Social Circus

What is Social Circus?


American Circus Educators Association has adapted Cirque du Soleil’s definition of Social Circus: Itsocial circus is a social change intervention that uses the circus arts as a tool for fostering personal and social development of identified “at-risk” individuals. Primarily, the goal of social circus is to nurture participant’s self-esteem and trust in others. 

Secondly, social circus goals are focused on the personal, social and emotional development of the participants. For example, “at-risk” youth can mean survivors of trauma, indigenous peoples, refugees, people with disabilities, homeless, low-income, incarcerated individuals, etc.).

social circusTypically, social circus programs partner with other organizations (i.e., social, health & educational services, government, schools, foundations, religious institutions) to maximize participant safety and connection to needed resources (e.g., food, transportation, social work, tutoring).

In addition, funding from individual outside sources enables participation by a significant proportion of an at-risk population who otherwise could not afford to attend these programs. 

Amazing Grace CIRCUS!’s social circus social circusgoal is to be everyone’s ‘community circus with a social purpose’. For 15 years, we have trained, performed for and served over 75,000 children and teens to fulfill our mission. 

Our mission is to build C.I.R.C.U.S. into kid’s lives: Confidence. Imagination. Resiliency. Cooperation. Understanding. Success.

Our participants come from all walks of ‘at-risk’ life. Examples of programs we have created out of community need over the past 15 years:

  • The Sensory Circus: created for children on the autism spectrum. Partner Organization: Autism Speaks and Board of Cooperative Education.
  • Circus for Life: Gang-prevention program held during lunchtime; participants identified by guidance counselors. Partner Organizations: Nyack Middle School, Episcopal Charities of NY, and Grace Church Nyack.
  • CircusGYM: In-school circus arts skills are taught during 3rd grade PE class; school selection based on 70%+ students receiving free/reduced-rate lunch. Partner Organizations: West Haverstraw Elementary School, The Arts Council of Rockland and NY State Council on the Arts.

social circus