Fertile Ground Festival of New Works is an 11-day arts festival that is held every January/February in Portland, Oregon. This city-wide festival is focused on new work from Portland’s creative community in a myriad of art forms. The festival offers dozens of Portland-generated “acts of creation” each year. Projects range from fully staged world premieres, theatrical workshops and play readings, to ensemble, multidisciplinary and collaboration-driven work, to a variety of dance, comedy, film events and more. Fertile Ground spans the spectrum of artistic endeavors and further seeds the next generation of creation through artist conversations, workshops, lunchtime readings and more.
Unlike a typical fringe festival, Fertile Ground features the new work of our LOCAL artists, performers and resident theatre companies, ensuring that the artistic and financial benefits of the festival stay in Portland. Where other new works festivals are curated by one entity, this festival is collaboratively shaped by community consideration to uplift a variety of aesthetic voices.
Fertile Ground features a full range of artistic experiences, giving audiences a greater depth and breadth of work from which to choose in a concentrated time frame. From Portland’s oldest and largest producing institutions to its newest, smallest companies to artist-produced projects, the Fertile Ground Festival offers a platform for a range of producers. This festival is nationally distinctive in that it provides a unique model for creating and sharing new work that is of substantive value locally, regionally, and to the national arts scene.
Fertile Ground was launched by the Portland Area Theatre Alliance (the service organization for Portland theatre artists and organizations) in 2009 to provide a platform for Portland theatre companies to showcase their commitment to new work; and vectoring opportunity to invite regional and national artists, artistic leaders and arts aficionados to discover for the rich artistic diversity of Portland for themselves. Over the past decade, the festival has grown its scope of offerings to encompass a breadth of artistic endeavors including dance, multidisciplinary projects, comedy, visual arts, literature, animation, film, and holds the door open to any art form. Fertile Ground aspires to provide a forum where artists, art lovers near and far can come to appreciate that Portland truly is fertile ground for artistic creativity, innovation, and daring acts of performance.