The Labyrinth Art Collective

Jan 21, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Arts & Entertainment, Lorie Lewis Ham, Music, Rogue Festival, Theatre

by Lorie Lewis Ham

There is a black box theatre performance space on Van Ness in the Tower District that has hosted many different groups and gone by several different names since I started covering the arts in Fresno. Last year, something new started there called The Labyrinth Art Collective and recently we chatted with one of the people who run it, Alicia Rodriguez, to learn more about what they do. She runs it together with her partner Matt Comegys.

KRL: When and how did The Labyrinth Art Collective come to be?

Event at The Labyrinth Art Collective

Alicia: The Labyrinth Art Collective actually started out as a periodic life art event back in 2016 at a Tower District venue that is no longer around. The events included live costumed models for figure drawing, live music and dance performances, and various hands-on activities for attendees. I guess you could call it a mini art wonderland for adults. Last year when we discovered the black box theater that used to be the Fresno Soap Co. was sitting empty, we decided to give it another chance at life. Also, after fighting for the Tower Theatre the past couple years, as well as seeing the detriment covid brought to the art and performance community, we definitely didn’t want to let another venue potentially go cold.

KRL: What is The Labyrinth Art Collective now?

Alicia: In short, it is both a venue and an art collective specializing in making the arts accessible, and giving folks a chance to realize dreams. We are also a 501c3 non-profit as of last September.

KRL: Do you put on events yourself or are you more of an event space?

Event at The Labyrinth Art Collective

Alicia: We do both. We host a variety of events such as comedy open mic, poetry open mic, showcases by small theater groups, live music shows, monthly art hop, and a June and October dance show that is produced by myself and Sylvana of Obsidian Productions, as well as any joyously weird idea people bring to our door to help them realize. In the near future, we plan to resurrect our live art events with the help of the local art community. We also will be hosting shows as an off-Rogue venue during the Rogue Festival week this year.

KRL: How many people are a part of Labyrinth?

Event at The Labyrinth Art Collective

Alicia: Currently my partner and I co-run the space, but we are building a board to better expand on and serve community needs.

KRL: What are your future goals?

Alicia: To keep doing what we are doing and building upon it. It is both a passion project and a community service, and we want to grow in ways that facilitate both. We live in times where fortifying community is more important than ever, an activism comes in all forms, including expression through art. We hope to continue and bringing diverse, inclusive, exploratory events that celebrate the wanderlust that is our existence. We hope also to accomplish more community outreach to help people realize that their wild idea is more within reach than they realize.

KRL: What are some of the events you have coming up in 2023?

Event at The Labyrinth Art Collective

Alicia: Every Tuesday: Comedy open mic with Fresno Comedy Scene
First Thursday of every month: Art Hop
1/21: Poetry open mic
1/27: monthly comedy showcase with Fresno Comedy Scene
2/24: Velvateen band
2/25: Citrus band
3/3-3/11: Rogue Festival, various shows
March: The Rocky Whores shadow cast show
June: True Colors performance (dance and variety)
October: Cryptic Creatures performance (dance and variety)
October: Festival of Fright immersive theater experience
December: Krampus Caroling music festival, showcasing local music, vendors, and art with the Van Ness Village

Plus, whatever other delights come to our doorstep to create with us!

KRL: Where can people find you online?

Alicia: Instagram: @labyrinthartcollective
Email: labyrinthartca@gmail[dot]com

KRL: Anything you would like to add?

Alicia: We are looking forward to supporting and creating community through art and expression, and are open to all types of ideas and events that fit our mission. We encourage folks to contact us with ideas!

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and a contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet. Lorie’s latest mystery novel, One of Us, is set in the Tower District of Fresno and the world of community theatre!<


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