What is Fringe?

KC FRINGE Festival 7/18 - 8/1

It all started in 1947 in Edinburgh, Scotland, as an alternative festival that played concurrently with the Edinburgh International Festival. Though not invited to participate, groups of actors, musicians, and the like performed at various venues on the fringe of the EIF. In 1948, Robert Kemp, a local journalist, gave it the name Fringe: "Round the fringe of official Festival drama, there seems to be more private enterprise than before..." (Read more about Fringe history at Wikipedia.)

And so the Fringe as we know it was born. Fringe performing arts festivals can now be found all over the world, with dozens thriving in the United States today.

In the U.S., no one organization or individual owns, controls or regulates the name “Fringe”. There are no national rules for how each individual festivals operate; festival content, finances, and structure vary from city to city. Generally, all festivals are committed to an open forum of expression that minimizes the financial risks for both artists and audiences. Fringes work hard to keep production fees and ticket prices low so that more people can participate in our festivals.

How does KC Fringe?

Fringe Festival KC is committed to accepting artists without jury or censorship. We accept artists on a first come, first serve basis.  Our five mile footprint spans through the cultural corridors of KC from River North to Old Westport.  We feature visual, film, and performing artists in venues ranging in size from small to large.

Our festival opens with a large Opening Night Party where artists preview their shows in rapid-fire succession and our fringe loyalists mark their programs for the can't-miss shows. Throughout the festival, you can count on Late Night on the Fringe events to meet, connect, and engage with participating artists and excited audiences. We culminate the festival with a celebratory Closing Night Party. We eat, we dance, we celebrate the wonderful success of our Fringe participants.

All audience members must have a button to access shows and galleries. The button is a one time, five-dollar purchase that allows Fringe Festival KC to adequately pay our artists and venue owners from ticket revenue.

Meet the Team


Cheryl Kimmi
Executive Producer


Diana Arganbright
Director of Operations


Ashley Dover
Assistant Technical Director


Barbara Dooley
Editor-Review Team


Sandy Woodson
Teen  Coordinator


Sheri Hall
Youth Coordinator


Sarah Slaughter
Visual Arts Coordinator


Bryan Colley
Program Design and Technology Guru


Trenna Keltner
Program Assistant


Grace Wampler
Outreach & Development Coordinator


Ashley Helm
Events Management


Anna Adelman
Digital Coordinator


Nick Todd
Social Media Manager



P.O. Box 415001
Kansas City, MO 64141-5001
(816) 533-5890