Wilmington’s first “alternative” arts festival runs through Sunday.
The start of October marks the beginning of a different type of arts festival called Fringe Wilmington. The performances, films, and art work that are part of the four-day festival are not exactly mainstream, but rather out of the ordinary. One of those alternative performances: a one-woman theater performance by Robin Gelfenbien called My Salvation Has a First Name, a Weinermobile Journey. It’s described as “the true story of how the Weinermobile saved former hotdogger Robin Gelfenbien’s life.”
Wilmington’s cultural affairs director Tina Betz says the festival features “unconventional, adventurous, and experimental art.” She says planners are expecting to draw people who like traditional art, but also, “arts consumers who like things that are just a little more edgy, at least some of the times. So, the audience that we will be drawing will be a little bit broader then your traditional arts audience.”
Performance venues will be spread throughout the downtown area. Like the festival itself, some of the performance spaces will be non-traditional. Betz says while there will be some traditional theaters, like the Baby Grand and Theatre N, other events will be in “raw retail spaces.”
“Some of them don’t even have walls installed. There are the studs that we’ve been able to use, for example, in our visual fringe gallery to hang the art that is there. So the performance spaces match the attitude of fringe, in that they are very diverse.”