In 1947, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was established in Scotland. Originally intended as an alternative to the more structured and traditional Edinburgh International Festival, the Fringe has since become the largest arts festival in the world, featuring thousands of performers in hundreds of venues. As well, in the years since, hundreds of cities around the world have begun their own Fringe Fest to celebrate a wider variety of the arts.
On Saturday, September 29, the Collingwood Arts Center will host the first Toledo Fringe Fest, a celebration of diverse artistic displays not normally seen by area audiences.
Variety of uncensored art
“It is unjuried, uncensored, unconventional art,” says Danielle D. Davis, executive director of the Collingwood Arts Center (CAC). “We have several varieties—stage plays, burlesque, interpretive and belly dancers, musicians, there will be an open mic and visual arts displays. (The event) is more focused on performing art, but there will also be visual art displays.”
The idea of putting on a local fringe festival has been kicked around by the CAC for several years, Davis said. “This spring, we decided that this was the year that it was going to happen. And the Ohio Arts Council agreed to do a match grant, so that any of the funding that we receive through ticket sales, sponsorships and donations will be matched, up to (about) $10,000.”
Accessible for everyone
Interested performers were required to submit their acts to the committee by the end of May. The goal, Davis explains, was to cast as wide a net as possible and ensure open access to a variety of acts. “It is accessible—both for performers and the guests. Ticket prices are extremely low, so guests can access this art that they might not be able to have access to otherwise. People like the funky, they like the fringy things, but a lot of times they’re just not available, because those performers often just can’t get a stage.”
Ultimately, Davis hopes that Toledo Fringe Fest attendees garner a greater appreciation for all that is available outside the scope of what is considered “traditional” art in the Glass City. “There is a lot more going on,” Davis said. “The Art Museum is fabulous, but not everyone is going to have a display at the Art Museum. So how do they get there? These are kind of the stepping stones to that as well.”
The 2018 Toledo Fringe Fest
Noon | Saturday, September 29
Standard tickets (all day, all show pass): $8 presale, $10 at the door.
Preferred tickets (all day, all show pass, special access haunted tour at 2pm, 2018 collectible pin, pop and popcorn): $15 presale, $20 at the door.
VIP tickets (preferred ticket plus Fringe Fest swag pag, VIP access lanyard): $35 VIP (two for $60) presale,