A Summer at the Fringe

Ellen Freeman '11 has been interviewing artists all summer and updating a blog in promotion for the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe in September.

Ellen Freeman ’11 has spent her summer internship immersed in the world of blogging with the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe. She is interning there under the auspices of the Hurford Humanities Center.

The Philadelphia Fringe Festival is getting ready for its 14th annual festival in September, and Freeman is busy working on its marketing and promotion. One of the ways that the Festival is trying to grow its audiences and improve communications with its current supporters is through an active blog. In the blog, Freeman gives fans a chance to see what Live Arts and Fringe artists are doing beyond the Festival, as well as a preview of what to expect in September.

A lot of Freeman’s time this summer has been devoted to honing her interviewing skills. Recently she talked on the phone with Matmos, a popular electronic band that was calling her from Germany. The band will be playing as part of the Live Arts Festival’s “Bang on a Can Marathon,” a ten-hour nonstop music event at the World Café Live that features multiple performers.

“It’s really cool interviewing someone more well known like [Matmos], and also up and coming Philly artists,” says Freeman.

Freeman doesn’t just cover artists that will be appearing at the Festival this year. She also helps promote other Philadelphia theatre, art, dance, and music events in the blog. “I feel like I’m learning a lot about the performing arts scene in Philly, which I had little to no exposure to before,” she says.

One of the Festival’s biggest challenges is increasing fan involvement from college student communities. Since this demographic currently uses web-based communication and social networking sites so frequently, the blog is vital to achieving this goal. “I hope that Live Arts can get more exposure and subsequently more money because of the blog,” Freeman says, “Not only because [Live Arts] is great for the performing arts community, but also because [Live Arts] could then have a little more money to spend on things they need.”

--Mike Troup ’11