What happens when the trapezes stop swinging, popcorn stops popping, and acrobats, jugglers and clowns have no audience to delight and entertain?
One year ago, in the spring of 2020, a small group of American circus practitioners began convening virtually to connect about how the COVID-19 crisis was adversely affecting their livelihood. Over the next few months, this group grew, and the scope of the conversation expanded to include many issues including building a national coalition for the circus industry; recognition of circus as an art form; addressing equity, diversity, and inclusion within circus; response to the COVID-19 crisis; bridging the gap between circus students and the profession. These topics evolved into separate committees to envision potential services for the field such as regular advocacy activities and calls to action; an economic impact study for American circus; workshops and professional development; a group insurance plan; a North American touring network for circus; a diversity, equity and inclusion initiative; and a grant program for new circus productions....
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