Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fringe Purchases CONNERSMITH Space on Florida Avenue

CONNERSMITH show in 2012

The Washington Post broke a huge bit of news last night. CONNERSMITH Gallery at 1358 Florida Avenue is being sold to Capital Fringe. CONNERSMITH ushered in a vibrant new arts scene in Trinidad when the gallery re-located here in 2007. Prior to their move, the space had been an auto body shop. But Trinidad's Gallery Row was not to be immortal, part of that block later sold to a developer planning a mixed us residential/retail project. This sale to Capital Fringe does four really important things: allow CONNERSMITH to continue to pursue projects in various locations (some out of town); give Capital Fringe a much needed homebase; ensure the space is permanently (as permanent as anything can be these days) preserved for an arts use; enliven the performing arts scene in the larger Trinidad/H Street area (weakened by the loss of H Street Playhouse).

I am a big fan of the Capital Fringe Festival, and I'm thrilled to have it based right here in Trinidad. Current Fringe Festival Fans probably already know that the upcoming Capital Fringe Festival has a bunch of shows at the Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H Street) this time around.


Anonymous said...

weakened by the loss of Red Palace too

Anonymous said...

this will be a big plus for the area as Fringe brings in big crowds for a few weeks in the summer. I am also excited to see some contemporary theatre in an air conditioned space with nice restrooms. The Fort Fringe north of Chinatown is a hot mess, but people still came. Good news for H st.

Do you know what will become of the space during the 11 months when there is no festival?

Anonymous said...

There is also Fall Fringe in November/December.

Anonymous said...

What impact will this have on Neighborhood parking? Will the building sit vacant when there are no events? Will they need any variances?


pat said...

If fringe really wanted an arts space,
working out a deal to get that warehouse at 21st and Benning would be something.

Cheaper space, take advantage of the trolley
and pull foot traffic down benning.

if we could somehow get that space brought to life, we would have something.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it they will take up all the surrounding parking and be the purveyors of SATAN'S WARES. You heard it here first. Mmmhmmm child.

inked said...

A Fringe rep said in a recent interview that they hoped the new space could be used year-round.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to lose a great gallery there but welcome Fringe to the area.

Robby/Anon 1:15, must it *always* be about parking first and foremost? Did you worry about parking for the gallery when they had openings?

Alan Page said...

Cool news.

Hope there is a regular gallery component when Fringe events aren't occurring (a/k/a/ most of the year).

Unknown said...

+1 anon 1:22

Anonymous said...

parking will probably be an issue on weekends. isn't it no restrictions on parking in that part of the neighborhood?

hopefully, the trolley would be up and running so incentive to drive would decrease.

when do they hope to have the first fringe here? what other buildings besides Atlas are they going to use? if other buildings are used throughout the neighborhood, that would generate a lot of great foot traffic on H, and it's a nice crowd. a theatre going crowd.

Anonymous said...

Art= money. That's all that art gallery

Anonymous said...

parking wont be an issue. everybody who goes to fringe rides a bike

Jesse said...

Even better news would be that AV's would reopen in the space that Fringe was at.

How I miss AV's.

Anonymous said...

I think the residents of the neightborhood's views should be taken into consideration. Although that part of FL Avenue is commercial, immediately behind it is a residential community. Parking, in particular for seniors, is important. So no it's not always about parking, but there should be a balance. I'm concerned about the needs of citizens in that part of the neighborhood, and I think things like parking, noise, and possible disorderly people should be fair game to discuss.

Parking comes up a lot at community meetings, and the voices of citizens have a place at the table.

As I wrote in anothe fourm, there shouldn't be such contempt for our fellow citizens as to ignore their concerns or belittle them. I think a vibrant perfrmance movement like frenge is exciting, and I want to find that balance. I positive there is a path forward, but it's not simply ignoring people or only hearing what the supporters want to hear.