I have covered the Hollywood Fringe Festival since its inception in 2010. More than that, I have supported its efforts with annual donations, with my recommendations and more. The Fringe has become a “second family” for me where I’ve made great friends and been entertained by some of the most talented actors I have ever seen. Even though I am a member of “the press,” I have always felt like I belonged at the Fringe.
Each year the Fringe needs to raise about $15,000 to pay for its costs of putting on the show. Time is running out on this year’s fundraising, and they desperately need your help. Here’s the “official” request from Festival creator and director, Ben Hill:
“When we began planning the Fringe in the Summer of 2007, there were moments when our lofty visions for the festival seemed mere figments of our imaginations. How could we possibly align the human and material resources to actually produce on these visions? I think many of us have been there before; when an idea is so new and delicate, its prospects seem impossible or at least implausible. Goodness knows, many of us have nurtured these ideas only to see them discarded the next morning over coffee.
Something about this particular idea stuck. Its force grew and through the sweat, minds and hearts of so many others, its being took shape. And here we are 6 years later, 3 festivals down and one epic June set to begin.
Including our upcoming festival, the Fringe has presented a total of 846 shows, over 3500 performances and 357 world premieres. In just three years, we have become the largest performing arts festival West of the Mississippi. No small accomplishment as the road to the present has been far from easy.
We give 100% of box office receipts back to the artists who participate in the festival. We regularly use 100% of the registration funds raised through the Fringe on promoting the festival. Our staff often donates the majority of their time to make this happen. And there’s so much more to accomplish.
Here’s where you fine people help. We are attempting to raise a very modest $15,000 by June 12 so we can pay our many bills once the festival closes on June 30. If we raise more than that? Fantastic, it will be poured directly into the 2014 festival.
What bills you say? To name but a few: ad buys, printing, distribution, staff, rents, utilities, insurance, entertainment, website costs, permits, rentals, merchandise. The list goes on and on; it is not inexpensive to run a festival of this magnitude.
If the Fringe is something you truly value, if you feel this is an event needed in the world of theatre, then I ask you: please help us today. We very much need it.
We have big ideas for the future: enhanced programs for students and families, new modes of intra-fringe transportation, pole signs along LA streets, a broader international outreach program, new perks for participants and novel ways to celebrate the wonder of theatre.
This Fringe has shaped our lives and filled us with purpose and so we give much of our lives to it every day of the year. Please join us, it feels really good.
Ben Hill, Festival Director
Please donate today.