Steampunk Road Trip – Airship Ashanti

 

Wheels down, everyone, we’re landing in Cincinnati, Ohio to meet up with local social group, Her Royal Airship Ashanti.

Let’s meet Ofeibea Loveless, Airship Ashanti’s trusty mechanic.

 

Hello, Ofeibea! It’s wonderful to chat with you again! Your group and events are based here in Cincinnati, how did the group get started?

Ofeibea Loveless : In summer 2014, I ran into Mandisa Njeri (HRA Ashanti’s captain) and Quentin Osei Rosethorne (former HRA Ashanti Sergeant at Arms) just as they were putting the ship together. Part of the ship’s backstory is based on the Ashanti Empire (present-day Ghana, West Africa), and the story of Yaa Asantewaa and her fight for the Golden Stool. My character is a descendant of one of the Mino, the all-female military regiment of the Kingdom of Dahomey (present-day Benin, West Africa), which was pretty close to the seat of the Ashanti Empire so our stories fit. We hit it off and I joined the crew a few months later. Our core group is rounded out by our doctor (Mirabella von Dueling), baker/bard (Ginger von Fiddler) and master of spirits (Yasuke Wolverhampton).  Over the past three and a half years, we’ve grown closer as a crew and support each other through things happening inside and outside of the steampunk community.

 

Behold the Power of Steampunk! It’s really great to hear how all of you came together as collegues and as friends. What are some of the events and activities your group holds?

Ofeibea Loveless : Aside from multiculturalism in steampunk and hosting fun social events, we focus pretty heavily on philanthropy. We have our annual Fleet of Fleece event in which we make no-sew blankets for kids at the local children’s hospital. We participate in the local NAMI Walk each spring. We’ve also done the Relay for Life of the Soul Walk, which raises cancer awareness in the African-American community, for several years. Around the holidays, we typically do some kind of food and/or clothing drive to help local homeless shelters. And this fall, we’re hosting a jazz tribute concert to the music of Cowboy Bebop to benefit Melodic Connections, a nonprofit that offers music therapy lessons to individuals with special needs in Greater Cincinnati.

 

While I have met several of the Airship’s members at convention over the years, it really is your philanthropic work which stands out the most. What are some other highlights within your group and activities?

Ofeibea Loveless : Over the past three years, we’ve traveled to several conventions, including Motor City Steam Con in Michigan, Teslacon in Wisconsin and DragonCon in Atlanta, spreading the good word of HRA Ashanti. We also love to show coordinate group cosplays…the more participants the better! We’ve done steampunk Steven Universe (which included several of my family members), steampunk Pokemon, cyberpunk Rainbow Brite, dystopian Disney, rockabilly/pinup Naruto and much MUCH more.

 

Facebook has some really awesome pictures of the cosplay activities – all of you are so creative! How would you welcome a new steampunk into your group?

Ofeibea Loveless : Impromptu dance party! lol If there’s music, we’re good for an impromptu dance party.

 

We better break out the dancing shoes and get ready to jump in! For those in the community interested in following, joining, and participating, how would they get in touch with you?

Ofeibea Loveless : Anyone who’s interested in what Airship Ashanti gets up to can join our community page on Facebook (where we discuss local events and share articles that interest us), follow our FB cosplay page (where we post photos of all of the group cosplays we participate in) or visit our website!

 

Thanks so much, Ofeibea!

By the way, I think of you often when I listen to NPR

Travelers, start those dancing lessons!

Until our next stop, follow the whole steampunk road trip on the Master Link List

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Published in: on February 19, 2018 at 9:48 pm  Comments (1)