Circus News

Circus and Changing Realities 2020: Abuse and Assault in Circus – Normalizing the Conversation

This panel is part of CircusTalk’s Circus and Changing Realities 2020 series. In this episode titled Abuse and Assault in Circus–Normalizing the Conversation we  feature a diverse group of panelists who explore the definition of abuse and assault as well as the circumstances and environments in the circus industry that allow for the propagation of such damaging and often criminal behavior. By looking at the effect and manifestations of abuse and assault in the circus sector, the panelists intend to highlight best practices and policies for individuals and organizations that will improve the outcomes for survivors, and prevent future trespassing of human rights.

Moderator
Veronica Blair
Veronica Blair– Professional Aerialist, Aerial Director for Celebrity Cruises Entertainment, Coach, Choreographer and Documentarian, Founder of “The Uncle Junior Project” USA
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Panelists

* Correction: The name of the Native American tribe, living on the plains of Colorado and Wyoming, was mispronounced in the panel. The correct name and pronunciation of the tribe is  Arapaho (/əˈræpəhoʊ/).


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Resources mentioned in the panel:

Women's Law Center https://nwlc.org/

RAINN rainn.org 

RAINN's National Sexual Assault Hotline

Champion Women Founder : Nancy Hogshead-Makar

Trauma Informed Oregon 

Learning Community Resource by Rhen Molly Miles

L’Aparté is a front-line legal resource center for people who are experiencing or have experienced sexual and psychological harassment in the cultural community.

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Veronica Blair
Aerial Performer, Coach, Choreographer, Documentarian -United States
Veronica Blair is a professional aerialist with over 15 years of performing and teaching experience. She is currently Aerial Director for Celebrity Cruises Entertainment

Expanding her portfolio beyond performing, Veronica launched the development of “The Uncle Junior Project” in 2010. The ongoing documentary shines a light on the careers of African-American circus performers, including Emanual “Uncle Junior” Ruffin who remained largely uncredited for his contributions to American Circus until after his death. In 2017, she was invited to speak at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival about her experience as producer and director of “The Uncle Junior Project”, and served as organizer and moderator on a panel highlighting the African-American circus experience. She’s also worked with the African-American Art and Culture Complex to stage "Entrapment to Entertainment: A Celebration of Blacks in American Circus", a three-month exhibition that ran from October, 2013 – January 2014 with over 1,000 attendees.

Veronica Blair

Veronica Blair is a professional aerialist with over 15 years of performing and teaching experience. She is currently Aerial Director for Celebrity Cruises Entertainment Expanding her portfolio beyond performing, Veronica launched the development of “The Uncle Junior Project” in 2010. The ongoing documentary shines a light on the careers of African-American circus performers, including Emanual “Uncle Junior” Ruffin who remained largely uncredited for his contributions to American Circus until after his death. In 2017, she was invited to speak at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival about her experience as producer and director of “The Uncle Junior Project”, and served as organizer and moderator on a panel highlighting the African-American circus experience. She’s also worked with the African-American Art and Culture Complex to stage "Entrapment to Entertainment: A Celebration of Blacks in American Circus", a three-month exhibition that ran from October, 2013 – January 2014 with over 1,000 attendees.

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