The Impact of the New Net & Equipment Campaign

Last spring, we ran The New Net and Equipment Campaign, a fundraiser that started out as a $10,000 campaign to replace, install, and maintain our flying trapeze net. Thanks to a tremendous outpouring of support from you, our community, we ended up raising almost $26,000 - $16,000 over our original goal! - to support your equipment needs and the maintenance of our historic building.

As we announced in our October newsletter, your contributions have had a tremendous impact on Circus Center. Here’s a further breakdown of what donations to the New Net and Equipment Campaign have accomplished since the campaign ended in May:

Total raised during New Net & Equipment Campaign: $25,923

$2,800 - Purchasing and shipping the New Flying Trapeze Net - installed in September.
$2,500 - Net installation + maintenance for two years
$1,603 - Specialized tape and gauze for trapeze bar, replacement of eye bolts for travelling lines, flying gloves, and chalk
$1,500 - Gym deep clean & equipment room reorganization in September
$2,000 - Slightly used grey rolling mats in Theater, installed in September
$2,375 - 3 new toilets in both restrooms, installed in September
$1,953 - 13 pairs of new custom-made stilts, purchased in December
$390 - 1 new aerial hoop & taping, purchased in October
$200 - New lighting in lobby, installed in December
$3,586 - various small purchases like bands, shoes, rope and rope covers, velcro for mats, and building contortion platforms
$3,000 - Rigging maintenance and minor facility repairs

Total: $21,907
Remaining: $4,016 in reserve for upcoming equipment and maintenance needs.

**APRIL 2017 Update: SEE THE FINAL IMPACT OF THE NET CAMPAIGN HERE


WHY RAISE MONEY?

Circus Center’s mission is to spread the joy of circus through performance, training, and community outreach. Our total budget for this fiscal year is over $1.4 million dollars. That includes instructors, administration, and staff for the dozens of classes a week we offer, professional-track and recreational youth programs, the professional training program Clown Conservatory, a production season with 12+ shows a year, our adaptive circus outreach program, and maintenance and repair costs for our building and equipment.

Most of the revenue to cover these costs – about 85%, in fact – comes from tuition for classes, group events, and summer camps. So why bother raising money at all? The basic answer is, we run fundraising campaigns so we can better serve our community and pursue our mission. More specifically, we raise funds to make major investments in our operation, and in order to do the things that make us more than another gym, but a non-profit center for the circus arts.

When it comes to investments, we look at two kinds: new and deferred. If we hadn’t run the New Net and Equipment campaign, we still would have replaced the flying trapeze net. After all, it was time for it to be replaced. But without your support, we might not have been able to do everything else for months, maybe years, while we saved up: upgrade all the toilets, or purchase new stilts, or replace the lights in the lobby, or make other vital purchases and repairs. What’s more, our facility is almost 100 years old, and has had many of its maintenance and repair needs deferred over the years. Your phenomenal outpouring of support from the New Net & Equipment Campaign gave us the freedom and flexibility to begin to catch up on 20 years of much-needed repairs, purchase more equipment, and fix more things, faster, to give you a better circus training experience.

Other fundraising efforts, like our current campaign and our recent major donor work, enable us to do important things that don’t cover their own costs, like our community productions, outreach programs, and more. In this way, we’re much like any other non-profit out there. Our current campaign, SHOW LOVE, supports our community production fund. The costs of putting on community shows, like the Winter and Spring Showcases, is not covered by class tuition or by ticket sales. With your support, together we’ll create 5+ original circus shows next year, starring our talented community: professional-track youth, Clown Conservatory trainees, and advanced adult students. Sharing the magic of live circus, and creating valuable opportunities for our talented community to perform and share their art with their community, is a vital part of our mission.

With your donations, partnership, and advocacy, we can bring the same professional quality shows, training, and outreach to the community we have loved and served for over 30 years. Thank you for your support, past and present, and for being part of the Circus Center family.


