The idea for the Great Salt Lake Fringe was born when Nina and Michael Vought, professors of theatre at Westminster College, stumbled upon the New Orleans Fringe Festival and were captivated by the array of unique performances they saw there. They pitched the idea of a fringe festival in Salt Lake City to a group of students and alumni of Westminster, who ran with the Fringe spirit and, under the mentorship of the Voughts, produced the inaugural Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival in August 2015.
After a successful first year, with a festival that included 29 shows, an art gallery, a concert series, and over 100 performances, the Fringe team decided to go bigger for the second festival. In 2016, the length of the Fringe was doubled (from 4 to 8 days) and the number of artists increased to 50. The Fringe audience grew as well, and the festival began to make a name for itself as one of the most exciting theatrical events in Utah.
To date, the Great Salt Lake Fringe has paid out over $50,000 to 300+ artists, employed 100+ young people as staff and volunteers, and presented the world premieres of 50+ original productions.
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