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For its 5th year, Chicago Fringe will expand and enhance Fringe Central and the thoroughfares between venues for our patrons!
For its 5th year, Chicago Fringe will expand and enhance Fringe Central and the thoroughfares between venues for our patrons!
109 backers pledged $5,661 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$5,661

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The Chicago Fringe Festival is so proud to be ushering in our FIFTH festival, from August 28 - September 7, 2014. Can you believe that we are turning five!? In 2010, a Kickstarter campaign helped launch our first festival and here we are – still growing, still improving, and still bringing unjuried, uncensored, and unexpected performance to Chicago!

Our Hostess Vallery Dolls spins the lottery drum at our very first Lottery Party in 2010
Our Hostess Vallery Dolls spins the lottery drum at our very first Lottery Party in 2010

Our newly streamlined mission says it best: The Chicago Fringe Festival (CFF) unites daring theatregoers with emerging and boundary-pushing performing artists from around the world at an annual festival in Chicago. CFF also seeks to engage nontraditional audiences through a commitment to low ticket prices and outreach into artistically underserved communities.

Last year our new neighborhood, Jefferson Park, welcomed us with open arms. And now with a new fringe-loving home, we know that Year 5 will be the BIGGEST Chicago Fringe in our history.

Volunteer Mari's Chalk Art outside of Fringe Central, 2013
Volunteer Mari's Chalk Art outside of Fringe Central, 2013

Our biggest challenge? Fringe Central. We have tried different approaches and made improvements. But we know we can do better - and we need your help.

Fringe Central is our main box office, a place to stop throughout the day to network and learn about shows, and our after-hours party spot. This year, we will expand Fringe Central into a tented area behind Fischman’s Liquor and Tavern. We will provide more food, more comfortable seating, and more amenities. We want more opportunities to feature local vendors, and more entertainment options (while we pay the performers--like we always do!) It will be a fringetastic one-stop-shop for all patrons and artists.

One of favorite 2013 volunteers, "Ray-Ray," in a theatrical portrait of the after-math of Fringe2013's closing party
One of favorite 2013 volunteers, "Ray-Ray," in a theatrical portrait of the after-math of Fringe2013's closing party

Plus, we want to spread fringe fun and whimsy along the festival route! Our venues are centrally located around Milwaukee and Lawrence Avenues. But more can be done to develop a fringe-worthy environment between venues. Our friends in Jefferson Park love our creativity, and we can’t wait to envelope the festival grounds with Fringe Vibes.

Fringe Central Wall Art - 2013 (Photo Credit Keir Briscoe)
Fringe Central Wall Art - 2013 (Photo Credit Keir Briscoe)

Chicago Fringe is much more than watching performance – Fringe is alive with volunteers, artists, and patrons, sharing, laughing, and living! We want our physical environment to reflect and enhance the hive atmosphere that we have come to love. This feeling of community is what makes the Chicago Fringe Festival stand apart, and earns us new fans each year.

We believe that improving the Festival experience through Fringe Central and the Venue Thoroughfares will allow CFF to grow and prosper into a more popular community event, ensuring our long term success. 

"Night of the Living Dead - the Puppet Show" from 2011
"Night of the Living Dead - the Puppet Show" from 2011

Chicago Fringe runs on a shoestring budget in order to return 100% of its ticket sales to the artists. Every single dollar makes a difference! Make a pledge today to make year 5 our best year yet!

'Kegs for Kidneys' Fundraiser behind our 2014 Fringe Central location - The potential is enormous!
'Kegs for Kidneys' Fundraiser behind our 2014 Fringe Central location - The potential is enormous!

Risks and challenges

CFF's challenges are in the way of financial resources, and often, festival staff burnout.

The funding of this campaign will dramatically increase the budget for Fringe Central, in fact, to twice as much. Financial investment in the area of Fringe Central and the Venue Thoroughfares will alleviate pressure from funding shortfalls in this area.

We have hired a volunteer Special Events Manager for Fringe Central. This individual, working with other experienced volunteer staff members, will bring focus and energy to the project. In years past, our Fringe Central manager has had other festival responsibilities on top of managing Central. This year, our Special Events Manager will focus solely on this important aspect of Fringe. In this way, we believe that staff burnout rates will be lowered.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Fringe Fruitcup - ($1-$24)
    • Your name listed on the Fringe Website
    • A Postcard from our staff

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    21 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Fringe Fool ($25-$49)
    • Everything above AND
    • One Special Members-Only Button

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    29 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Fringe Friend ($50-$74)
    • Everything above AND
    • Recognition in the Official Fringe Program

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    9 backers
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Fringe Fan ($75-$99)
    • Everything above AND
    • Two Special Member Festival Buttons

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    0 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Fringe Fellow ($100-$149)
    • Everything above AND
    • Two Show Tickets
    • A Special Member t-shirt

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    17 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Fringe Freak ($150-$249)
    • Everything above AND
    • VIP Invitation to the Fringe Benefit

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    3 backers
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Fringe Fanatic ($250-$499)
    • Everything above AND
    • Two more Special Member Festival Buttons, for a total of 4
    • Two more Show Tickets, for a total of 4

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Fringe Fairy Godfather ($500+)
    • Everything above
    • Two more tickets, for a total of six
    • Another Member t-shirt, grand total of 2
    • Framed Festival poster signed by the performers

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    2 backers
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Funding period

- (40 days)