A Sneak Peek at the SF Youth Circus' Upcoming Original Show

This April and May, the young artists of Circus Center's pre-professional performance troupe, the San Francisco Youth Circus, will produce an original, full-length circus production. This year, it's something new: an intimate, story-driven show in the Circus Center Theater.

Inspired by the classic "dance battle" story, the show follows two competing schools heading to a circus competition, when suddenly their bus breaks down on a farm that just happens to house a mischievous young sprite. Can the competitors work together to get their acts to the competition in time? Or will they get SERVED? It's on!

"There's nothing better than hearing the audience react!" - Eli

Under the guidance of Steve Smith, the show's director and Circus Center's Creative Director, SFYC's young artists have been involved in every aspect of the show's development. Building on their in-class intensives on act-building and their years of circus training, they'll be doing everything from deciding on the theme to creating a storyline and characters to staging. There will even be a set painting party.

"Shows are a way to show off your talent, and bond and work as a team." - Mia

Director Smith adds: "The discipline of putting on a theatrical production like this helps our young artists in every avenue of life. Our two biggest values are respect - of yourself, your audience, and your craft - and focus. They learn to manage time, collaborate, and work and create as a team."

"Circus is really good for acceptance. You don't have to hide your quirks to fit in." - Klara

This show is one of the low-cost/pay-what-you-can community productions the SHOW LOVE campaign is all about: creating high-quality, original work by our pre-professional student artists that celebrates their talent, creativity, and years of hard work training.

"It's nice knowing you made someone's day because they saw your performance."- Montie

By supporting SHOW LOVE, you help give Circus Center's young and dedicated performers the chance to grow and create more excellent original and low-cost shows - for you. Please consider giving to SHOW LOVE today. Thank you!

Are those Circus Center alums in those Luzia ads?

"THE SPARK AND DRIVE TO PERFORM"
Luzia and Back Pocket Acrobat Maya Kesselman shares her Circus Center story

Just who are those colorful hummingbirds we're seeing all over town in Cirque du Soleil's Luzia posters? They're Circus Center alums Maya Kesselman, Marta Henderson, Devin Henderson, and Dominic Cruz, and their troupe, Back Pocket! They've been on tour with Luzia since last May, where you can see them performing an electrifying hoop diving act on a speeding treadmill.

Maya started training in Circus Center's youth program at age 10, along with future troupe members Marta, Devin, and Dom. She's since graduated from L'Ecole Superieure des Arts du Cirque in Brussels, Belgium, toured (and won a gold medal at the 34th Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain) with Trio Anneaux, and formed Back Pocket (follow them here!). Needless to say, we're impressed, and absolutely thrilled to see her and the rest of Back Pocket back in town.

Maya graciously took time out of her busy training and performance schedule to share why she thinks circus is worth supporting, and how performing as a youth at Circus Center built her love of circus into a career:

"What inspired you to train with such dedication when you were young?
It was the challenge. I really liked that it was something you had to be disciplined about. Circus was not something that came easily to me...this wasn't just about strength, it was performance and adrenaline and working in a team. And performing is amazing, I love performing.
The best part is the people I get to work with. Obviously, I'm still working with them! Circus has a really good community backing it up. The community is the reason why I stuck with it all these years.

Why should someone donate to support performances at Circus Center?
Let's say I'm a circus artist, and I practice 5 days a week, and can do a back flip or whatever - I'm practicing the technique of circus, but that is not the only thing it's about.

Circus is about sharing what you do with an audience, and having that kind of connection with an audience, and being onstage and connecting with the people you're performing with. It's not the same as just practicing offstage. It gives you a whole different feeling...It opens our community's eyes to what circus is.


Together we can give Circus Center's dedicated students, young and adult, the chance to discover and share their love of performance like Maya, Marta, Dom, and Devin did.

Show your circus love. Donate here today: www.circuscenter.org/donate

You can support us while you shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday! Shop through Amazon Smile and Amazon will donate to Circus Center, just click the link: smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3173332.

SHOW LOVE with Circus Center this Winter!

