August 16-19, 2023, Indianapolis, Indiana

Attendees wait in line to enter one of the meal events.
Janice Walthers sits with her doll, Cecile, during the silent auction charity event. The bodice of Cecile’s dress is raw silk, and her skirt is covered with sequins in a patchwork design.

In mid-August, doll collectors, artists, and friends gathered at the historic Omni Severin in Indianapolis for four days of semi­nars, workshops, special meal events, shopping, socializing, and more. There was even a song to accompany the 2023 theme: Oh, You Beautiful Doll.

The first day started with registration and a newcomer orienta­tion, followed by the opening meal of the convention. For new at­tendees, it was explained that each table had a centerpiece doll that would be available for purchase at the end of the meal, but because of the limited number of dolls, a raffle would be used to select the purchasers. Prepurchased souvenir dolls would be distributed at the end of their corresponding meals, which included a variety of presentations from the doll artists themselves.

Following a Blythe seminar, Boneka workshop, and bbflock­ling dinner, the salesroom was opened to attendees. Aside from a queue for dolls from Marbled Halls, attendees were able to make any number of purchases from many talented vendors. The sales­room was open periodically throughout the event and was a con­stant source of excitement, as different items were gradually added.

Day two highlights included a Boneka luncheon; a seminar by Anderson Art Dolls, in which Sandy Anderson played a vid­eo demonstrating her dollmaking process; and a Marbled Halls dinner event. A meetup time for Smart Doll collec­tors was also on the schedule.

The third day was packed with events. There was a workshop on hair accessories, a luncheon featuring An­nette Herrmann, and a Stellabration event celebrating Connie Lowe’s dolls. Allison Hernandez, MDCC’s director of social media, also gave a presentation on Susi from Brazil, an International Playline Doll.

That night’s dinner had a Little Darling theme. Table center­pieces were created by Doll Dreamers Guild members and featured dolls holding their own baby dolls. During the meal, stories were shared of the challenges the group overcame while preparing the centerpiece dolls for MDCC. After these and the souvenir dolls were distributed, attendees were invited to a Little Darling fashion gala. The gala served a dual purpose: to showcase artists’ clothing designs and to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Using a silent auction format, dolls and their designers were spaced out around the room so attendees could place bids. For those simply wanting to view the dolls and observe the process, a special specta­tor section was set up.

Billie Stevens is the associate director of MDCC.

In addition to the charity gala, there was a Helper Drawing. Throughout the convention, attendees had the chance to purchase raffle tickets they could put toward winning a variety of donated items. On the final day, those who bought tickets could watch the drawings take place and then claim their prizes. Proceeds helped the organization defer the cost of the convention.

The last day also included a Mushroom Peddler breakfast, a workshop titled “Dolly H’Uggs Boots for your Dolly,” a luncheon featuring Nikki Britt, an artist forum, a DOLLS magazine artist signing event, and a closing banquet featuring Meadow Dolls. At the banquet, Charlene Smith presented a short story accom­panied by photos and left attendees asking what Meadow Dolls has planned for 2024.

MDCC’s 2024 event will be held in New Orleans, at the Hotel Monteleone from Aug. 14-17. Fitting for the loca­tion, the theme is All Jazzed Up. You can find out more at

Members of the doll industry participate in a forum, where audience members ask questions on a variety of doll-related topics. From left: Kailyn Carr, Diana Jones, Annette Herrmann, Sandy Anderson, Charlene Smith, April Norton, and Lana Dobbs.