ORLANDO FRINGE ALSO POISED TO HOST WORLD FRINGE EVENT AND OPEN 31st ANNUAL FESTIVAL
Orlando, Florida – May 16, 2022- As Orlando Fringe sets to begin their 31st Annual Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival this week from May 17-30th, a new partnership with the City of Orlando approved today will also provide for the creation of an arts accelerator program and the programming of the Downtown Arts Space in the 54 West building on Church Street. The announcement was made as Orlando Fringe is also set to host the World Fringe Congress in Orlando.
Fringe at 54 West
Today at their meeting, the Orlando City Council voted unanimously to enter into a multi-year lease for Orlando Fringe to operate the theatrical performance space at 54 West Church Street. The space will be used to expand on the formula of what Fringe is.
“One of the highest priorities of the city’s shared vision for downtown Orlando is to have a strong presence of cultural and arts amenities within the urban core for all to enjoy,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “Fringe has a long history of supporting artists across Orlando and we look forward to how they will activate the space and further our efforts of growing our burgeoning arts scene.”
The type of programming in the space will be a blend of:
- Accelerator program that fosters and mentors local emerging arts organizations
- Full theatrical runs with a commitment to an open and transparent application process that promotes diversity and inclusion
- Fringe-recruited touring shows that position this venue as a destination
- Education programming that supports and expands on the work of Fringe’s family programming
- Programing as part of the Orlando Fringe Festival and Orlando Winter Mini-Fest
- Rentals that allow local organizations an opportunity to use the space
- Activation of the 54 West plaza to help integrate arts into the downtown atmosphere
As part of the partnership, also approved today was a city Community Redevelopment Agency grant of $307,000 to assist Fringe realize this vision of activating the space and launching the accelerator program. The anticipated opening of the new space is early 2023. The Orlando Fringe Festival will continue to operate its main hub out of Loch Haven Park, with a separate planned expansion into downtown May 2023.
“Our commitment is to ensure that we are creating and fostering an inclusive, equitable, and collaborative environment,” Alauna Friskics, Executive Director, commented, “One that promotes participation and openly recruits diverse stories and performances. Ultimately, our greatest ambition is that artists and patrons of any background will see themselves represented in the work showcased at Fringe at 54 West Church and that we might serve as a model and inspiration to other artists and arts organizations in our own community and around the world.”
“54 West is a very important place in the center of our city and it is critical that it be activated weekly with diverse cultural experiences from individual artists performing on the plaza to emerging and established arts organizations having the opportunity to utilize the theater to implement their own creative visions,” said Jennifer Evins, President and CEO, United Arts of Central Florida. “Orlando Fringe is a very strong organization that has a proven ability to not only provide programs that will be engaging and relevant to our growing community, but they also have demonstrated that they live by their Amplifying Voices commitment of inclusion, equity and collaboration.”
Producing Artistic Director Lindsay Taylor added, “We are committed to supporting artists and amplifying voices. We want to recreate the types of artists and productions you are familiar with at Fringe throughout the year in the space. Bring in unique art that you can’t see elsewhere.”
World Fringe Congress
As the 2022 Festival opens, so does World Fringe Congress 2022 from May 19-23, at the Orlando Science Center. The World Fringe Congress is a biennial meeting of Fringe producers, managers, directors, and leaders from across the globe. The aim is to strengthen the World Fringe sector through learning and sharing.
Over 70 delegates from 10 countries representing 39 Fringe Festivals will be in attendance. Countries represented are the US, Australia, Iceland, Sweden, Fiji, the UK (England and Scotland), Canada, Italy and Japan.
In addition, a concurrent digital festival is taking place to accommodate delegates who are not able to travel. The digital portion will host 65 delegates from 11 countries representing 39 additional Fringe Festivals. Countries represented will be the US, Canada, New Zealand, Italy, UK, Croatia, Australia, India, Turkey, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates. You can meet the in-person delegates on Saturday, May 21 at 5:30 PM for a panel discussion on the outdoor stage in Loch Haven Park.
Friskics added, “World Fringe chose Orlando to host this conference back in 2018, so it’s been a long-anticipated event. We are so honored to showcase our City and Fringe Festival, and come together to celebrate and learn from each other.”
The Orlando Fringe which kicks off this week is the longest-running theatre festival of its kind in the United States, showcasing over 200 shows from all over the world.
Join us as we celebrate the festival’s official opening, May 17th at 7:00 PM, at our ribbon-cutting ceremony on our outdoor stage. After the ceremony, join us for the National and International artists’ teaser show. Watch 2-minute live teaser performances for touring shows representing five countries and over twenty states. A must-see for planning your 2022 Orlando Fringe viewing schedule! Other Fringe favorite events include Tonight at Midnight, Flashlight Cabaret, and pop-up events on the Play What You Can Stage. You can purchase tickets for all events at https://orlandofringe.org/may2022.
For those who have never been to Fringe before, we have some tips and tricks on how to Fringe. First, you must purchase a festival button from our ticketing website or the Fringe box office. This button can be worn for the whole festival, and everyone must be wearing one to enter a theatre. After you get a button, you can buy show tickets online or at our box office. You can also enjoy different food vendors out on the lawn or watch a performance on our outdoor stage.
If you cannot make our in-person festival, Fringe announces the return of Digifringe. From June 3rd-June 17th, digital versions of some of the shows in our festival-managed venues will be recorded and available worldwide. A $1 DigiFringe button will be required to view the online performances.
You can find more information about the Fringe Festival and its many programs at https://orlandofringe.org.