Celebrating Elgin's arts scene and planning for fringe fest
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The Elgin Cultural Arts Commission in cooperation with Janus Theater Company and Side Street Studio Arts will host Whatever Happens ... Happens: a Celebration of Arts in Elgin on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Elgin Art Showcase, 164 Division Street, downtown Elgin. The event is free and open to the public. Complimentary food and beverages will be available. There will be rotating performances of music, theater and dance along with art on display.
Also scheduled for the evening will be the official kickoff announcing the first Elgin Fringe Festival, scheduled for production in September 2014.
Fringe Festivals focus on performing arts but also include film, visual arts and music. Performances take place in downtown areas in cafes, theaters, storefronts, and a variety of other locations. The first Fringe Festival started in 1947 in Edinburgh, Scotland, as an alternative festival that played concurrently with the Edinburgh International Festival. There are more than 20 fringe festivals throughout the United States with more in Canada and Europe.
Downtown Elgin is a prime location for a fringe festival because of its urban feel and proximity to Chicago.
"With the recent space additions of ArtSpace, Side Street, Elgin Art Showcase and the Next Wave Art Salon and Nightmare on Chicago Street events, Elgin has made a name for itself in the arts," said Sean Hargadon, Elgin Cultural Arts Commission chairman and Janus Theater Company founder, in a news release. "The city's unique architecture, easy walking access, and supportive community is an exciting stew of creative activity."
The Nov. 23 event will celebrate the arts by offering a sampling of performances and installations in various locations at the Elgin Art Showcase, added Erin Rehberg, Side Street Studio Arts founder and fellow coordinator on the Elgin Fringe Festival.
"We want to bring in an eclectic mix of performers and artists to the Showcase," said Rehberg. "The idea is for everyone to have a good time, experiencing each performance, enjoying the ambience and energy and variety of the event. A fringe festival has the same feel and that's what we're planning to bring to Elgin."
Scheduled to perform is musical group Los Mysterios, Project606 Dance, Core Project Chicago, Elgin Theatre Company, Koopa and Los Mysterios, La Groove Fatale from Eastern Groove Studio, Integrity School of Dance, Janus Theater Company, Movement and Combat Education with John Tovar, and Verismo Opera Theater.
There will also be a history of the fringe installation on display along with other gallery works.
To learn more about the Elgin Fringe Festival, go to www.elginfringefestival.com. Check out the Facebook page: Whatever Happens ... Happens: A Celebration of Arts in Elgin.
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