IBJNews

2012 WOMAN OF INFLUENCE: Pauline Moffat

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Executive Director, IndyFringe Festival

Sphere of Influence: Moffat took a startup performing arts festival and grew it into a fixture on the local arts scene. It’s now a vehicle for turning locals into playwrights and transforming the city’s culture.
 

moffat-pauline-15col.jpg(IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Pauline Moffat didn’t create the IndyFringe Festival. She simply used her marketing and public relations experience—and her force-of-nature personality—to make the 10-day annual event an integral part of Indianapolis’ arts calendar.

“Don’t tell me I can’t do something,” she said. “It’s like you’re waving a red flag in front of me.”

Moffat arrived in Indianapolis from Australia in 2004, just after the Fringe was created. Within a year, she rose from volunteer to board member to director of the festival. Under her leadership, the festival has grown to 15,000 tickets sold in 2012, compared with 3,000 the first year, and returned $106,000 to the performers this year, compared with $38,000 in 2005.

She’s also added to the festival (which might feature anything from tap-dancing plate-spinners to a troupe performing Sophocles, in the words of IBJ Arts & Entertainment editor Lou Harry) by continuing to create new outlets for potential participants. There was FringeNext for young performers working their way up, which was folded into the main festival; DIVAFest for female playwrights; OnyxFest, a new competition for African-American playwrights; and The IndyFringe Winter Magic Festival for magicians.

In 2013, IndyFringe plans to go into local schools to encourage a generation of buskers, or street performers—this after holding a successful Battle of the Buskers competition this year. The idea is to get students active in the festival and encourage them to stay in Indianapolis by providing a stage for them.

Moffat said the success of the festival can be traced to a combination of factors: downtown residents and visitors looking for new things to do, a board of directors that went out and beat the bushes for support, media attention, awards, a helpful push from Visit Indy and funds from, among others, the Central Indiana Community Foundation.

Not to mention a director who doesn’t take no for an answer.

“My background is in marketing, pr and motor racing,” Moffat said. “I had that instilled in me from a very young age that when the flag drops, you’d better be ready.”

Moffat moved to Indianapolis with her husband, auto-racing engineer Lee Dykstra. (She has a son from a previous marriage, Andrew, a musician/teacher who lives in Australia; he has four grown daughters.) She agreed to relocate with one stipulation: They must live within 10 minutes of downtown.

“If you put me in a suburb,” she said, “I will wither and die.”

They live downtown, a couple of blocks from the IndyFringe Basile Theatre, 719 E. St. Clair St., an old church the festival moved into in 2009 and purchased last year.(Dykstra, Moffat’s “No. 1 volunteer,” supervised the restoration and renovation.) Buying the building, purchased with a gift from Frank and Katrina Basile, “stamped us as being part of the Downtown community,” she said.

Now the Fringe is in the midst of a capital campaign to raise money to expand the building and, among other things, add public restrooms to the adjacent Cultural Trail, which currently has none.

“Does this take all my waking hours? Yes,” Moffat said. “And all my willpower? Yes. But it’s worth it.”•

_____

Click here to return to the Women of Influence landing page.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • No.1 Moffat Racing supporter
    Hi Pauline, met you many years ago at Amaroo, when Allan was waiting for a steering column to arrive to repair Red XB Falcon #25, my mum and dad were with me! I worked for Lance Ruting selling photo's at the time! Good to read you are going great in your field! Regards John

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

ADVERTISEMENT