24 Months|105 Weeks|17250 Hours is a blog by Julianne Brienza, CEO/Founder of Capital Fringe based in Washington, DC. Posting running through August 2020 will explore the varied aspects of defining the organizational evolution and structure of a annual Fringe festival to a year round organization through photos and narrative.    

Mindset. Flow. Hope.

Mindset. Flow. Hope.

Logan Fringe Arts Space courtyard getting a fresh coat of paint in 2016.

Logan Fringe Arts Space courtyard getting a fresh coat of paint in 2016.

Over the past 14 years, we have solidified our mindset towards producing the annual Fringe Festival.  

At Capital Fringe, we define that as:

1.     The flow of a venue per-day

2.     The flow of a venue for the entire Festival

3.     The flow all Festival venues per-day

4.     The flow of all Festival venues for the entire Festival

You cannot think of all of this at the same time – obviously. Pacing and sequencing are key.            

What is the goal?

Creating a Festival experience for all involved is an opening up of oneself to possibility.  This possibility is intrinsically linked to hope.  We all crave to be in an environment where hope is alive. The goal is to give this to each person—even if it is a small amount. 

Thinking of the Festival and each of venues as a living, breathing entity can be helpful. Each venue has its sweet spot as well as problem areas that need to be avoided.  It is the Fringe’s job to find the right balance for each production. This does not mean that every moment is balanced. That would be a horrible Festival. It is the entirety of the Festival – each day, venue, audience member, artist, stored prop, electrical issue, special hung and focused . . . that it all balances out.

The goal is to have multiple mindsets.

The pacing and sequencing in this stage of evolution –embryonic—is very elongated. I have been saying a lot lately that I am walking molasses. This is not just because construction is slow-- which is consuming so much of my time. It is more that the decisions to be made and then acted on require a laborious vetting process to ensure that they are bullet proof. This process does feel cumbersome and less action orientated then I like. But I am into it. I am regularly recalibrating myself to operate on multiple mindsets at the same time. 

There is a shedding of my past pace, but at the same time not totally tossing it aside. There is building on top of what exists. There is adding to the whole that is happening now – and will continue to happen into the future. Yet, there is no expansive amount of time to ruminate over a decision. I have been making a lot more time to read books on board governance and branding and programming, and I have spent time engaging with my peers or really anyone to discuss ideas and various practices.

In the coming week, I have the most exciting meeting to date! We are having the final meeting of the design development process. This is where all becomes final. I have invited a few donors and artists to be in the room as we make the decisions final. I thought it would be very useful to have folks in the room that will use the space and view the plans in through that lens. 

The goal to create an environment where hope of possibilities of what can be created and experienced will be finally cemented. Right now, it is just growing and preparing to emerge - hopefully solid and strong.  

Wait. Is this what we are doing?

Wait. Is this what we are doing?

Save a Tree + Community Town Halls

Save a Tree + Community Town Halls