Community Spotlight: FringeA-Thon

FringeA-thon gears up for year two at the Piazza at Schmidt's Commons. | Provided

On Saturday, June 16, Fringe Arts presents their second annual FringeA-Thon at the Piazza at Schmidt’s Commons — a 12-hour dance party that will have participants rocking out to the beat of DJs and live bands, as well as enjoying special performances from BalletX dancers, Philadelphia Spin Coalition (hula hoops), Philly Phresh Crew and more.

Aside from being an unforgettable day of fun and artistic expression, FringeA-Thon raises money for FringeArts, an organization that is dedicated to bringing world-class performance art to Philadelphia.

“FringeArts was founded in 1997, when the first festival took place,” says managing director of FringeArts, Carolyn Schlecker. “Nick Stuccio was the impetus, but he founded the organization with Conrad Bender and Eric Schofer.  Nick went to Edinburgh Fringe to help Eric (a choreographer) with his show and thought it was amazing. There were lots of new, exciting artists in Philly at that time but nowhere for them to perform their work. Nick decided to do something about it, and now we have FringeArts.”

The organization grew from producing a five-day festival in its first year, to an annual 16-day festival today. What’s more, FringeArts even has its own performing arts center on the Philadelphia waterfront that includes a theater, artist studios and La Peg’s restaurant, bar and outdoor biergarten.

With FringeA-Thon, artist groups have the opportunity to raise money for their own projects as well as for FringeArts in general.

“At FringeArts, we believe in our local arts community and when creating FringeA-Thon, wanted to find a way to include other artists,” Schlecker says. “In addition to fundraising teams raising money for FringeArts, we offer an opportunity to other organizations, that may not have the resources to hold a large-scale fundraiser themselves, to raise money through our event. FringeA-Thon is a way to support their individual missions and work without the risk or out-of-pocket expenses associated with a large-scale fundraising event.”

Local artist Francesa Montanile was able to raise money for her project, “Dear Diary LOL” at last year’s FringeA-Thon.

“Not only did we raise $2,665, we also made a lot of connections at the event,” she says. “Many people who ended up coming to our sold out show heard about us through our FringeA-thon campaign, and through our presence at the event itself. We won a dance battle, which was not only super fun but also earned us FringeArts memberships and some other great prizes.”

And you don’t have to be a professional performer to break out your moves on the dancefloor. Committee member Meredith Setzman had a ball dancing last year, and has big plans for her fundraising team this year.

“This year, my team pays homage to my all-time favorite dance movie — ‘Sister Act II: Back in the Habit,’” she says. “That’s why we are called the St. Francis Academy Choir. I’m hoping we can recreate the entire routine from the movie’s most memorable scene, including the Naughty by Nature rap parody.”

You can get involved at FringeA-Thon 2018 by starting your own fundraising team, supporting an existing fundraising team or by simply purchasing a ticket to the event.

“There is something for everyone,” Schlecker says. “Join us on the dance floor, cheer on your friends and family, watch great performances, enjoy fabulous food truck fare, play some games, learn about local artists, buy raffle tickets in hopes of winning Bruno Mars tickets, meet the Phillie Phanatic — the list goes on and on.”

For more information on FringeArts, visit:

For more information on FringeA-Thon, visit:

If you go:
Saturday, June 16
12 p.m. to 12 a.m.
$35 for adults; kids under 12 free
The Piazza at Schmidt’s Commons
1001 N. 2nd St.

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