Arisia is a Boston-area, volunteer run science fiction convetion, named for a planet in the Lensman novels by E. E. "Doc" Smith. The name was chosen in response to an older Boston-area con, Boskone, which took the typical ending for a convention—con—and then altered the spelling to match the name of an organization in the Lensmen books.
Arisia was first held in 1990, and its attendance has grown from 842 to over 4000. Arisias 2007–2010 were held at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, MA. Starting with Arisia 2011 the Convention is at the Westin Boston Waterfront in Boston, MA.
Regular events include one of the largest Masquerades (costume contests) on the east Coast; "Fast Track" programming for children; a demonstration of historical fighting techniques; gaming; and film, video, and anime rooms. Other events that have been recently included are a blood drive, a drumming circle, Friday and Saturday evening dances, and live radio dramas.
The Arisia Corporation is the body that funds and promotes the annual Arisia convention; additional activities include awarding grants to other related organizations. Membership costs $24 per year starting in September, pro-rated for members who join during later months. Corporate positions are elected by the voting body (defined as members who have attended one previous corporate meeting) in September. Meetings are held monthly, held mostly at MIT or at the NESFA Clubhouse in Somerville, and are open to the public.
Over the years, these DVDs have been produced by Rare Recorded Videos, Syd Weinstein and Warminster Productions. Current DVDs are being produced by Std Weinstein.