Age of Media Convergence.” Then on Saturday, hear Monique Trottier discuss "Digital Owls, Pensieves, and Portkeys: The phenomenon of electronic media in building and sustaining an online audience of Harry Potter fans" as you relish a mid-day repast of pecan-crusted chicken or vegetable lasagna.

The Keynote Luncheon & Afternoon Tea Package includes both keynote luncheons and one afternoon tea for the day of your choice for only $95.00.

Spaces are limited, so reserve your spot today by modifying your registration.

*No refunds will be offered for the premium packages.

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There’s still plenty of time to join the Portus staff. Volunteer to work for a day, a week, as an assistant, or maybe even as one of our chairs! Being a volunteer is such a great way to give back to the Harry Potter experience and meet the wonderful people who are a part of the fandom. Make friends, and create memories. Be a Portus Volunteer. For current staff openings, go to our Volunteer page. To contribute your talents to Portus, please send an email to volunteers@portus2008.org for a volunteer questionnaire and more information.

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Portus Punch Contest

What would a Harry Potter symposium be without some good ol’ Butterbeer?

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, our first Portal contest is the Portus Punch Contest! Submit your best Harry Potter-themed mixed drinks. We’ll put the top seven on the Portus drink menu for all the attendees to enjoy. Winners will also have their drinks featured in the official Portus Program book.

In addition, we will choose the best recipe to be the featured drink of the Mystery Masquerade Ball - an exclusive treat for those attending the Ball! The winner of the Portus Punch contest will also receive a free Saturday Keynote Luncheon ticket.

Drinks will be judged on taste and title. Please submit all entries to contests@portus2008.org by 11:59 pm CDT on March 31st. Please include a non-alcoholic version of your recipe.

Remember, don’t drink and play Quidditch!

Ministry Mystery Photo Hunt

By Heather French

Want to transport yourself to the magical world of Portus? While there is no spell (that we know of!) to make it July already, we think we have found a way to help pass the time until Portus.

Our Ministry custodian found these clues in the dustbin, but he cannot figure them out. Can you? Each refers to something from Harry Potter, and they are related to each other. Decipher from the clue what each object is, then take a picture of one from your daily life. Be creative! Try to find new and interesting ways of showing off the object. Then email all three photos along with your name and the connection between the three objects to contests@portus2008.org by 11:59 CDT on March 31st.

Correct clue photos will be entered into a drawing for fun give-away gifts. The most creative photos will appear in next month’s Portal. Three new connected clues will be revealed each month until Portus, so keep playing!

Clue #1

Bubble, bubble in a pot of trouble,
From here to there on the double.
With a warning so Black
Or a screen’s crackle and pop
It's a city of ember
Or a grate way to shop.
Hestia and Kris prefer it swept clean,
For Muggles so hot, for wizards so green.

Clue #2

Inside a cage of glass and red
Ring happy tidings or calls of dread;
Or in days long gone, behind the door
A man becomes super forever more.
Visitors can make the call
To rescue some or be tried by all
When wizard-kind press M-A-G-I-C here;
Yet M for Murder Muggles fear.

Clue #3

With this your love shows you affection,
Its sentiment is a heart’s protection.
Another will pay for your ride
Within a Tube deep down inside.
Trade George or Abe for these today
And be top scorer in the games you play.
A Muggle needs one for relief in a rush
As wizards, to work, through a dry puddle flush.

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Imagine your work on display in our Art Gallery with the beautiful city of Dallas, Texas as a backdrop. We are excited to see the unique creations artists like you will contribute to make Portus an event to remember.

You can see examples of previous artwork displayed in the art galleries of past events in our Prophecy Retrospective slideshow.

Entries may now be submitted to the Portus Art Gallery. Our submission deadline is 12:00 AM CDT on May 15, 2008. For details, rules, and submission guidelines, please visit our Call for Artwork page. Email any questions to artgallery@portus2008.org.

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Hedwig
By Jenn Clack

If you took part in or watched Quidditch at Prophecy, then you are very familiar with this month’s spotlight volunteer. Hedwig is our Quidditch Coordinator for Portus 2008. Whether it’s assembling Quidditch hoops well into the wee hours of the morning or collecting mounds of release forms, Hedwig is there. He is always thinking about his players and doing whatever it takes to keep them safe and happy. The ideal staff member, he takes care of everything seemingly without any effort. We laugh at his quick humor, and he inspires us with his energy and dedication. His heart for Quidditch would rival Harry’s any day. We are lucky to have him on the Portus team. Thanks Hedwig!

Want to learn how YOU can help us create the magic of Portus? Visit our Volunteer page for more information!

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If you have questions or comments concerning the Call for Proposals, programming, etc., please contact us at info@portus2008.org.

If you have any questions or comments about The Portal or the Portus Previews, please feel free to contact us at portal@portus2008.org.