At the Fringe of a New World

At the Fringe of a New World

  Every morning I walk from HCA 19 to the Ardmore NHSL stop, take the light rail to 69th street, transfer to the MFL which I take to 2nd street station, and walk 5 blocks through Old City to the FringeArts office. I assumed this commute would be the extent of my familiarization with Philly on work days this summer, but the FringeArts festival guide dictates otherwise. When I’m not blogging about live arts, emailing artists or formatting webpages I am drawing maps. These maps are intended to help attendees of the Fringe Festival which takes place in Philly every September get from venue to venue. The festival presents theater, dance, music, visual arts and many interdisciplinary performances in Center City, Old City, Northern Liberties, Kensington, South Philly, Northwest Philly, West Philly and the suburbs (including Bryn Mawr this year!). I draw basic grids, landmarks, narrow streets I’ve never seen before and mark festival venues on the maps. A world which was somewhat foreign to me three weeks ago now fits on a piece of A3 paper. As a result I’ve learned a lot about the layout of Philadelphia, and looking at maps from previous years I have started to detect patterns of gentrification based on the locations of “hip” performance spaces. I have learned that unimaginable worlds appear tangible if you only give them your time and effort. Another world has also become smaller to me—the world of Philly artists. I started off reading interviews on the FringeArts blog and inputting names for the upcoming festival, but along the way I was asked to contact artists and help...
Maps and Scooter the Dog: Beginnings at Fringe

Maps and Scooter the Dog: Beginnings at Fringe

Whenever I do not have a specific project at FringeArts, I draw maps. Each map is of a different neighborhood in Philadelphia and so far, I have drawn five, Old City, Kensington, South Philly, North Philly, and West Philly. These hand drawn doodles are going to be in the Festival Guide and are meant to help patrons navigate their ways around Fringe Festival. While these maps are hopefully going to be useful to festival goers in the near future, drawing them has been especially useful for me. My experience mapping each neighborhood has led to a deeper and more personal understanding of the contours and crevasses of Philadelphia. This summer, I am the Guide Intern at FringeArts. FringeArts is an organization that ties together Philadelphia and the global world through contemporary performing arts. Every September, the organization presents Fringe Festival, an eightteen day celebration of art and performance (whoa!). During the festival, local, national, and international artists present dance performances, theater pieces, and visual art in a multitude of venues throughout the city (everyone, let’s go!). My main task for the summer is working on the festival guide, a booklet that lists basic festival information, like show times and locations, and extra pieces of writing, like blurbs about the artists and their performances. Other than venturing to new places in Philly through my mechanical pencil and my computer paper maps, I have written blurbs, visited a wacky rehearsal for a contemporary remake of A Doll’s House for the upcoming Fringe Festival, and cuddled with Scooter, the coziest dog in the entire planet. I have also interviewed Haverford Alumna, Antonia Brown about her upcoming solo...
Blowing My Cover

Blowing My Cover

Now that my FringeArts internship is winding down (this is my last week), I think it’s time to come clean. You may have thought that I took this internship because of my love of the arts, my affection for editing, or my fondness for my coworkers. Fools! I have actually been here undercover, furthering my own agenda. That’s right, I have been abusing my vast powers as the FringeArts guide and information management intern to subtly propagate the Doctrine of the Oxford Comma. Why am I blowing my cover now? Because the Festival Guide has already gone to print, and with it, all my imbedded propaganda! (*Cue evil laugh here.) Now bask in these screen shots from the Festival Guide, or, as I like to think of it, The Comma-ist Manifesto: Those are very black-and-white. Here’s something for your color-deprived eyes: I hope you appreciate my restraint. You wouldn’t believe how many Oxford comma examples I screenshotted (screenshot? screenshot-ed?), but I figured this post was already pushing the limits of what anyone would willingly sit through, so I held back. In the name of diversity of expression, I will leave you with this guest appearance by the vocative comma: So now you know. You’ll never again be able to see the Festival Guide as anything but a tool of the system (the system, of course, being me). But hey, if you do still wanna see the Guide after this confession, you can join us at our Guide Launch party this Friday, Aug 1, featuring plant-generated music and a complimentary beer for you over-21-ers. —Miriam...
Summer at the Fringe

Summer at the Fringe

Hey guys, I’m Miriam, and this summer I’m interning at FringeArts, funded by the good ol’ Hurford Center. Yep, interning at FringeArts involves many tasks, and one of those tasks is bunny-drawing. FringeArts is a performing arts organization in Philadelphia, best known for their annual Fringe Festival in September. There’s gonna be some crazy stuff, guys. I definitely recommend that you venture out of your Haver-homes (I know, they’re so cozy, but just this once!) and trek into the city to see some performances. So what am I doing at the Fringe? Certainly not acting—though my starring role as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a hit in the elementary school theater community. No, once you cease being a cute ten-year-old you must start relying on real skills, and acting is not one of mine. I work more behind the scenes, as the Guide & Information Management Intern. (I know, super descriptive title, now you know exactly what I do.) I help create and edit the Festival guide, which lists all the shows and where to find them. (Basically, I’m writing this book but for the performing arts.) I also blog for FringeArts, which means I get to interview some really interesting people and learn about the performing arts in Philadelphia. But I know, this is not why you’re all here. You’re just waiting with bated breath: “where, Miriam, where do the bunnies come in?!” I don’t blame you, bunnies are awesome. Well, occasionally I get to draw something for the Festival guide, and one such drawing was an image for the play White Rabbit, Red Rabbit by Nassim Soleimanpour. I won’t post...