Feature: HARRISBURG FRINGE FESTIVAL At Various Harrisburg Venues

Unjuried, uncensored, inclusive art coming July 6-9.

By: Jun. 02, 2023
Feature: HARRISBURG FRINGE FESTIVAL At Various Harrisburg Venues

Feature: HARRISBURG FRINGE FESTIVAL At Various Harrisburg Venues

Welcome to the second installment in a series of articles about the upcoming Harrisburg Fringe Festival. If you missed the first article on the history of Fringe, check it out here. In this article we’ll be exploring the unique aspects of Fringe—those elements that make it such an adventure. As the website www.hbgfringe.com states, “A Fringe is a grassroots Festival that gives a spotlight to all the forms of art, including theatre, dance, puppetry, magic, music, visual arts, and spoken word. Fringes are a performing arts smörgåsbord.” In order to deliver this eclectic sampling of art forms, Fringe is unjuried, uncensored, and inclusive.

Unlike many festivals, concerts, and art shows, Fringe is unjuried. This means that the pieces included in Fringe are not evaluated or selected by a panel, or jury. Instead, many of the larger Fringes use a lottery system to choose the performances that will fill their slots. As the 2023 Harrisburg Fringe Festival is in its first year, a lottery system was not necessary, but the four-day Festival will be filled to the brim with close to 100 performances, digital art, and visual art pieces by over 30 artists. The lack of a selection committee creates an open space for artistic expression of all kinds, provides opportunities for emerging and new artists, offers a platform for those who are often excluded to showcase their talent and give a voice to the voiceless. It is truly an event open to all.

Since there is no panel of judges deciding what makes the cut, the art is also uncensored. Anything goes—it is artistic expression at its purist—audiences experience the artist’s creativity unfiltered. As such, there may be some pieces that are not suitable for all audiences. The team coordinating the Harrisburg Fringe Festival will be providing information about the performances so that attendees know which ones are family friendly (there will also be a Kids’ Tent available, but more on that in another article). Chris Gibson and Brianna Dow, the Co-Producers of this year’s Harrisburg Fringe Festival, encourage audiences to attend as many different performances as possible over the course of the four days. Gibson comments that “this is the perfect opportunity to try out a show that you might not usually go see.”

By removing the barriers created by selection committees and censorship, the Fringe Festival is able to be radically inclusive—to reflect the demographic makeup of the area in all of its diversity. The Harrisburg Fringe Festival seeks to bring people together in the spirit of creative adventure. Mark your calendars now to partake of this smörgåsbord of performing arts. The unjuried, uncensored, inclusive Harrisburg Fringe Festival runs July 6-9!

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