Fringe Society announces strategic partnership with Nouveau Riche Productions

Today, 1 August 2023, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society is pleased to announce a new strategic partnership with Nouveau Riche Productions. The partnership aims to understand how to address barriers to participation for Black and/or Global Majority artists at the Fringe.

The partnership will initially last six months and will focus on the shared ambitions of Nouveau Riche and the Fringe Society in providing support, resources and signposting for under-represented artists who face barriers to participation, and/or experience unsafe working environments, when taking part in the Fringe – specifically artists who identify as Black and/or Global Majority.

Nouveau Riche will build and manage a network for Fringe participants who identify as Black and/or Global Majority and will collaborate with the Fringe Society on providing resources and events, as well as informing the development of their support services.

Following the 2023 Fringe, Nouveau Riche will gather feedback from this year’s artists of colour along with industry professionals with long-term Fringe experience, to ensure Black and/or Global Majority Fringe experiences are fully heard, and to inform future planning for development of this partnership and associated longer-term services.

Chris Snow, Head of Artist Services at the Fringe Society, said: ‘There has historically been limited support available for Black and/or Global Majority artists taking part in Fringe, and the Fringe Society acknowledges that this needs to change. Nouveau Riche are an established and experienced theatre company working with and supporting emerging artists of colour at the Fringe, and across the UK. For real change to happen, it is vital that the Fringe Society, venues and producers work with partners like Nouveau Riche, to understand how we can all support the festival to become more inclusive and accessible for artists facing barriers to taking part.

In this first year of partnership, Nouveau Riche are building a network of Fringe artists of colour to help us consult, understand existing challenges, and establish plans for ongoing support. The Nouveau Riche team are also working with us on resources and events and are developing post-festival evaluation plans to inform our ongoing work. It is incredibly exciting to be working with them on this, and we hope it’s the beginning of a long-term partnership.’

Sarah Verghese, Senior Producer at Nouveau Riche, said: ‘Last year, Nouveau Riche published a Call to Action after our experiences at Edinburgh Fringe over the last five years. We are a one of the few Black-led companies who head to the festival consistently and this is because there is little to no support for our communities. I was delighted when the Fringe Society contacted us about a possible partnership to support the well-being and welfare of artists of colour heading to the festival. This year, Nouveau Riche is not producing a show at Edinburgh Fringe instead we are delivering resources, wrap-around activity, events, drop-in and feedback sessions. 

It’s important that we are listening to our communities and their experiences to shape the festival into a welcoming, safe and inclusive place for us. Fringe of Colour has been a pioneer in this work by creating databases and sharing resources for artists of colour and we are so proud that they are no longer alone in their efforts to make Fringe a safe space for our communities.’ 

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe will take place from 04 – 28 August 2023. More information about the programme and tickets can be found here…

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society is the charity that underpins the world-renowned Edinburgh Fringe. It was established in 1958 by a group of artists to provide central services for the festival and ensure that it stays true to its founding purpose of inclusion and welcome to all. We exist to support and encourage everyone who wants to participate in the Fringe; to provide information and assistance to audiences; and to celebrate the Fringe and what it stands for all over the world. Based on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, the Society has a small team of staff who work year-round to assist all the artists and audiences who make the festival one of the best loved performing arts events on the planet.  In 2022, as part of the Fringe’s 75th anniversary, the Fringe Society launched a new collaborative vision and set of values and made a series of commitments to become more inclusive, fair and sustainable. The vision is “to give anyone a stage and everyone a seat”.

Our three values will guide the behaviours and decisions of everyone involved with the Fringe: celebrate performing arts, be open to all and look out for each other. The Society will live by them, champion them and uphold them where necessary.

Written by Theatrefullstop