Beyond the Box

Beyond the Box will incubate 4 artists in two intentionally paired teams of mentor/mentee, each crafting their own 15-30 minute performance to take place at the new Theater In The Round Amphitheater on Nicollet Mall. Learn more about this exciting new performance venue.

  • Individual practitioners, burgeoning ensembles and established companies are all welcome to apply and will be equally considered.
  • Mentors receive $2,500 (a $2,000 development and performance fee, plus a $500 mentorship stipend). Mentees will receive a $2,000 development and performance fee.
  • Support includes: a minimum of 20 hours of indoor rehearsal space for each artist, and at least one rehearsal in the amphitheater itself leading up to the event. (Recognizing that artists may require additional time, Fringe will work with artists to identify other affordable options beyond the 20 hours allocation as useful.)
  • Performances will take place in May, June, July, and August 2019 during daylight hours at the new Theater in the Round amphitheater on Nicollet Mall directly outside of the Minneapolis Central Library (tentative dates: Thursdays, May 2, June 6, July 11, August 1). Fringe will consult with selected artists before finalizing any dates/times. 

This project is a partnership with Vibrant and Safe Downtown and the Downtown Improvement District, and is funded, in part, by support from the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and culture heritage fund.


The Mentor Application deadline is Thursday, November 29 at 11:59pm CST.

Submit your application here.

Before you do, we suggest exploring all of the information on this page.

Selection Process & Program Goals

A jury will select 2 Mentor artists/companies. Once selected, Mentors will work with Fringe’s Artistic Director to review and select their Mentee, with a focus on balancing fit, form, and a diverse slate of artists and genres represented across the project.

The jurors are: 

  • Chitra Vairavan, Dancer & Choreographer / Consulting & Creative Services Coordinator, Forecast Public Art
  • Flordelino Lagundino, Artistic Director, Park Square Theatre
  • Joan Vorderbruggen, Director of Public Art & Placemaking, Hennepin Theatre Trust
  • Jonathan van Arneman (AJ), Independent Artist (Dancer, Choreographer & Musician) / Data Analyst at The Lewin Group
  • Jay Gilman, Artistic Director, Minnesota Fringe

The jury will use this rubric to score criteria (each on a scale of 1-5):

  • Artistic Intent: Does the applicant clearly articulate their artistic intention and outcomes? Does their application support the ability to carry these out with success?
  • Artistic Inclusion: Does this application champion underrepresented voices, themes or stories when compared to our current Minnesotan performing arts ecosystem? Does their application support the ability to carry out this championing with success? 
  • Style & Aesthetic: Does the proposed project push-to-the-Fringe of performance? Is this artist striving to innovate within their form(s)?
  • Feasibility: Is the proposed project feasible within space-and-time constraints? Would it be a successful fit for the physical space?
  • Mentorship: Does this applicant demonstrate interest in the project's mentorship component? Does their application support their skills, experience, and commitment to mentor a peer?
  • Wildcard: At your discretion, you may add up to 3 additional points for reasons not accommodated in the existing criteria. You will be asked to provide a clear explanation to your fellow jurors.

The overarching goals of Beyond the Box are to:

  • Cultivate artists’ skills in nontraditional, outdoor performing arts
  • Encourage positive artistic exchange through mentor-driven relationships
  • Create a low threshold for participation by artists, including provision of rehearsal space, an advanced stipend, media documentation, marketing, and institutional support
  • Cultivate adventurous, Fringe-style work -- "Fringe-style" meaning avenues for artist-audience connectivity and engagement; work that could be perceived as less commercially viable in more profit-oriented contexts; and ensuring a wide range of genres, disciplines and voices (including historically marginalized groups) are represented
  • Share free and accessible opportunities for audiences to engage with Fringe-y art in a communal, public space by a wide range of audience members

Mentors' Goals and Responsibilities include: 

  • Creating and/or adapting a piece of ~15-30 minutes duration (if closer to 15, ideally the piece can loop)
  • Communicating with Fringe regarding reservation of rehearsal space, learning outcomes, and mentee engagement
  • Engaging the mentee at least twice over the course of the rehearsal period; watch the mentee’s first performance and re-engage between performances (May to July or June to August) for potential additional feedback, support and/or iteration
  • Providing a W9 so payment can be made
  • Participating in an artist pre- and post-program survey
  • Participating in a post-program panel discussion to share knowledge with fellow artists and interested audiences at a free, public event
If you have questions or would like to request any accommodations in order to complete this application, please feel free to contact us at

Please note: 

  • This application is for Mentors only. The Mentee application will be made public in December 2018 following the selection of Mentors.
  • Companies applying as Mentors who are not selected are eligible to re-apply for the Mentee portion of this program.
  • Application and/or selection to this program presents no limitations or conflicts regarding participation in any other Minnesota Fringe projects, including our Fringe Festival, Family Fringe, Drafts & Draughts, Fringe Presents, or other programming. 
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