Maximum Flexibility this Summer at Circus Center!

Our instructors have a busy summer planned! Some will be representing Circus Center at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in DC in July, others will be attending the National Youth Circus festival in New Jersey, and others have gigs, trips and more planned.

With all of their plans (and yours too!), we have opted to make all summer adult recreation classes drop-in only. Session enrollment will return as an option in the fall, but for the Summer 2017 session (June 5-Sept 3) all classes are drop-in enrollment and can be paid for with class packs or single credits.

Summer session will open for drop in enrollment at 10am on Tues May 9. The fastest way to enroll will be via your own MindBody account. Make sure that you have valid payment information and any necessary pre-reqs on your account in advance

Session enrollment typically offers our best pricing, but all class packs will be on sale starting May 5 so that you can continue to train within your budget. We WILL return to session enrollment for the fall and there will be NO extensions to class pack expiration dates, so purchase wisely!

Please note that if classes are full, get on the waitlist and don't be discouraged! The waitlist will be significantly more active over the summer since everyone can take advantage of the 24-hour cancellation policy.

We hope that this change gives you the chance to try a new instructor, get into a class that has previously been filled with session-enrolled students, and take a week or two off from training to enjoy your summer without losing class credits.

THE ONGOING IMPACT OF SHOW LOVE

Last winter, we ran the SHOW LOVE fundraiser to support our community production fund. The costs of putting on community shows, like the Winter and Spring Showcases, are not covered by class tuition or by ticket sales. Your contributions helped us raise over $17,000 to produce at least 5 original circus shows in 2017, 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 is a vital part of our mission, and you’ve made a big impact. Thank you!

Your donations have enabled Circus Center to make very specific and strategic purchases that affect everyone who performs in or attends a community production here. This is what we’ve accomplished so far:

Show Love Total Raised: $17,409
  • $3,200 - An amazing new light board, the ETC Colorsource 40 AV. This is an incredible upgrade that will produce beautiful, easy to use, and professional lighting for all of Circus Center’s community shows. See it in action at SFYC’s show Circus Fracas!
  • $1,575 - New speakers for Theater, which so far have been used by Clown Conservatory’s show The Supers and Circus Fracas - and all other theater shows going forward.
  • $1,935 - Lighting equipment, fogger and 3 microphones. Now the majority of our show lighting can run on normal extension cords, saving a lot of money on cabling, and we have four microphones for our performers, instead of one, for all of our shows.
  • $500 - Riggers adjusting middle point in the Theater so it’s exactly center stage.
  • $5,000 - Part of the Technical Director’s salary. A huge and important step for our organization, SHOW LOVE has helped us hire a Technical Director (hi Hector!), to help take the quality and professionalism of our productions to the next level, and keep you looking and sounding beautiful onstage.
Total so far: $12,210

Total remaining for future community shows: $5,199

Thank you for your support, and see you at the shows! Don’t miss Circus Fracas, April 29-May 13.

Here are some more words on why Circus Center runs fundraising campaigns like the New Net & Equipment Campaign and Show Love.

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 (2017) 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 SHOW LOVE and our recent major donor work, enable us to do important things that don’t cover their own costs, like community productions, outreach programs, and more. In this way, we’re much like any other non-profit.

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.



Final Update: New Net & Equipment Campaign

Last spring, we ran the New Net and Equipment Campaign, which started out as a $10,000 fundraiser 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 $27,000 – $17,000 over our original goal! – to support your equipment needs and the maintenance of our historic building. Here’s the final breakdown of what your donations to the New Net and Equipment Campaign have accomplished.

Of the $4,016 remaining at the end of our last update, we have been able to cover the follow expenses:
  • $1000 - Trapeze maintenance since January
  • $600 - New rope, rope covers, carabiners, swivels, and plates for Rope classes, purchased in March
  • $270 - Rescue 8s (rigging equipment) for tissus, purchased in March
  • $156 - Swivels for tissus, single point trapezes and other apparatuses, ordered in April
  • $900 - New tissus, ordered in April
  • $500 - Replacement ropes for trapezes, ordering in May
  • $590 - Order of new practice juggling balls, ordering in May
Total = $4,016

When you think about what last spring’s campaign did for Circus Center, it’s pretty amazing: a new flying net with maintenance for years; new mats in the theater and upstairs studio; new toilets in both restrooms; 13 pairs of custom-built stilts; and so much more. The New Net and Equipment Campaign made a huge impact on for Circus Center and everyone who trains here. Thank you for your support - look at the difference it made!

In part 2 of this post, see an update on last winter’s campaign, SHOW LOVE.

PS: Did you give $100 or more to the New Net campaign? Have you picked up your piece of the old net? If not (or you’re not sure) you still can! Just email Sarah - sarah@circuscenter.org or ask at the Front Desk next time you’re in.