”’The Science Oriented Literature, Art, and Education Foundation (SOLAE)”’ was created in 1994 and is based in Columbus, Ohio.
SOLAE is a non profit 501 (c) (3) organization, whose purpose is to promote the study of science, through the reading and writing of books, promoting appreciation of the arts, and aiding educational efforts in the Central Ohio area. This is done by raising funds for scholarship awards and collecting of books or funds for schools, and other non-profit institutions. This goal is primarily reached by presenting events through the year that provide experiences that promote such learning, appreciation, and education.
Their primary fundraiser is a convention held in Columbus, Ohio called Marcon. Marcon offers its attendees events and programs in areas of interest to all science fiction and fantasy fans, including literature, science, art, costuming and media. In recent years, Marcon has had more than 3600 attendees but averages around 2000.
Its newest event The Feast of the Superb Owl, presented by Celestial Prime, and was started as an alternative way to spend the day of the Super Bowl (Superb Owl) for those not interested in sports and has since moved to May. It is a day of casual writing workshops, fan networking, and indoor winter games, culminating in a multi-course feast to amaze and delight.
SOLAE is an educational Foundation with a program objective to use the excitement of Fantasy and Science Fiction conventions as an incentive towards creating a greater interest in science, art, costuming, and literature. All SOLAE’s staffing support needed to conduct the programs is contributed by volunteers. The organization is financially supported by its member conventions, fundraising, and donations.
SOLAE helps the local primary and middle school science fairs by offering qualified individuals for judging and Savings Bonds as prizes. Their members volunteer their time and efforts to help local businesses. And through the help of community businesses they have raised thousands of dollars to help other non-profit organizations to include: WCET Public TV, A World Fit for Kids, Perkins Observatory, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Reading Rainbow, Columbus Ohio Children’s Hospital Lending Library, many more.
Steve Schwartz, Carol McCalister, Ed Jones, Caroll Siegling, John Callicotte, Kim Williams, Shell Franklin, and Nick Winks were the people that started and got the organization up and running. Of those only Kim Williams and Shell Franklin are still heavily involved. SOLAE originally had 3 supported conventions Marcon, OrbCon, and NecroCon of those Marcon is still going strong. Since then they have added Celestial Prime as a member organization, bringing their current total to two.