The Campaign

Phase I
Get in the door, COMPLETE!

We raised $250,000 in Phase I of our Expansion Campaign to cover renovations and new equipment, thanks to our core foundations and individual supporters. 

Phase II
Get up & running—Here is where you come in!

Phase II of our Expansion Campaign relies on you, our beloved community. We need to raise $200,000 to cover:

  1. New classes
  2. Increased operating support
  3. Cash Flow Reserve 
  4. Maintenance Fund
  5. Additional staff
  6. Expand outreach
  7. Establish scholarship funds

“[The Circus Project] instills in us this want—and somewhat of a need—to be able to push ourselves, and believe in ourselves, and make ourselves better.” 

—Charlotte Ives, previously homeless youth

Give to the Circus Project


Our ability to offer training programs free of cost to youth in need and create cutting-edge, new work that challenges our assumptions of human potential depends upon the generosity of friends like you. Your donations ensure that the Circus Project will continue to transform the lives of those we touch. We are because of you!  


Give By Telephone or By Mail 

Call (503) 764-9174 to make a one-time or ongoing contribution.

Send a check or credit card payment to:
The Circus Project
1420 NW 17th Ave. #388
Portland, OR 97209

Download the Circus Project Donation Form

Special thanks to our recent donors

Arlene Schnitzer
Cirque du Soleil
Hoover Family Foundation
McGeady Family Foundation
Pediatric Dental Group
Wieden & Kennedy



The Circus Project is at a pivotal moment. Your contribution during the final phase of our Expansion Campaign will more than quadruple the number of students we serve in three years. It will fuel new artistic projects that challenge assumptions of human potential and inspire audiences around the country. It will provide a training place and employment for professional artists, and a home base for homeless students to train, shower, work, and interact with larger community. 

Moreover, it will create a stream of earned income that will sustain the organization and the youth we serve for years to come—so that children from all backgrounds can actualize their innate potential and become the gifted leaders they were destined to be.

Give a kid a meal and you feed him for a day. Teach a kid to fly and you feed her for a lifetime.



Nel Taylor lived on the streets from the age of 14-18, and was heavily involved in drugs before finding the Circus Project. Taylor is now a multi-unit operations manager for T-Mobile, and is in the process of recording a second album with her band. Here at the Circus Project, she is the norm, not the exception. 

“Never have I met a team of people with so much invested in my life and my future.” 

—Nel Taylor, Graduate of the Circus Project’s Intensive Training Company in 2011

Art is food for the soul, but here at the Circus Project, it’s also a concrete pathway to independence for homeless and at-risk youth. The Circus Project’s award-winning Social Circus programs utilize circus arts as a vehicle to teach self-care, discipline, accountability, and teamwork to youth for whom other paradigms have failed. Our proven methodologies revolutionize the approach to social services by empowering marginalized youth to become creative directors of their own lives. 

Since our inception in 2008, the Circus Project has worked with over 600 youth and 30 social service agencies though our Social Circus programs, which offer a continuum of training opportunities to empower marginalized youth. The results have been profound:  100% of graduates from our Intensive Training Company have gotten off the streets, and all are currently employed.


A Place to Call Home

Though our impact was apparent, our ability to sustain these vital programs and meet increasing demand was hampered by the scheduling limitations and size of our teaching space. 

After a four-year search, we found the perfect space in Portland’s Pearl District. A dedicated training facility that allows for enough growth in earned income from public classes to support a larger student and audience reach, and fuel new artistic projects. Moreover, it will radically shift our business model: our income in 2014 was 66% contributed, 34% earned. By 2017, we project it will flip to 68% earned, 32% contributed.  

The 4,184 square foot facility meets our unusual ceiling height requirements and is ADA accessible. It’s walking distance from shelters serving homeless youth and has a shower, kitchen, and study area. The Circus Project now has excellent street visibility and fantastic neighbors—a children’s play center, world-famous martial arts facility, and a rock climbing gym. And the ‘piece de resistance’? Two parking lots!

“It gave me a sense of hope and purpose and wonder again. When I’m on the trapeze, it’s the place where all my scattered pieces come together; the meeting place of body, mind and spirit.”

—Jessica Coshatt, High Flyers Student