One week ago today, I was eagerly absorbing the world of fringe, mind melding with cultural leaders of the country like the avatar cat people do that freaky hair-meld with their beast pets. I found myself in Minnesota, surrounded by all shades of fall, 80 degree weather, and ideas ideas ideas.
That's right...member festival, first year re-running!
I came to the conference through my own inquiries to USAFF, and at the recommendation of the ED of Chicago's Fringe Fest (enjoying a successful sophomore season this year). I came with questions, and left with more.
I came with questions for the group - seeking the sagacity of these well-seasoned pros. I left with questions of logistics for our own Fest, confident that YES! this is what StL has been asking for in its own special way and YES! we can listen to and meet its need.
Armed with pages of notes and a brain murkey-crisp with an ocean of ideas, I returned to Fair Lou and now leap forward with planning. The past week was spent recruiting a crew of artists and administrators, drafting outlines, analyzing the notes. This weekend, our founders will meet and hash out details so that, sooner than later, we can be added to the USAFF website and national network of Fringe Fests.
The recognition of USAFF is a great step. Our mentorship continues with a whole sorority of sister cities - each unique, each still growing, each so tuned with their own city's needs. We also share a network of support and collaboration. We can share artists. We can coordinate dates to help with touring acts. We have a whole wealth of resources. And soon, I am so confident, we will be able to bring as much to the national scene (both the fresh-faced and and established) as we now draw.