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Who We Are

Our Mission

FringeArts presents world-class, contemporary performing arts that challenge convention and inspire new ways of thinking.

Who We Are

FringeArts is Philadelphia’s home for contemporary performance, presenting progressive, world-class art that expands the imagination and boldly defies expectations. Our programming exposes audiences to genre-defying performances and installations by accomplished and emerging innovators who push the boundaries of art-making and redefine the artistic landscape worldwide.

Each September, the organization presents the annual Fringe Festival, a 3-week celebration that fills the city’s neighborhoods with more than 1,000 curated and independently produced performances. Year-round, FringeArts presents an equally compelling line up of performances at its state-of-the-art venue on the Delaware River Waterfront—a renovated historic building that also houses La Peg Restaurant & Bar and Haas Biergarten.  This line up includes Blue Heaven Comedy Festival in February, High Pressure Fire Service—a series of new works by local artists—running March through June, Hand to Hand Circus Festival in the summer, and additional programming for late night and outdoor events in Haas Biergarten throughout the year.

As a catalyst for cultural and community development, and a destination that brings artists and audiences together, FringeArts is central to the city’s vibrant arts community and the enrichment of the lives of those who reside, work, and visit here.

Our History

FringeArts was founded in 1997 as the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, with the intention of providing opportunities for contemporary performing artists to connect with audiences in an exciting social environment. The first Festival took over Philadelphia’s Old City for five days, and featured 60 performing groups that presented their work in theaters, nightclubs, galleries, alleys, abandoned buildings and at least one parked car.

Today, the annual Fringe Festival features more than 1,000 performances by national, international and Philadelphia-based artists of all disciplines. For 3 weeks, these innovators fill the public and private spaces across the city with nonstop, wild creativity for audiences of more than 40,000. Included is a series of world-class performances curated by FringeArts, as well as an unfiltered opportunity for any artist to independently produce his or her own work in the true spirit of the international “Fringe” movement.

In 2013, FringeArts moved into its first permanent home—renovating an historic pumping station for the city’s fire trucks into a state-of-the-art performance center. It features an adaptable theater space that can be reconfigured for numerous experiences—from immersive to in-the-round—and can accommodate seating for up to 300 guests; a multipurpose studio space; La Peg, a brasserie and beer garden that also serves up live performances; and the organization’s headquarters. The center is a vibrant gathering place where performers and audiences can advance the global dialogue about art, and where one can always expect the unexpected.

Equal Opportunity Policy

FringeArts has been, and remains committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity and nondiscrimination. FringeArts does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, gender, gender identity, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, military status, disability, or any other legally protected characteristics, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, employment practices; selection of board members, interns, volunteers and vendors; and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all. In keeping with this policy, FringeArts seeks to recruit, hire, train and promote into available jobs the most qualified persons and to administer personnel matters such as compensation, benefits, training, and terminations in accordance with this policy. All employees, board members, interns and volunteers are expected to conduct themselves in the workplace in a manner consistent with this policy.

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Philadelphia magazine named FringeArts
the 2017 Best Place to Discover New Theater

“I love the spontaneity and uniqueness of the art and entertainment that is offered. You can’t have any more fun anywhere else!”

Deborah Oliver, FringeArts supporter and attendee

“For 17 jam-packed days, Philly earns its reputation as a home for great performing arts thanks to a curated program of both cutting-edge work by leading national artists and a vast array of unusual original work by some of the city’s best creators.”

Christopher Munden for Uwishunu

“For me, the Fringe [Festival] equals risk, as a creator and a watcher. So much of the work in the Philly Fringe has this kind of once-in-a-lifetime feel to it.”

Adrienne Mackey, LAB Fellow and Co-Artistic Director of Swim Pony

Navigating the 2020 Fringe Festival

Have questions about digital works and how to experience this year's Festival? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions and How-To Guides for different digital platforms.

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Help FringeArts present world-class, contemporary performing arts that challenge convention and inspire new ways of thinking.