Show Love: donate to support Circus Center’s community productions!

Circus Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has been spreading the joy of circus through performance, training, and outreach since 1984. This year, we ask you to join our mission and support our season of free/low-cost/pay-what-you-can performances.

Giving is easy! Just click here: www.circuscenter.org/donate

WE LOVE TO PERFORM FOR YOU!

In 2016, we produced 4 high-quality free/low-cost/PWYC shows (not including the Cabaret!) They featured our spectacularly talented youth, adult recreational students, Clown Conservatory students, and instructors displaying all the circus arts we teach here, including hoop, aerial straps, clowning, juggling, diabolo, hand-balancing, rope, Chinese Pole, flying on San Francisco’s only permanent flying trapeze, and more.

WHERE DOES A DONATION GO?

Donations make it possible for Circus Center to continue to offer multiple free/low cost/PWYC shows by and for our community every year. They cover things like:

$25 - Rental of one lighting cable (a show can use anywhere from 20-25 cables)

$50 - Base costume pieces for one performer (a show usually has 20-30 costumes)

$100 - Follow-spot rental (we use 2 per show so you can be seen!)

$200 - Extra speakers (we rent 2-4 per show so you can hear!)

$500 - Makeup for a full cast (So they can be beautiful! Or spooky, or funny...whatever the show requires.)

$1000 - A basic set piece

Not to mention essential items like compensation for talented directors and creative staff to develop shows, design and printing costs for our beautiful posters, flyers, and programs, increased building cleaning and utility costs, food for performers...

HERE’S WHAT’S NEXT:

In 2017, we have at least 4 more full-length community shows planned:

March: Clown Conservatory’s full-length clown show
May: The San Francisco Youth Circus’ annual Spring production
September: The Adult Recreational Student Show in the Theater (more on that soon!)
December: The beloved annual Winter Showcase

All community shows will continue to be low-cost, free, or Pay What You Can, so everyone can experience the joy of circus.

YOU LOVE LIVE CIRCUS!

You know that nothing compares to the magic of live circus performance, up close and personal. By producing a regular season of student performances, Circus Center gives our students a spotlight that honors the dedication and love they pour into training, and gives valuable experience for those pursuing professional circus dreams.

But most importantly, performances let us share the wonder of live circus with our beloved community - YOU!

SHOW YOUR LOVE: DONATE TODAY

Circus performance is important, now more than ever. Performance is an essential part of sharing everything that circus means to us.

With your continued support, we can invest in our student performers and the artists that develop new circus works every day here at Circus Center, and share the delight and majesty of circus performance with our beloved circus community.

Thank you - and see you at the show!

Click here to give: www.circuscenter.org/donate
 
HAVE QUESTIONS?

Can I donate offline (check or cash)?
Definitely! All donations made this winter will go to support our community productions. Simply mail or drop off your donation at 755 Frederick St, SF, CA 94117

I’m having trouble with donating on Generosity, help!
Check with the Generosity help desk here, or email Sarah directly: sarah@circuscenter.org

Is this tax-deductible?
You betcha! Circus Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and all donations are fully tax-deductible.

How do I find out if my employer does gift matching?
Employer gift matching is a super easy way to double the impact of your donation! Check here to see if your employer has a program: https://doublethedonation.com/freedomhouse
We are always ready to help in any way we can!

Can I get a receipt?
In addition to your receipt from Generosity, we send all our donors a donation receipt and thank you letter after the campaign closes. Thank you so much for your support!

What is your tax ID?
94-3173332

Where can I learn more about Circus Center?
Check our website: www.circuscenter.org or email the Student Services Team: info@circuscenter.org

I have a question, concern, or comment.
Let Sarah know at sarah@circuscenter.org.

This winter, help us Show Love - donate to support affordable, accessible circus by and for our community.

