Fleeing The Fringe

“Leah Cooper, who helped the Minnesota Fringe Festival become one of the largest such events in the country, will step down as executive director next August, following the 2005 festival. Cooper announced her departure after a four-year tenure in which the attendance has grown 72 percent. The 2004 festival hosted a record 902 performances of 175 shows at 24 venues, drawing more than 50,000 people. Cooper also was instrumental in professionalizing the management of the festival and in bringing stability to the fast-growing festival’s financial organization.”