The Independent Arts
Crucial to the Melbourne Fringe vision is an understanding of independent artists and the independent arts community, for together we make the Melbourne Fringe Festival.
Independent Artists actively determine their own artistic choices and outputs, self-managing their career ideals, development and goals. Their work is largely self-initiated, placing investigation of form and content at the forefront of the artistic activity. Working independently makes experimentation and innovation the norm rather than the exception for these artists. Through their daily professional practice, these artists are responsible for the emergence of the new – making new materials, new locations and new directions possible for art and art-making.
The Independent Arts is a large and diverse community of individuals and collectives who create work at the forefront of artistic trends and ideas. This community is characterised by artists who jump freely and easily between artistic genres, using performance, visual art, craft, film, sound and digital technology to create vibrant artistic worlds. They comprise some of the most active audiences in our community, as each artist is surrounded by large networks of similarly creative people, constantly engaged in experiencing and responding to other works. These key attributes mean that the independent arts consistently lead the mainstream in aesthetic visions, framing and audience engagement. In 2013, the Melbourne independent arts are robust and successful, constantly attracting artists from interstate and overseas to relocate permanently and develop their work among this community.
An Independent Arts Festival encapsulates the most experimental and exciting work of its committed, thriving community. The non-curated format allows independent artists to explore and interpret current trends in artistic practice, giving audiences an extraordinarily comprehensive experience across all artforms. An Independent Arts Festival not only asks artists to answer the big questions facing our society, but also requires them to determine what those questions might be. In response to this challenge, the most important, different and courageous bubbles rise to the surface.
Open access arts festivals and independent arts communities cannot exist without one another.
Independent artists come together as a community to make an independent arts festival, where they present their work in an independent program, and meet to respond to one another’s work at a festival club.
The Melbourne Fringe Festival represents the most vigorous, fresh and contemporary new work made by our artists every year. Our Independent Arts Program is made by and for independent artists; our self-produced Creative Program is made by and for the independent arts sector, and our Artist Development program is driven by engagement with artists and the arts sector. Our Fringe Hub represents a microcosm of the Festival as a whole, and the Fringe Club is the home of independent artists during their festival. This ensures the currency, vitality and broader public appeal of the Melbourne Fringe Festival, as well as Melbourne Fringe as an organisation