Chicago Fringe Festival Shutters

Chicago Fringe Festival Shutters

Pictured: MISFITS ALL AROUND. Photo by Bob Taylor.

The Chicago Fringe Festival has announced that after 10 years it is closing its doors. The annual performing arts festival will conclude with a 10-year celebration party Saturday, June 1 at The Windsor Tavern and Grill, 4530 N Milwaukee Ave.

Over the course of the past ten years, Chicago Fringe Festival has presented 367 shows and yielded $231,654 as part of its model to pay 100% of ticket sales to artists. The shows were always uncensored and unjuried, instead selected by an annual lottery process.

“As our festival has grown, so have the personal and professional lives of our volunteer staff,” Executive Director Anne Cauley said. “Unfortunately, at this time we are unable to commit to the demands of an annual festival. I am so grateful for the astonishing community of volunteers, artists and patrons that came together to embrace weird, inventive, challenging performances from around the world. I look forward to celebrating the community we built this spring.”

“It is bittersweet to see the Festival coming to an end,” added Founder and Board Member Sarah Mikayla Brown. “I know this is the right decision for us at this time. I am proud of our team for sticking with our vision: a small, no-barrier-to-admission festival. There are many friendships that I will cherish for a lifetime from Chicago Fringe, and I also know that we made an impact in our own way – through the connections that brought young artists and administrators together to train in our trenches. And hey, that includes me, too!” Brown continued, “Ultimately, the Fringe movement is much bigger than any one of us. This was only our version of Chicago Fringe Festival. There was one before us, and who knows? There may be another one someday. In the meantime, patrons have the city’s longest-running fringe to look forward to: the 30th Annual Rhinoceros Theatre Festival this January!”

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