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Fringe Festivals focus on performing arts but also include film, visual art, music, and other types of art forms. Performances take place in downtown areas in cafes, theaters, storefronts, and a variety of other locations. The first Fringe Festival started in 1947 in Edinburgh, Scotland, as an alternative festival that played concurrently with the Edinburgh International Festival. There are more than 20 fringe festivals throughout the United States with more in Canada and Europe.

Downtown Elgin is a prime location for a fringe festival due to its urban feel and proximity to Chicago.  Now headed into our seventh year, the Elgin Fringe Festival is and inclusive and dynamic experience. We are first come-first served, uncurated, uncensored, and 100% of our ticket sales go back to the artists! Programming includes our Family Fringe Day, a day filled with games, performances, and art projects that is free and open to the public, our ever-growing visual art component hosted at Side Street Studio Arts, aka Fringe Central, as well as a live music component that highlights the juggernaut of a music scene Elgin has to offer. The city's ever-evolving arts scene, ease of walkability, and diverse community are ingredients for a highly needed and sought after Fringe Festival.

#EFFit #befringe #fringelife #downtownElgin #year7 #supportlocalart #fringefamily #USAFF #CAFF #worldfringe

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5th Anniversary of Monster Mash-up

The return of Monster Mash-Up! A 5th Year Anniversary celebrating our 2012 shows at the Haight building (now a fabulous wedding venue). This time we're at Side Street Studio Arts at 15 Ziegler Court in Downtown Elgin!


Saturday schedule for Monster Mash-Up! See the Kid's event page for more kids details and check back here for the all day and night schedule! Celebrate 1/2 way to Halloween and all things Horror!


Meet the Chromanauts: 

Collaborative dance and visual art performances

in Elgin this May 

“Chromanauts” Choreography by Christine Hands.

Visual Art by John Mosher. 


Premiere Performance: Saturday May 7, 2016 at 8 pm 

with Opening Reception from 7-10 pm.

Encore Performance: Saturday May 21, 2016 at 8 pm.

Art will be on display May 6-28, 2016 at Side Street Studio Arts.


Meet the Chromanauts: explorers of time and quantum-chroma space. They have set off on their most daring mission yet: exploration of the third dimension. Three Chromanauts take the audience with them on a deep-space adventure in which they encounter an Astromonid (alien-life form) and find that their form, shape, and volume alter drastically along the way. Dance and visual art meet in this live-action science-fiction romp.


Maryland visual artist John Mosher and Chicago choreographer Christine Hands combine forces in this show. The Chromanauts are Mosher’s invention: they serve as a vehicle for creative exploration to inspire and challenge the artist in the studio. With the help of Hands, the Chromanauts are leaving the canvas and coming to life through the medium of dance. Hands and Mosher have collaborated on an hour-length dance work which will feature video and sculpture. Mosher’s work will be presented in the gallery alongside the live performances. 


Visual art will be displayed at Side Street Studio Arts May 6-28, with live dance performances in the space Saturday May 7 and Saturday May 21 at 8 pm.


About the Artists: Christine Hands is a Chicago-based dance artist who has made a name for herself within the field of dance teaching, choreographing, and performing locally and touring nationally. John Mosher is Assistant Professor at Salisbury University in Maryland where he works feverishly on drawings, paintings, and collages, and exhibits them in local, regional, and national exhibitions.


Cast: Christine Hands as Captain Zism Prism, Sara Nelson as First Officer Lusus Colos, Kaitlin Flynn as Maree See, A.M. Strickland as the Astromonid.


Performances and art display: 

Side Street Studio Arts: 15 Ziegler Court, Elgin, IL 60120



Facebook Page:

Support the CHROMANAUTS via gofundme

February at Side Street!

It’s that time of year again folks, and we know it can be tough. All the red hearts, and chocolate coverered… everything, dancing in the isles of every store, parading the time-honored theme of the little cherub wielding his bow and arrow, daring to point it in our direction. And so it goes. In celebration of it all Side Street brings you The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: A Tribute to St. Valentine’s Day and Backwards Broadway.  

"The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" is a visual art pop-up exhibition featuring a variety of works from artists from all over the region. The exhibition will be on display in the gallery Wednesday, February 3 through Sunday, February 14. An artist reception will be held Friday, February 5 from 6 to 8pm. This event is free and open to the public.

Elgin Fringe Festival and Side Street present: "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: A Tribute to St. Valentine's Day" a variety show featuring: David Boyle, Captain Ambivalent, and many more to be announced. This one-night-only performance will be held Friday, February 12 at 8pm. Suggested donation tickets are $12 or $10 with your 2015 EFF Button. 

Side Street presents: BACKWARDS BROADWAY, a role reversal musical revue featuring area performing artists in support of Youth Outlook. This one-night-only performance will be held Saturday, February 13 at 8pm. Suggested donation tickets are $12.

#supportlocalart #downtownElgin #backwardsbroadway #vday 


Side Street Studio Arts & 

Eastern Groove Dance Studio




A storytelling experience, 

inspired by the tale of Sheherezade, 

who would weave stories within 

stories to keep herself alive 

night after night. 


featuring Guest Artist Karim Nagi

Arab Musician & Folk Dancer from Egypt & USA


Saturday, October 10, 8pm 

at Next Door Theater

Doors Open at 7:30pm

$15 Suggested Donation - limited seating available, reservations recommended


VDay at Side Street Studio Arts

Side Street Studio Arts presents: Backwards Broadway. The show will be one night only, Friday, February 13, 2015 at 7:30pm. Proceeds from the event will go to benefit Youth Outlook

Backwards Broadway is a night where men and women sing Broadway tunes. The fun part is that the men sing songs traditionally meant for women, and women sing songs traditionally meant for men!

Side Street Studio Arts presents: A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and A Prayer. The show will be one night only, Saturday, February 14, 2015 at 7:30pm. Proceeds from the event will go to benefit the Elgin Community Crisis Center. 


A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and A Prayer: 
A groundbreaking collection of monologues by world-renowned authors and playwrights, edited by Eve Ensler and Mollie Doyle. These diverse voices rise up in a collective roar to break open, expose, and examine the insidiousness of violence at all levels: brutality, neglect, a punch, even a put-down. The volume features such authors and topics as: Edward Albee on S&M; Maya Angelou on women's work; Michael Cunningham on self-mutilation; Dave Eggers on a Sudanese abduction; Edwidge Danticat on a border crossing; Carol Gilligan on a daughter witnessing her mother being hit; Susan Miller on raising a son as a single mother; Sharon Olds on a bra; Patricia Bosworth on her own physically abusive relationship; Jane Fonda on reclaiming our Mojo; and many more. It is available for you to present as a reading, and includes pieces by and for men.

In Concert

November 2014

Elgin Art Showcase


concert dance and live music in collaboration 

curated by Erin Rehberg in conjunction with Chamber Music on the Fox

featuring work and performances by: Megan Beseth, Core Project ChicagoDropshift Dance, Christine Hands, Rachel Elizabeth Maley, Adrian Medriano, Sara Nelson, Osmin, Tiffany Philpot, Erin Rehberg, Salty Lark Dance, Sara Sitzer, Ashley Strickland, Cassie Walker, and more… 

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