This year’s Geek of the Year award goes to…
Jason Richardson, community builder and creator of J1 Studios and host of J1-Con.
“Jason Richardson is a great example of an amazing geek-of-all-trades,” said Eric Smith, co-founder of Geekadelphia. “In addition to the Black Tribbles, a podcast he’s a part of (and the winner of our Streaming Project of the Year award this year), he organizes incredible community events, including J1 Con, Philadelphia’s anime convention. He’s a strong voice and a community builder, and we were really thrilled to recognize that this year.”
Richardson’s win finished off the night for the fourth annual Philadelphia Geek Awards Saturday night.
Check out the other winners (with descriptions provided by Geekadelphia) below:
Scientist of the Year: Genevieve DionA professor of fashion design at Drexel University, Genevieve Dion explores the frontier of wearable technology, creating high-tech textiles using digital fabrication and computerized knitting machines. This year, she presented at TEDxPhilly and was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business.
Streaming Project of the Year: The Black TribblesAn incredible podcast based in Philadelphia, The Black Tribbles cover geek culture and work incredibly hard to build their community on and offline. This year, the five tribbles hosted a book donation drive to bring graphic novels to Philadelphia schools and shelters. You can catch their show on GTown Radio and 900AM WURD, as well as on Podomatic. Learn more about The Black Tribbles on their official website.
Story of the Year: Opening of Paine’s ParkPaine’s Park has been talked about since 2002, but finally—with much community support, including the Kickstarter campaign—the physical park and a community to tie current and future skate parks together came into being. Skater geeks have a new place to call their own.
Startup of the Year: Cora Woman for woman, month for month. Germantown native Molly Hayward’s social-good business, Cora, delivers healthy, organic menstrual management products to women monthly by mail. But the startup goes beyond just being a subscription box service. For every monthly order Cora ships, they provide a month’s worth of sustainable sanitary pads to a girl in a developing country. In addition to helping young women, the startup seeks to create local, sustainable jobs.
I.R.L. Project of the Year: Philadelphia History TruckA mobile museum, the Philadelphia History Truck rolled out for the first time in May to tell the oral history of the East Kensington neighborhood. The creator, Erin Bernard, worked with the neighborhood to plan what stories the truck would tell and enlisted their help in sharing the history.
Visual Artist of the Year: Benjamin VoltaA Philadelphia muralist and teacher who works with the city’s Mural Arts program, Benjamin Volta’s art blends together a serious love of art and science. His piece with Mural Arts’ LEAP program, We Are All Neurons, explored brain mapping with a bright, beautiful public art display, created with local students.
Game of the Year: These French Fries are Terrible Hot DogsIn Shawn Pierre’s card game, players use lies and deception to convince one another that they have the best hot dog, hat or other object. An IndieCade 2013 selection, and with nearly $20,000 in Kickstarter backers the game’s hilarious premise captured the public, which responded well.
Feature-Length Indie Film of the Year: Let the Fire BurnA history of the conflict of the City of Philadelphia and the Black Liberation organization, MOVE, that led to the disastrously violent final confrontation in 1985. You can watch the trailer for the film, here.
Web Project of the Year: Snow ShakeAllen & Gerritsen’s digital snow globe represents a lot more than just a simple web toy. Friends from around the country can interact with this digital web app that connects your smartphone to the website using no downloadable apps and your phone’s gyroscope. It’s a remarkable piece of web technology under the guise of a playful web gadget.
Comic Creator of the Year: Box BrownEveryone remembers Andre the Giant from his extensive career in professional wrestling and his role in The Princess Bride. Using his skills as an amazing artist and biographer, Box Brown created a graphic novel that draws from historical records about Andre Roussimoff’s life to paint a picture of the larger-than-life character that was Andre the Giant. Since its release, Brown’s Andre the Giant (published by FirstSecond) has sat on The New York Times bestseller list, enjoying critical acclaim in the world of comics.
Social Media Campaign of the Year: Philadelphia Parks and Recreation’s Tree PhillyIn an effort to bring attention to Philadelphia’s parks and trees, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department launched #TreePhilly, a campaign that playfully displayed signs on trees around the city and eventually gave away more than 1,500 trees to more than 800 Philadelphians. The resulting photos and social media chatter were charming, fun, playful, and beautiful.
Event of the Year: Funeral for a HomeOn May 31st, a home in Philadelphia’s Mantua neighborhood was demolished. However, before the home was torn down, it was celebrated. People came out to toast the house, sing songs, and remember the home. A moving event that doubled as an art project by Steven and Billy Dufala (who Philadelphians might know from their group Man Man), the goal was to engage the community “through public memory and civic dialogue.” Learn more about the project at the official Funeral for a Home website.
Geek of the Year: Jason RichardsonIn addition to his incredible podcast with The Black Tribbles, Jason Richardson is a community builder and leader, with his production company J1 Studios. He hosts J1-Con, one of the biggest anime conventions in Philadelphia, as well as the Cosplay Prom. And when he isn’t recording podcasts or hosting huge events, he’s a comic book artist.
Disclosure: NewsWorks is one of the 2014 Philly Geek Awards sponsors.