photo by Cecily Johnson

photo by Cecily Johnson

Free Range Art…Three Years Later

What began as a simple experiment designed to make the entire Fusebox Festival free to attend has produced some dramatic outcomes. Here’s what we’ve discovered so far:

  • 60% increase in first-time festival goers in both 2014 and 2015
  • On average, people attended twice as many events–demonstrating a much deeper level of engagement
  • Our “Respect the Reservation” campaign has had a 97% success rate

The initiative has also allowed us to spark numerous conversations locally, nationally, and internationally about access (i.e. who has access to this work and who is it for), as well as a bigger dialogue about the economics of making art & performance.

Ultimately, the campaign was designed to take the most basic mechanism of the festival, the simple act of buying a ticket, and turn it into a bigger conversation that asks, “How can we make this vital, important work more accessible to everyone, AND how do we as a community want to pay for it? And if we zoom out a bit, can we imagine a different sort of relationship between art, artist, and audience that is less transactional and more about engagement, discovery, and ongoing exploration?”

Fusebox > Festival

By supporting Fusebox you are doing more than simply supporting Free Range Art. As an organization our work is a year-round endeavor. Each festival is years in the making. And as our organization has grown, so has our connection with our own community. We love the idea that an arts organization can present cutting-edge artists from around the region/world AND be meaningfully engaged with our community in real ways. To this end, we are actively engaging with our community to explore the most vital issues facing our city (affordability, gentrification, community health, education, etc) in an attempt to shake up the status quo and create meaningful, out-of-the-box solutions.

 

Experiments are Breadth Fresheners

In many ways, the past thirteen years of Fusebox have been an ongoing experiment investigating the idea of “festival”. What makes a festival a festival? What are things that only a festival can do? For our 2017 festival, we engage our second experiment with density (marked by only 5 days of action-packed programming) to create an immersive festival environment. This experiment is designed to explore two things we absolutely love about festivals: 1) We think festivals (at their best) are great at creating vibrant, temporary communities. 2) We also love that festivals (at their best) create a space for the unpredictable collision of ideas and perspectives. Encountering multiple artists with diverse perspectives becomes an act of discovery.