It’s hard to believe that Circus Now will only be 3 years old in the Fall of 2016, with only a year and a half as an official 501c3. With the enthusiastic support of over 70 volunteers, countless hours, donations, memberships, and an overwhelming willingness of the community to step in, we, the collective Circus Now family, were able to build the foundation that circus in America needs.

Since its inception, Circus Now has raised a total of $51,000, started three major annual programs, five online initiatives, and has become the third most liked circus organization on Facebook after Cirque du Soleil and Ringling Bros. As we move into our third year, Circus Now has two new major projects that we’re directing our efforts towards over the next 18 months.

The Circus Now Residency Program

Using the connections that we have developed over the past three years with venues, Circus Now has set the goal of creating 3 ongoing 6-8 week creation residencies at theatrical/dance venues for emerging American companies. These residencies will give emerging companies the chance to work with an established director/choreographer and produce a new work for showing. We’re in the planning phase for the pilot residency now and are hoping to launch the application and selection process in fall of 2016!

Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2017

Managing Director, Adam Woolley is assisting the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage on research, development, and planning for the Circus Arts program at the 2017 Smithsonian Folklife Festival at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Circus Now will be helping to support some participants and narrative stage components of the program and will be working with the American Youth Circus Organization and American Circus Educators Association on the representation of youth, social, and other emerging circus artists in the US. For more information about what is being planned for the Circus Arts program at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 2017  Click Here. Circus Now members also can contact Adam Woolley directly at about ways to get involved and help support!

If this has you wondering how we plan to spend (and have spent) the money we receive through donations and memberships, please take a look.

Other Key Action Areas

Board Development – We will be expanding our Board of Directors and will develop committee structure including a fund development committee and an artistic advisory council.

Fund Development – Over the next three years, we will refine our fund development process and pursue sponsorships and partnerships that will generate grass roots support, widespread public support by way of sponsorships, and support from foundations.

Media and Public Relations – We will focus our efforts on producing a series of literary works that profile the current circus landscape so that the mainstream media and public can accurately understand the breadth and activity within. We plan to publish regular information and critique on quality circus – what it is, who’s doing it, and where to find it. Lastly, we will continue to produce guidance and professional development for performers and emerging professionals.

Volunteer Network – We will establish priority presence and ambassadors at key events, with the aim of supporting and expanding the community.

Data Collection – We will establish a reliable baseline for the number of people who self-identify as circus people, create a comprehensive database of circus arts groups in the USA, and identify the most promising performers in this group.