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By Thomas Holmes, Noelia Veras, and Theresa Whitfield

On Saturday afternoon, Capital Fringe Arts Space, located in the Trinidad neighborhood, invited visual artists from across the DMV area to discuss the renovations being made to the venue. They also wanted to hear what the general public wants to see in the new plans for the future. Owner and manager, Julianne Brienza, was very excited to welcome a diverse group of local artists to the first community meeting regarding the new art gallery.

Capital Fringe is an art center and home to a community of artists from around the D.C. area. Since 2014, when Brienza bought the space, she has been making several renovations to make her vision come to life. Capital Fringe’s original purpose was to provide gallery space for visual artists, but since then, it aims to accommodate a wide variety of art as well.  

Brienza’s reasoning for transforming the gallery was because she felt it “did not really honor the art the way it should have,” and she wanted to get as much feedback as possible from the artists themselves to understand what they want from the gallery.

Brienza began the discussion by explaining the layout of the venue and what sort of events would be going on in each space. It has two floors, with one gallery, three equity theatres, a shop, and a bar area as well. She described the place as a living organism, hoping to fill every part of the space with different types of art, even the elevator. One plan she has is for the courtyard area to have food trucks and a live band. She also seeks to include Trinidad itself in her designs, and has plans to have a mural of the history of neighborhood on the back of the building.

“I feel like the last 15 years of my life have been about trying to make different artistic communities in DC get to know each other and get along, and this is the culmination of that work,” Brienza said.

There are several different ideas for programs at Capital Fringe to include various types of art. One of Brienza’s major ideas is the five year Artistic Associates’ Program. This is a platform for artists to build a career where they have access to do any sort of program, whether that be visual arts, theater, or music, for four years, and in the fifth year, Capital Fringe helps them branch out to other art galleries and get more recognition.

After Brienza shared her thoughts on the plans for renovation, she opened up the floor to let the artists express their thoughts. The community received her ideas well and gave suggestions on how their art could be displayed best. Artists wanted accommodations like different spaces for three-dimensional art and even opportunities for one night pop-up galleries.

“Pop-ups are hot,” said one of the artists in the room.

Evidently, Capital Fringe is more than just an average art gallery, it is as Brienza said an organism in and of itself. The art facility is dynamic and invites all sorts of art and artists. Eventually, in 2020, Capital Fringe will have made both revolutionary and groundbreaking progress, being a home for diversity and acceptance. Make sure to follow the progress of Capital Fringe by following the hashtag #capfringe2020 and their instagram page @capitalfringe.

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