|Big Apple Circus announces the expansion of its Circus After School Program to include two new partnerships last month, with Children of Promise NYC (CPNYC) and The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine.
Circus After School is a twelve-week program, now offered at five partner sites in New York, providing young people with the unique opportunity to develop life-enhancing skills such as teamwork, trust, commitment, and responsible risk-taking through a structured program of learning and performing circus arts, culminating in a performance for family and friends. Additionally, all of the participants take a field trip to a performance of the Big Apple Circus, where they can appreciate what they have learned by watching the awe-inspiring skills of the world’s top performers.
Young people and education have been a part of the Circus since its founding in 1977, reflecting the enduring appeal the circus arts have for children from all walks of life. Circus is an ideal activity for after-school enrichment, and over the years the Big Apple Circus has sustained its commitment to educational programming. Throughout, it has provided young people with the highest quality experience, engaging and empowering them to achieve their full potential. For more information on Circus After Schooland more Big Apple Circus Community Programs, visit www.bigapplecircus.org/community-programs.
Children of Promise, NYC (CPNYC) is a community-based, nonprofit organization in Bedford-Stuyvesant (Bed-Stuy) Brooklyn, whose mission is to embrace the children of incarcerated parents and empower them to break the cycle of intergenerational involvement in the criminal justice system.
CPNYC offers an innovative and unique after-school program and summer day camp, the only one of its kind in New York City, specifically designed to meet the needs, interests and concerns of children left behind by parents serving time in prison. www.cpnyc.org
The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine is an independent, Episcopal, K-8 day school for girls and boys of all faiths. The School is committed to a rigorous academic program that integrates the arts, athletics, and leadership development. The School prides itself on being a diverse community in partnership with families who take an active role in their children’s intellectual, ethical, social, and emotional growth. The Cathedral School offers a stimulating environment in which each child can become an articulate, confident, and responsible citizen of the world. Continuing a century-old relationship, the School draws upon the Cathedral’s vast resources and provides its children’s choir. www.cathedralnyc.org
As a nonprofit performing arts institution, the Big Apple Circus is committed not only to thrilling audiences in the ring, but also to bringing the joy and wonder of circus into the community. Big Apple Circus creates direct, shared connections inside its one-ring Big Top AND in hospitals, nursing homes, and schools, in its New York City home and in cities across America.
“These performers, many from circus dynasties, preserve an important tradition, reinforced by the nonprofit Big Apple Circus’s commendable community-service activities, notably the
Clown Care program, which entertains hospitalized children. This company … doesn’t only have awe-inspiring acrobatic skills; it has a lot of heart, too.”
– The New York Times, 2014 Critics’ Pick
Big Apple Circus Clown Care® brings the joy of classical circus to hospitalized children at 15 leading pediatric facilities across the United States. Performers collaborate with doctors and staff to design a program to fit the needs of each hospital. Members of the Clown Care team bring the healing power of humor to children with acute and chronic illnesses, visiting nearly 225,000 young patients every year.
Big Apple Circus offers a specially adapted performance of the show, Circus of the Senses, for children and adults with vision or hearing impairments and/or other disabilities. American Sign Language interpreters are positioned in spotlights throughout the tent, and wireless audio headsets transmit a live audio play-by-play description of the action in the ring. Braille or large-print descriptive programs are available for audience members. A “touch session” after the show offers a unique opportunity for pre-selected groups of visually impaired children to go into the ring to meet the artists and literally feel a clown nose, a juggler’s clubs, or the silky coat of a performing dog. Big Apple Circus Embraces Autism provides performances with modified lighting and sound as well as a staffed calming center, to meet the needs of children on the autism spectrum. Inclusion is a core value at Big Apple Circus, which is dedicated to delivering the finest circus entertainment to everyone, regardless of physical or cognitive ability, or economic circumstance.
Circus for All!distributes free and subsidized tickets to schools and nonprofit organizations serving low-income children and families, enabling many of them to experience the excitement and wonder of the circus for the very first time.
Circus After School teaches kids life skills such as teamwork, responsible risk-taking, and perseverance, through a structured program of learning and performing circus arts.
About Big Apple Circus
(Will Maitland Weiss, Executive Director; Guillaume Dufresnoy, Artistic Director)
Conceived and founded by Paul Binder and Michael Christensen to be a leading presenter of live family entertainment and a nonprofit performing arts institution, our nation-wide performances and community programs have made our 38-year history far-reaching and full. It all began in 1974, when American entertainers Binder and Christensen became juggling partners and took to the street corners of Europe. Their comedic juggling act was a hit, and they soon found themselves on the stage of the prestigious Nouveau Cirque de Paris. They returned home to America in 1976 with a vision: to entertain and improve the lives of millions of American children and families. One year later, they found a site for the first tent-raising in Battery Park, New York, and went on to create the award-winning, nonprofit Big Apple Circus. For more information, visit www.bigapplecircus.org.