Rochester’s Fringe is back. The eighth edition of the annual arts festival kicks off on September 15 and runs through September 26.
“We’re a multidisciplinary festival so it’s everything from theater, to comedy, to music, to dance, children’s entertainment and everything in between,” said Erica Fee, festival producer.
In years past, the festival took place in person. Last year alone there were 667 performances over 12 days. This year, everything will be online. Fee says there will be a combination of live and recorded events for people to take part in.
“We’re still providing that sort of platform for artists, which is so important and also providing that sort of experience for audiences, not just in Rochester this year, but now worldwide,” said Fee.
Throughout the 12 days, patrons will be able to see “Roc Freedom Riders, Why We Ride.” The video highlights the Roc Freedom Riders’ journey of riding bikes around town to highlight injustices against African Americans.
“We have been able to shape this message in a way that tells the stories of Black people that tells the stories of Black people, that tells the stories of white allies, that tells the stories of white allies what their role is,” said Rashad J. Smith, co-founder of Roc Freedom Riders.
“We’re always talking about our struggle. We’re always talking about movements and our music and our art. I think that this is the perfect duality and in terms of performances in the festival to bring our stories to the forefront,” said Devin Anglin, co-founder of Roc Freedom Riders
Fee says that during the pandemic, having the arts is truly important for the community.
“So, the performing arts not only provide an outlet for artists. there also a way for the community to come together as one and we as a community create an identity and we increase our self-esteem all through experiencing the performing arts,” said Fee.
For more information, visit rochesterfringe.com.
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