The Circus Project’s award-winning outreach program strives to provide support for people who face barriers to arts participation. We offer multiple approaches to address the diverse spectrum of needs and abilities and provide opportunities for continued engagement and advancement within our recreational and pre-professional programs.
In 2018, we offered over $30,000 in scholarships to students in need. However, a decade of experience has shown us that cost is only one of the many barriers to arts access for underserved youth and adults and we have recently expanded our programing to address the diversity of needs we see. In our new Pathways program, we collaborate directly with social service partners and students to identify and support youth and adults facing a variety of systemic barriers who are drawn to circus but need resources and a plan to be able to engage more fully with our programs. In addition to working with each student to co-create a training plan, our Pathways coordinator connects students with resources as needed, including athletic wear, food, bus tickets, access to showers and personal hygiene items, mentorship, translation or childcare.
Pathways includes outreach classes through our community partnerships, individualized student support as needed, and organizational assessment to ensure the Circus Project is an accessible space for all.
The Voice Project
In 2019, we are spearheading a new project made possible by a grant from Cirque du Soleil. The Voice Project is a year-long program in which youth will create a circus arts performance centered around a social justice issues. Learn more about the project here.
Previous partners include:
Boys & Girls Club
Friends of the Children
New Avenues for Youth
Janus Youth Center
Native American Youth and Family Services
Self Enhancement, Inc.
If you are interested in applying for a financial scholarship or other support, please feel free to contact us.
“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
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