Boulder Fringe provides a platform for artists of all disciplines and fosters creativity in the community by creating events and forums that spark community dialogues often in non-traditional spaces. The Boulder Fringe educates artists and the public about independent producing of artwork that is socially engaged, accessible, affordable and deeply connected to the cultural vitality of the community. The Fringe Festival provides the necessary ingredients for a vibrant and diverse arts culture by honoring the freedom of artistic expression, providing open and accessible venues, and offering educational workshops that focus on art and creativity as an essential service to the community.
The origins of the Boulder International Fringe Festival (Boulder Fringe) began with a call by then Boulder Arts Commissioner Donna Gartenmann to form a steering committee to bring an arts festival to the city of Boulder. The international Fringe movement began in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1947 and is now a fast growing arts phenomenon with Fringes all over North America, Europe and the rest of the world. Boulder Fringe is able to pull from both influences and is proud to have our origins deeply rooted in both the international Fringe movement as well as intensive local community feedback. Going into our 13th year, Boulder Fringe has expanded to meet the changing needs of our local community, although the founding principles of our mission remain much the same. Boulder Fringe seeks to support independent artists and provide an accessible avenue to produce their work, encourages young emerging artists, creates socially engaged and collaborative art, facilitates spaces and venues, and creates a community of active, engaged patrons of independent art.
in Europe, Asia, and Australia. The Boulder Fringe follows a model adapted from the original Fringe Festival, which first took place in 1947 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Edinburgh Fringe simply programs artists on a first come, first served basis, and those accepted produce their own shows, find their own venues, organize staff, market their work, and are in very steep competition with each other. Unlike the original Edinburgh Fringe, the North American models distinguish themselves by providing more services and education to artists, companies and the community at large. In Boulder, we organize venues, tech staff, box office and ticketing, as well as a printed program and offering of free workshops on self-producing to all of the festival artists. We find that this helps us create more collaboration amongst the artists and the community and raises the level of awareness of self producing in the region.
"The Fringe is symbolic of the Boulder ideals of free expression and intellectual debate morphing into real-life practices." ~John Hendrickson for the Daily Camera
"Artists mine their own struggles, joys, tragedies and redemptions and present them to us as a way they have made sense of the world. And maybe by witnessing this, we can see that we are not alone." ~ Liza Williams, Daily Camera
"The Boulder International Fringe Festival distinguishes itself from nearly 20 other American fringe festivals by taking on the soothing local vibe, mountain air, hiking and an east meets west feel."
~ Beth Greenfield, The New York Times
"One of Boulder's most unusual festivals" ~ Denver CBS4
"I've met the most amazing people in the first 27 minutes of being here at the Fringe Festival;." ~ Brandi Shigley of Fashion Denver
"The Boulder International Fringe Festival is living up to the second word of its name." ~ Rocky Mountain News