The first Fringe Festival was held in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1947, when performing arts groups not invited to the famed Edinburgh International Festival organized their own happening along the outskirts of town – aka the ‘fringe.’ This edgier work soon surpassed the original festival’s popularity as audiences championed bold, daring work from across the artistic spectrum. From that moment forward, the Fringe movement was born.
The United States is now home to more Fringe Festivals than any other country. Minnesota Fringe is a field-leader in the foremost arts-supportive state in the nation. The Minnesota Fringe Festival was founded in 1993 to promote freedom and diversity of artistic expression in our community. Over the past quarter century, the flagship festival has expanded from 52 shows to more than 700 performances for tens-of-thousands of audience members over 11 days. Producers earn a majority portion of box office sales resulting in artists being paid over $2 million in ticket revenues in the past decade alone.
Fringe is overseen by a governing board of directors and operated by a small year-round staff that balloons to nearly 100 seasonal hires leading up to the Festival Season. Fringe receives critical support from over 300 dedicated volunteers logging a combined 4,000+ hours each year. Fringe with Benefits members deepen our community connections and further strengthen relationships between adventurous artists and adventurous audiences by supporting adventurous art year-round.
Through our summer festivals and dynamic year-round programming, Minnesota Fringe is an artistic disruptor for local and national artists — to take bold risks, develop new ideas, and hoist themselves to the next rung of their artistic ladder.
As the producer of the largest performing arts festival in the Midwest, our annual Minnesota Fringe Festival event fills tens-of-thousands of seats with audiences viewing dozens of works at hundreds of performances by more than 1,000 artists on a variety of stages in late summer.
Past projects have included Fringe Presents – a curated performance series highlighting local and national artists around a unified theme; Drafts & Draughts – a works-in-progress series of multidisciplinary work in development; and Beyond the Box – incubating artists and companies to develop public, outdoor performances.
Annual budget: $500,000 – Earned Income, Foundations, Individual Contributions, Government Grants or Contracts
Minnesota Fringe Festival is seeking board members with skills in the following areas:
- Human Resources
- Marketing and Communications
- Number of members currently: 12
- Meeting time and frequency: 6 meetings annually
- Meeting location: Minneapolis
- Time Expectation: Up to 5 hours/month
- Financial Contribution Required: Yes, at a level meaningful to the board member.
- Service on Committee Required: Yes
- Length of Term: 2 Years
- Renewable: Yes
- Does nonprofit carry liability insurance? Yes