Recent Mention for Circus Center in the Press

Bay Area for Sale recently featured us in an article: San Francisco's Circus Center Gives Everyone a Chance to Fly the Trapeze. See what they have to offer for San Francisco, CA Real Estate


Winter 2017 Session Enrollment Starts Nov 1

We are excited to announce the opening of Winter 2017 Session Enrollment! Classes will open for Full Session Enrollment on Thursday, November 17 at 10:00 am.

Here's the Session Schedule (also available here):

Weekly Schedule - Acro_copy
Weekly Schedule - Aerial_copy1

Winter Session runs from Tuesday, January 3 through Sunday, March 26, 2017. Monday classes meet 11 times and classes on all other days of the week meet 12 times. Full Session pricing is as follows:

  General Advanced Premium
11 Weeks (Mon) $198 $308 $330
12 Weeks (Tu-Sun) $216 $336 $360

Class space is limited! To ensure that students receive only the best instruction, we keep classes small and intimate. Session enrollment guarantees your place in class for all weeks. For each enrollment you purchase, you are eligible for one make-up class that you can use for any reason at any point during the term.

Drop-in enrollment for Winter Session opens November 28, 2016, and can be purchased as a single class, a 5-class pack or a 10-class pack. Please remember that space is not guaranteed in every week should you choose drop-in enrollment.

A few notes for you:
  • If you need a prerequisite, make sure to get this ON YOUR ACCOUNT prior to Thursday! If you don't have a prereq, we can't hold a spot for you.
  • If you call/email/come in prior to 10:00 am on Thursday, we will not be able to take your request. If you email prior to 10:00 am, that email will go to the bottom of our list after we address the people who register after 10:00 am. It's only fair!
  • Make sure you have an up-to-date payment method on your account. If the payment doesn't go through, we will notify you, but we may not be able to hold the spot for you.
  • Session enrollment is FINAL SALE. No changing classes, no sharing with another person, and there is ONE MAKE-UP per session. Exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis and ONLY with a documented medical issue.
  • The Student Services Team will be very busy with session enrollments on Thursday, so they will be unable to handle most other requests. Thank you in advance for your understanding.
On Thursday, November 17 at 10:00 am,
Call 415-759-8123 or send an e-mail to info@circuscenter.org to enroll!

2016 Winter Showcase Auditions

Circus Center wants YOU to audition for our annual all-school Winter Showcase, December 10 & 11! Directed by local director, playwright, Clown Conservatory instructor Colin Johnson, this year's theme tackles the agony and the ecstasy of holiday travel. Think "Planes, Trains, & Automobiles," done up circus style!

AUDITIONS
Saturday, October 15
3:00-5:00 pm

Sunday, October 16
5:30-8:30 pm

IMPORTANT SHOW DATES
  • Sunday, November 6 -- rehearsal (late afternoon/evening)
  • Saturday, November 19 -- rehearsal (evening)
  • Saturday, November 26 -- rehearsal (late afternoon/evening)
  • Saturday, December 3 -- Tech rehearsal (evening)
  • Saturday, December 10 -- Call 1p, Dress rehearsal 3p, Dinner break, call 5p, show 7:30p
  • Sunday, December 11 -- Call 1p, show 3p, all-hands strike after show
HOW TO SIGN UP 
Email auditions@circuscenter.org with information about your act (acro, aerial, etc.) and any technical or rigging needs for the audition.

WHO CAN AUDITION
Auditions are open to everyone, and everyone is encouraged to give it a shot! 

HOW TO AUDITION
Just sign up for a slot and show us what you've got! If you have an act, bring that; if you don't yet, bring as much as you have to show us. If you already have music, we want to hear it. If you have your costume or pieces of it, we'd love to see you perform in it! If you need equipment or rigging, let us know, we can usually provide it. If you can't make it to audition in person, you are invited to submit a video of your act (or act-in-development). Send it to auditions@circuscenter.org.

For questions, more information, or to sign up, you can reach the director by emailing auditions@circuscenter.org.

New Flying Trapeze Net Party: Sept 24!

This is amazing! It’s real! You made it happen! Thank you for making the new net a reality with your donation to the New Net & Equipment Campaign.

