Who We Are
Mischief Management’s Mission, Vision, Values, Goals, and Actions
Mischief aims to celebrate and encourage enthusiasm for pop culture and fandom.
For more than a decade, we have been producing events and media that speak to the vibrant and passionate fan communities in and around pop culture and entertainment. We believe that by embracing the enthusiasm within these communities, we can create a more exciting world together.
While this is a living document that will evolve as we do, below is a collection of Mischief’s core beliefs. The actions listed below them represent things we have done that have supported and strengthened those beliefs, and stand as only the beginning of our commitment.
Mischief's key beliefs, past actions, and future goals:
We believe that passion about arts and culture is invaluable.
We’ve seen over and over that good storytelling is a powerful tool for shaping our lives. We know that the excitement and enthusiasm that comes from deep connection with a story can lead to growth, greater empathy, and experiences that have a transformative power in the world.
Our events, merchandise, and media are centralized around excitement for and engagement with the stories that speak to us.
We encourage fans and creators to engage critically with the works we are celebrating and believe that confronting a work’s flaws is an important part of being a fan. We have held many sessions at our events that have explored the complexity and imperfectness of the work being celebrated.
We believe in the importance of civic engagement and charitable work.
We recognize that we don’t exist in a vacuum–politics and art are inextricably intertwined, involvement in the wider world is important, we embody these values in and out of the workspace.
In our fifteen-year history we have donated over $250,000 to a wide variety of non-profit organizations working in fandom spaces and associated communities. These organizations have included The HP Alliance (now known as Fandom Forward), Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA), Headcount, Friends in Deed, This Star Won’t Go Out, Color of Change, and various LGBTQIA+ organizations. Our team has also donated our professional time and expertise consulting and performing on-the-ground assistance to other non-profit organizations with their own events, most notably the Granger Leadership Academy.
We are a proud member of the Civic Alliance
Mischief is always closed on Election Day, and we encourage employees to take additional time off to volunteer and get involved in the civic process.
We believe in creating and fostering fan spaces that are made by and for fans.
The most passionate and enthusiastic communities are those that grow organically from the content. Fans should always be part of creating the spaces that celebrate their fandoms. By embracing the wide-ranging creative forces in fandom, from art and design to cosplay and fanfiction and beyond, fans and creators can engage more deeply with the content and with each other. Experiences and media around fandom must be engaged with the people who love it most.
Beginning with LeakyStars in 2013, we have dedicated space and time at our events to celebrating talent and creativity within the fandom space. LeakyStars (and, briefly, GeekyStars at GeekyCon) is a fandom talent showcase for fan creation.
In BroadwayCon 2017, we opened “Star To Be,” a talent showcase and competition for amateur performers.
In 2013, we instituted the Make Magic Fellowship and Scholarship to fandom creatives and students. The $5,000 arts fellowship and $2,500 scholarship focused on awarding and rewarding passionate, resourceful, studious, and creative fans, and in the case of the arts fellowship, encouraged fandom-inspired creative work.
A portion of breakout sessions at Mischief Management events are fan-led. We encourage interested fans to submit their programming proposals for our original events.
We believe that fandom can be a place of community, creation, empowerment, and inclusion.
For many of the people who founded Mischief Management, overt enthusiasm — fandom — wasn’t cool when we were younger. We grew up in a world that was just starting to understand the ways that deep and long-lasting passions for pop culture could lead to greater things. As a result, one of our key values at Mischief is to actively embrace fan expression and discourage its denigration, and we expect the same from those at all levels with whom we work.
Mischief is a women-led and -founded organization and more than 90% of its leadership are women. Women were some of the first organizers of fan conventions, and they are still the primary consumers at them; the fan industry — and especially the fan convention industry — is now heavily male-dominated. We aim to continue to celebrate and elevate women in this space.
