Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Lou Fringe Grows in Time and Space

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Lou Fringe Grows in Time and Space

Article excerpt

St. Lou Fringe, an arts festival with an emphasis on unusual programs, will expand greatly in 2016, its fifth year.

Instead of a single festival taking place in Grand Center in June, St. Lou Fringe will grow into five-month season running from April through August.

Each month's events will take place in a different neighborhood and will have a different theme. The most familiar parts of St. Lou Fringe will remain in Grand Center but will shift to August.

"The expansion is about a gentle shift in how we think about the work we do, in tandem with an ever-growing local sense of cultural identity," said Em Piro, founder and executive director of St. Lou Fringe. "When we started, we were inspired by a pretty traditional Fringe Fest model (from other cities, such as Edinburgh and New York).

"But over the years, we have become more inspired by the local creative movement the entrepreneurial spirit of the community, the ethos of regeneration and exploration, and the many incredible multi- disciplinary movements taking place here."

In April, the Fringe will commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death, through a new partnership with Shakespeare Festival St. Louis and Gateway Burners for Shake 38. The form of that commemoration, and the location, are still being worked out.

In fact, most of the locations will be decided in the next few months. "The goal is to bring folks together with the arts, cultivating relationships around the metro area," explained Bronwyn Ritchie, the Fringe's community engagement coordinator. Many locations are under consideration, she said.

In May, the Fringe and Sensory Overload will co-produce the popular Five-Fifths event, in which artists from different disciplines collectively interpret a traditional story. For example, one previous Five-Fifths production was based on "Alice in Wonderland." The Five-Fifths production began as an artists' showcase.

"Some of our programs started out as fundraisers or one-off projects," Piro noted. …

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