Circus News

Wake Up Call for Inclusion 03 – Institutional Barriers and Individual Biases in the Performing Arts for Women of Color

This panel is part of CircusTalk’s Wake Up Call for Inclusion series. In this episode, titled Institutional Barriers and Individual Biases in the Performing Arts for Women of Color, we explore how women of color in the performing arts, specifically in the circus industry, experience life at the intersection of race and gender. By examining historical instances of systemic racism, examples of microaggressions, and systemic incidences and policies in the performing arts which lead to exclusion, we will explore some action items for improving inclusivity for women of color in our sector.
Moderator
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
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Wake Up Call for Inclusion is curated by Andrea Honis.
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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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