By Sheena Barnett
OXFORD – Oxford is turning the arts up to 11 this weekend with its first ever Fringe Festival, the Art-er Limits.
“Fringe festivals are more performing arts based, but we decided we’d take a little liberty and invite all sorts of artists,” said Stacey Sanford, who’s over education and outreach for the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council. “We tried to find something for everyone. We have everything from a concert pianist to ballet to a chess team playing chess in the square to food tasting to improv to all kinds of crazy things. There’s definitely something for everyone.”
The festival is 36 hours of 86 art-related events in 16 different venues across Oxford.
Events include performances by bands like Silas Reed N’ Da Books and The Red Thangs and storytellers like Rebecca Jernigan; a book signing and poetry slam performance by Lacey Roop; an East and West Coast Swing dance workshop; a commmunity theater workshop; dance performances by Terry Rockette Studios; improv comedy by Laff Co and Longshot Improv Group; and many food tastings.
Moonbot Studios will screen two short films and then allow audiences to Skype with two of their artists to learn how the films were made.
The Liar’s Club is a storytelling event where folks pay $5 to tell their biggest tale, Sanford said.
How does it all work?
The easiest way is just to explore the city during the weekend.
“We want it to be fun and exciting, and we want people to discover things. We definitely want people to get out of their comfort zones. There are 86 events in 36 hours – you’re bound to stumble upon something, and more than half of them are free. It’s possible to spend all of your hours doing things that are totally free,” Sanford said.
If you’d rather plan out your Art-er Limits experience, you can download a festival schedule online.
“A $5 festival schedule and map is a full breakdown of every event. That way you can plan your attack,” she said.
A few events, like the Lacey Roop book signing and the food events, have their own separate tickets; otherwise everything else is free or $5.
There’s an all-access pass, too.
“We hope everyone comes out and has a good time,” she said. “You can festival for an hour, or you can come out and festival for all 36 hours.”
CHECK IT OUT
• What: Oxford’s Fringe Festival, the Art-er Limits
• When: Friday and Saturday
• Where: Oxford
• Cost: Most events are free, but a few cost $5. Some, including food and some book events, may cost more.
• Info: oxfordfringefest.com