Freedom of expression & decency #capfringe2020

When planning began for the fifteenth annual Fringe Festival, no one could have imagined a pandemic with such fast, global restrictive changes, literally linking every human on the globe, in varying degrees.

Capital Fringe has faced uncertain times before. This time, this moment is not like a time before. Therefore, it is with agony that I now announce that we are canceling this year’s festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the festival is still months away, it is clear that not only will it not be safe to produce the Festival in the manner in which we have for numerous years in July, it will certainly not be comfortable for artists or audiences.
 
This year our productions hailed from 17 states, DC and around the globe, with 469 individuals creating theatre and dance productions. I regret that these stories will not be able to be told in our intimate theatre spaces in SW DC. Capital Fringe has refunded all artists 100% of any fees that had been paid at this point in participation.   
 
My heart is broken when I think of our Festival staff, who genuinely enjoy working together and for our new staff, their job at Fringe whether it be as a venue manager, box office or intern it is the first window into DC theatre. Our cherished venue partners, who all have their faculties closed, and now just like everyone everywhere is struggling to chart to the future.
 
If you have ever been touched by a song, by a book, by a film, a piece of theatre, by a photograph, a piece of music; I implore you to contact your mayor, council member, governor, congressperson, and senator to tell them that art and artists matter. It is up to all of us to carry the light and magic of live performance, art and artistic practices in this moment. We can do this! We have to do this! Partnerships, new ways of doing business and the community must truly come together, like never before. From large federally funded institutions to individual artists communicating transparently to set eyes collectively and chart our way to a horizon that is not visible in this moment.  
 
Let’s make it through this together,

Julianne Brienza 
Founding Director, Captial Fringe

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