Thank you to everyone who contributed to our Willamette Week Give!Guide campaign! Together we raised $30,605 to support our Social Circus work and other programs!
The Circus Project’s award-winning outreach programs provide specialized training to homeless and at-risk youth with a therapeutic approach, free of cost, by utilizing the unique appeal of circus arts to impart essential life skills such as self-care, discipline, communication, and accountability. We offer multiple outreach programs to address the diverse spectrum of needs and abilities within the population of homeless and at-risk youth, and provide opportunities for continued engagement and advancement within our recreational and pre-professional programs.
Partnerships with human services agencies enable us to reach a wide range of youth at risk, including homeless/parentless youth, foster children, victims of domestic violence, victims of sexual and physical abuse, and youth suffering from mental and emotional disorders. The program is flexible by design to accommodate the unique needs of both partner organizations and the youth they serve. Our partners include:
- Boys & Girls Club
- Friends of the Children
- New Avenues for Youth
- Bridge Meadows
- Janus Youth Center
Circus in the Schools
Circus in the Schools provides year-round exposure to circus and performing arts to youth from low-income families with little to no access to arts or athletic programs. Our partners include:
- Native American Youth and Family Services
- Self Enhancement, Inc.
- Ockley Green Elementary School
- Beach Elementary School
- Boise-Eliot Elementary School
- The SUN Program
- Creston Elementary
- Impact NW
Participants in our High Flyers & Circus in the Schools programs who are able to meet the demands of our public classes are awarded scholarship slots to continue their training through recreational or pre-professional classes as appropriate.
“The Circus Project made me who I want to be—which is not to say that I always wanted to be a trapeze artist, but I always wanted to be strong, I wanted to be really capable—and all those qualities are qualities that I got by joining the circus.”
—Kole Render, Training Company Graduate
“The difference between this and other nonprofit programs was that nothing was handed to us; we had to work for it. Nobody gave me a job, or a grant, or a place to live, but I soon realized I would never complete the program without those basic needs. Circus motivated me to achieve them…never have I met a team of people with so much invested in my life and my future. These people believed in me, I guess that’s what having a coach is like.…I learned how to effectively communicate with my peers, how to observe and vocalize my safety boundaries, how to organize my time, how to build and maintain healthy relationships and how to eat nutritiously, among countless other valuable skills that played a major part in my recent transition from homelessness.”
—Nel Taylor, Training Company Graduate
“I’m grateful to the circus project for igniting a passion in me that I didn’t know I had. Giving me hope for a future better than the streets.”
—Josh Davis, High Flyers Student
“The Circus Project has been the turning point in my life. It gave me a sense of hope and purpose and wonder again. I turned everything around in a matter of months: I moved inside after 4 years of living on the streets. I quit drinking and smoking. 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
“Given the small group nature of the program, the kids had a chance to talk about personal issues. They opened up and talked to staff about their conflicts with peers, conflicts at school, and relationship and body issues. Every Thursday, they felt like they were part of something truly special.”
—Abdiel Currud, Boys & Girls Club