Summer Centered: Isabella Siegel's Summer on the "Fringe"
The rising junior fine arts major spent her summer helping to produce the guide to the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, among other things, at local arts nonprofit FringeArts.
For Isabella Siegel ’19, art at the “fringe” has been at the center of her summer. Working as the marketing and information guide intern at FringeArts, the Philadelphia nonprofit that presents challenging contemporary performing arts in the city, the fine arts major is learning about the role dance, theater, and music play in the community and in her future.
An organization dedicated to challenging the public's thinking about art, FringeArts enriches Philly with new comedy, improv, dance, plays, music, visual arts, circus arts, and even puppetry. The Fringe Festival, the 17-day, city-wide annual event at the origin of the organization, celebrates an international “fringe” art community and is an opportunity for emerging artists to share their work with more than 40,000 attendees.
So the work of the marketing and information guide intern—assisting in the production of the festival guide that details all of the performance information, including schedules, venues, and artist information—is of paramount importance. Siegel has done everything from writing and proofreading blurbs to hand-drawing a map of Philadelphia. She’s even helping to develop a mobile app by scanning the guide to for those purchasing tickets.
Apart from the festival guide, Siegel, whose internship is funded by the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities, devotes her time to working on FringeArt's website and blog, interviewing artists and writing about their work.
“I love writing about art,” says the local of New Haven, Conn. “Helping in publishing the festival guide, as well as writing articles for the blog, was a great chance to do that.”
Siegel has learned a lot about the local arts community in her previous jobs at both the Association for Public Art in Philly and the Gross McLeaf Gallery, but interviewing artists like Michael Clemmons, curator for The Colored Girls Museum, or Aubrie Costello, a silk graffiti artist, for FringeArts has helped her better understand the life of an artist, as well.
“Like a lot of fine arts majors, I would love to have a career making my own art,” says Siegel, who concentrates in drawing and painting and is also a visual studies minor. “In meeting artists [through FringeArts], many of them have given me insights into my own work as a student as well.”
Siegel wants to use what she’s learned at her internship to bolster research she hopes to continue on public art and graffiti. And she is grateful that her time at FringeArts has given her the chance to apply her passion for art in a practical position.