Circus Fans of America—Seeking Next Generation of Torchbearers for Traditional Circus - CircusTalk

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Circus Fans of America—Seeking Next Generation of Torchbearers for Traditional Circus

In a circular ballroom on the twelfth floor of Springfield’s La Quinta hotel with a stunning view of western Massachusetts, over one hundred dedicated members of Circus Fans of America (CFA) gathered for a three day celebration at their annual convention. Founded in 1926, the Circus Fans Association of America was created to give support to traveling circuses and circus performers. Now with around 2,000 members and less than a decade shy of one hundred years later, their brochure touts unwavering dedication to this mission, stating “The Circus Fan will do their utmost to create a true understanding and appreciation of the educational, historical, cultural and recreational values of the circus, with or without animals.” 
CFA members mingle after the Costumes and Choreography panel Local chapters of the CFA are called “Tents,” which are named after living or deceased circus owners, producers or performers. Tents schedule local events that usually coincide with circus performances. Sometimes CFA members will be on hand with coffee and donuts when a circus arrives in a new town. Members will attend a performance as a group and then might invite the circus employees to a luncheon. Many members also work with circus schools through CFA’s Circus 4 Youth. Membership includes a subscription to the CFA’s publication, White Tops, which includes article...
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Madeline Hoak

Madeline Hoak is an artist and academic who creates with, through, and about circus. She is a Writer for CircusTalk, Adjunct Professor of Aerial Arts and American Circus History at Pace University, Editor and Curatorial Director of TELEPHONE: an international arts game, and curator and director of Cirkus Moxie, a weekly contemporary circus show at Brooklyn Art Haus. Madeline has performed, coached, produced, and choreographed at elite regional and international venues. Her background in dance and physical theater is infiltrated into her coaching and creation style. She is passionate about providing her students holistic circus education that includes physical, historical, theoretical resources. Madeline initiated the Aerial Acrobatics program at her alma mater, Muhlenberg College, where she taught from 2012-2017. She is also a regular contributor to Cirkus Syd's Circus Thinkers international reading group. Her circus research has been supported by Pace, NYU, and Concordia University. Recent publications include "Teaching the Mind-Body: Integrating Knowledges through Circus Arts'' (with Alisan Funk, Dan Berkley), a chapter in Art as an Agent for Social Change, "expanding in(finite) between," a multimedia essay in Circus Thinks: Reflections, 2020, and "Digital Dance & TELEPHONE: A Unique Spectator Experience." Madeline has presented academic papers at numerous conferences including Circus and its Others (UC Davis), International Federation for Theatre Research (University of Reykjavík), the Popular Culture Association, Gallatin (NYU), and McGill University. Madeline earned an MA from Gallatin, New York University’s School of Independent Study, where she designed a Circus Studies curriculum with a focus on spectatorship.