Recently in Liverpool Fringe! The Formals Category

HOPES Banners (92x147) Millennium Festival.jpg Liverpool Community Network Arts and Culture Steering Group has been working to establish Liverpool Fringe! for many months; the idea first arose early in 2006. Here Katie Beales, the LCN's new Arts and Culture Development Officer, gives a brief rundown of what has been achieved by the Arts and Culture Steering Group so far.

Katie Beales LCVS  LCN Arts&Culture (168x167) 07.11.21 008aa.jpg Katie Beales of Liverpool Community Network writes:

The Liverpool Community Network Arts and Culture Network (for which I am now Development Officer) has been active in preparation for a Liverpool Fringe Festival for almost two years.

Work to achieve this aim has been undertaken by the LCN Arts and Culture Steering Group, in collaboration also with other officers of Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services (LCVS) and LCN.

Milestones to date
The Arts and Culture Network Steering Group has:
- Set up a Fringe Working Group separate to the Network but accountable to it, to progress working towards the Fringe happening in Summer 08.
- Secured the Liverpool Fringe! website domains (as you see here).
- Applied for funding.
- Sent out a call to partners and had initial discussions with organisations such as BDE Dance Fringe, HOPES: The Hope Street Association and Liverpool Film Festival amongst others.
- Developed relationship with Edinburgh Fringe, and undertaken a planning trip to Edinburgh to visit Fringe staff team, and met with strategic people connected to the Edinburgh Fringe.
- In discussion with partners such as the North West Regional Assembly and the NW TUC, considered joint working to deliver the Fringe.
- Developed a good working relationship with the Liverpool Culture Company, who are supportive. (However, it should be noted that the Liverpool Fringe Festival are not approaching the Culture Company for financial backing in order to maintain the integrity of the festival as a fully ‘Fringe’ event.)

What we are looking for now
We welcome all individuals or groups who are interested in being involved! And by all we mean all!

You may have a play you want to see performed in the city next year, or a venue which you would like to be filled with an arts event… you may be a business or media group looking to offer sponsorship financially or in kind… We particularly want to hear from people who are interested in doing something really creative and exciting in our City.

To get involved, please contact us:

Fringe hotline ~ 07528 295012

Email ~ Liverpool Fringe! Festival

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LCN Arts & Culture Steering Group  (93x164) 07.02.22 4304a.jpg

Inspiration light 74x112 4860aa.jpg Liverpool Fringe! is about ‘Celebrating People Celebrating Culture’. Intentionally and fundamentally grassroots, it arose from an idea by community-based artists who themselves live in the city. Liverpool Fringe!'s mode will be festive, but its underlying vision is serious: to engage and develop local people's creative talent.

The inaugural Liverpool Fringe! will take place in the Summer of 2008. The Fringe will particularly encourage grassroots, community and voluntary, arts organisations to be fully involved in both the planning and delivery of an exciting, dynamic and innovative festival. It has arisen from ideas developed by the Liverpool Community Network Arts and Culture Network Steering Group.

Liverpool Fringe! will focus on extending the access to and participation with arts and cultural activities within communities at a local level, and aims to make a demonstrable impact on increasing the skill and confidence of smaller organisations.

Structuring Liverpool Fringe
The Arts and Culture Network have discussed at length a structural model for a Liverpool Fringe that facilitates these aims and have decided to replicate elements of the Edinburgh Fringe model; i.e. existing as an umbrella for a large number of different organisations cultural activities. The structure will be designed to benefit as many organisations as possible with effective PR, marketing and information.

Liverpool Fringe! will not be a programming or funding body but rather set up as a shared-risk venture (as Edinburgh Fringe is) in partnership with the artists, community and arts organisations participating, in order to facilitate maximum community and voluntary sector involvement.

Community involvement is core
We believe the Liverpool Fringe! festival is essential because many community, voluntary & grass-roots organisations represented by the Network desire to participate in their own unique ways in the City's celebrations in 2008 and beyond.

There is a real need for people within Liverpool to feel a part of something in 2008. Liverpool Fringe! will provide an avenue for local residents to contribute to 2008 whilst many of the ‘main events’ may not capture some of the smaller (and larger) community group actions.

Objectives of the Fringe
- Celebrate real people and real experiences
- Inclusive in the widest sense
- Provide a platform for diverse art forms
- Of Liverpool for the world
- Promoting the local, regionally, nationally and internationally
- Pride in Liverpool and it’s achievements past and present
- Bringing different communities together
- Appreciating cultural diversity, and valuing creativity

Festive atmosphere; serious purpose
The Fringe will have a festival atmosphere – with multi-disciplinary events (both large and small) having the opportunity to be showcased and promoted to a wider audience. It will promote culture and diversity as a regional asset, highlighting the benefits that this sort of program can have in developing the economy and building ‘Social Capital’.

However the main focus will be engaging, promoting and supporting the wealth of creative talent in Liverpool.

LCN Arts and Culture Network involvement
There are advantages in the Arts and Culture Network working to facilitate the Liverpool Fringe:

1. The Network is an inclusive, accountable and transparent body.

2. It has a diverse membership and can bring many different thematic and geographic partners to the table, through relationships with the wider Liverpool Community Network, Liverpool First and other strategic bodies such as the Police.

3. Liverpool Arts & Culture Network is a not-for-profit group; all representatives put their time in free of charge which means money spent on the festival, goes on the festival!