Mischief has worked hard to create inclusive spaces for LGBTQIA+ individuals at fan events. We include a space for pronouns on event materials (badges, panel tent cards, etc). We also insist on gender-neutral bathrooms being included in our event space regardless of venue location. We curate programming with an eye towards inclusion, advocacy, and elevation of people of varying sexuality and gender.
We strive to make all Mischief Management events as accessible as possible. Throughout our history, we have continued to increase our accessibility offerings beyond the industry standard, including increased presence of captioned programming, ASL interpreters, specialized seating accommodations, complimentary badges for aides, quiet rooms, and more. Ahead of each event, our team also works directly with attendees who self-report to tailor our accommodations to their needs.
We believe in elevating diverse experiences, both within our company and in fandom spaces.
Mischief Management is a woman-led company with employees from a wide range of backgrounds and identities, but we know that we have work to do to ensure our working environment is one where everyone can thrive. We are engaged in a multilevel process to expand our company-wide dedication to justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and to make our workforce one that reflects our ideals and goals. To achieve our goals, we must hire diversely and equitably.
Mischief has been hiring employees since 2014. Based on self-reporting, in that time, 90 percent of hires have been women; more than 40 percent have been LGBTQIA+; more than 30 percent have been people of color, and more than 10 percent have been disabled.
Conventions can be overwhelmingly white, and we take seriously our commitment to make Mischief spaces welcoming for everyone. We continuously seek to better curate our panels, performances, meetups, and other events to have diverse and meaningful representation.
We are continuously improving our work environment to make our company a place that best serves the needs of all our employees. This open dialogue about needs within the company has led to a shift to unlimited PTO, a four-day workweek whenever possible; a greater emphasis on flexible work and meeting scheduling to accommodate family and personal matters; captions on all of our virtual meetings; emphasizing the importance of mental health needs, and more.
Since 2018 we have undergone several training sessions with professionals in the area of productivity, management, workplace safety, justice, diversity, inclusion, and equity; we are in the process of implementing ongoing training for all our employees.
We believe that the work is never done.
We also believe in learning from our mistakes. None of these beliefs, policies, or goals represent the end of our commitment to a brighter and better world for fans, and none of the actions taken represent a belief that our work is finished. We are excited to build upon them in the name of progress and to build a better fandom world together.
With this value in mind, we have identified areas for growth in 2022 and beyond:
Hire more transparently and diversely
In the next year, we commit to make our compensation packages standard and transparent, as well as make our application process more accessible and equitable. This means our salary bands will be listed with our job descriptions and we will be doing active outreach to marginalized communities to invite applications
We have already begun the process of professional training in justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion for staff; making that development an ongoing part of working at Mischief Management is a key goal.
More equitable presenter compensation at events
Starting in 2022 we have increased our compensation for fan-submitted programming from the industry standard of (at max) offering tickets to the event regardless of how many sessions a person performs, to financial compensation if we accept more than three hours of content.
Increased accessibility across all Mischief Management brands
Expanding the standard accessibility offerings for members of our communities with disabilities
Beginning in 2022, Mischief Management commits to donating at least 5% of the ticket inventory for each of our events to community organizations like schools, libraries, and youth centers in the cities in which our events take place.
Increased environmental sustainability
Events have a tendency to create a massive amount of waste, from unsustainably produced materials for signage, badges, and giveaway products to food waste created by the number of attendees. In 2022, we are revisiting all of our processes with an eye towards ongoing environmental sustainability.
What this looks like: Reducing the amount of single-use event materials; exploring sustainable, environmentally produced alternatives for badges, schedules, programming guides, swag, etc. and where possible, select products that are part of circular economic production; partnering with the venues, catering teams, and local organizations to appropriately compost food waste and recycle materials.
These values are our guiding principles and our goals for the next year are steps along the way. We will continue to evolve and improve, and will provide updates as we progress throughout the year. We welcome your feedback and look forward to seeing you soon, whether it’s at a Mischief Management event or online diving deep into our newest favorite fandom.
We welcome your feedback!