We are thrilled to invite you to:

Circus Center’s New Net Welcoming Reception and Silent Auction
September 24, 2016
6:30pm-9:30pm

Join us in giving the new flying trapeze net a warm Circus Center family welcome.

Free swings and a special demo by the Circus Center Flyers

Take a swing. Or a swig - there will be refreshments.

If you were a Memento-level donor or above, this is your chance to pick up your souvenir pieces of the old net!

Silent Auction proceeds support ongoing maintenance of the net and flying rig.

Plus, we’re also celebrating the Circus Center Cabaret’s Second Season! FULL SWING, our September Cabaret, goes on at 8pm! Purchase a ticket or enjoy special season perks by joining The Producers Circle here: www.circuscenter.org/cabaret

(The New Net Welcome Reception is family friendly; the Circus Center Cabaret is 21+)

See you there!



Avoid the Scramble – Go For Full Session Enrollment This Fall

Full Session Enrollment has exploded in popularity for Fall 2016 classes! As of this writing, over 60% of the spots in our Advanced classes have been claimed by full session students, and many classes are full or almost full. Several of our General classes are filling up fast, too.

The reasons why Full Session Enrollment is so popular are clear:
  • Best prices
  • Guaranteed spot in class
  • Priority registration period (ends Friday morning)
If you want to take advantage of these benefits and lock down your spot in your favorite classes, today and tomorrow are the days to do it. (Full Session Enrollment will still be available after Friday, but drop-in registration will greatly reduce availability.) Avoid the rush - sign up today and save!

To purchase a Full Session Enrollment, call the Student Services Team at (415)-759-8123, email info@circuscenter.org, or just stop by the Front Desk.

Drop-in registration for fall session opens Friday, August 12 at 10:00 AM. These can be purchased as a single class, a 5-class pack or a 10-class pack. Please remember that space is not guaranteed in every week should you choose drop-in enrollment.

To check out our schedule of Fall Classes, visit our Schedule Page to download a PDF version.

Fall 2016 Session Enrollment Starts August 1

We are excited to announce the opening of Fall 2016 Session Enrollment on Monday! Classes will open for Full Session Enrollment on Monday, August 1 at 10:00 am.

Fall Session runs from Tuesday, September 6 through Friday, December 23, 2016. Our per-class session rates still offer students the greatest savings:
  • General Session: $18/class
  • Advanced Session: $28/class
  • Premium Session: $30/class
Class space is limited! To ensure that students receive only the best instruction, we keep classes small and intimate. Session enrollment guarantees your place in class for all weeks. For each enrollment you purchase, you are eligible for one make-up class that you can use for any reason at any point during the term.

Drop-in enrollment for Fall Session opens August 12, 2016, and can be purchased as a single class, a 5-class pack or a 10-class pack. Please remember that space is not guaranteed in every week should you choose drop-in enrollment.

Fall Schedule is coming soon! We are currently hard at work finalizing everything, so check your inbox or our website - we'll have the complete list of classes available no later than Friday.

A few notes for you:
  • If you need a prerequisite, make sure to get this ON YOUR ACCOUNT prior to Monday! If you don't have a prereq, we can't hold a spot for you.
  • If you call/email/come in prior to 10:00 am on Monday, we will not be able to take your request. If you email prior to 10:00 am, that email will go to the bottom of our list after we address the people who register after 10:00 am. It's only fair!
  • Make sure the payment method on your account is updated. If the payment doesn't go through, we will notify you, but we may not be able to hold the spot for you.
  • Session enrollment is FINAL SALE. No changing classes, no sharing with another person, and there is ONE MAKE-UP per session. Exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis and ONLY with a documented medical issue.
  • You can sign up for summer classes using Class Packs starting Friday, August 12.
  • The Student Services Team will be very busy with session enrollments on Monday, so they will be unable to handle most other requests. Thank you in advance for your understanding.
On Monday, August 1 at 10:00 am,
Call 415-759-8123 or send an e-mail to info@circuscenter.org to enroll!

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