Written on December 12, 2016
The last few weeks have been incredibly challenging. I am afraid and I am worried—for my community, for my city and for my country. I fear anti-intellectualism. I fear protectionism. I fear isolationism, nativism, dishonesty, racism and so much more. Several mornings I have woken up crying. I am not a “crier” and yet, I sobbed.
I believe in community work and caring for your neighbors. I strive to learn and celebrate expanding knowledge and the power of science and innovation in the 21st century. I believe in the United States of America and I believe in the power of art to build community and change lives.
It is a difficult time—a dynamic, historic shift for me, for the arts community and for this country. And yet, despite all the worry and the anger and the confusion and fear, I have found solace and comfort in the work I do, my friends and neighbors, my community and in the mission of the Fringe.
Just as election results were coming in and in the days that followed, I was busy reviewing all of the proposals for the 2017 Festival. Amazingly, there were more entries than ever before and they were so smart, relevant and important. Reading them provided me with a great deal of hope during these dark days.
Fringe’s mission of providing space and opportunities for artists to create and be seen and heard is more relevant than ever. Spaces that allow uncensored art, expression and creativity here in DC are more vital now than ever in our history. We are not filled with blind hope for the future—we own our future—and are resolved to building and improving the services we offer to the independent art scene here in DC.
Today, we must renew our commitment to providing space and community for artists and audiences and re-dedicate ourselves to creating and collaborating. I am committed to hustling and creating space and opportunities for independent art in our nation’s capital, and I hope you will join me.
If you are willing and able to support our work with a monetary contribution, please do so by clicking HERE or send directly to us at 1358 Florida Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002.
Julianne Brienza CEO/Founder