On January 8, 2014, in conjunction with the Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival, Circus Now hosted Speaking Circus Chicago, an hour long seminar about the state of the circus arts for Chicago-area journalists and presenters.

The second installment in the Speaking Circus series, inspired by Unpack the Arts, the European Residency Programme for Cultural Journalists, the seminar was designed to cultivate a more sophisticated relationship between American contemporary circus industry and local media and presenters.

The seminar featured presentations and panelists including Kiana Harris Simon (Events Director, Actor’s Gymnasium),  Shayna Swanson and Matt Roben (Co-Producers, Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival, and Andreane Leclerc (circus artist). They explored such topics as: creating a contemporary circus festival in America, the history of contemporary circus, how circus is made, and the most fundamental question of all: what is circus? All this with the intention of elevating the discourse about contemporary circus in the US.

All in all, we here at Circus Now think Speaking Circus was a huge success. There were a total of 25 attendees at the seminar, which occurred at the Athenaeum Theater in preparation for the festival press event, which featured performances by Flip Fabrique, Acrobatic Conundrum, Dana Dugan, and the Ricochet Project.

We’d like to offer our sincerest thanks to the venues, facilities, and organizations that supported us in our seminar, especially the Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival and the Quebec Cultural Office for their logistical support. We look forward to producing more of these events around the country. If you’re interested in helping organize or support an event in your community, please contact us at events@circusnow.org.