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Petition to Build Respect for Circus Arts
Posted February 25, 2013
We think it’s time for America to see the circus with fresh eyes.

To this end, Circus Now is circulating a petition calling for a renewed regard for the art from venues and arts organizations.

After collecting signatures, we will submit the petition to the 101 most important American arts funders in America, including all 50 state arts councils, as well as key venues where contemporary circus could be performed.

If you are a circus artist, fan, or friend, please sign and share the petition to show your support. It might not seem like you're contributing much, but you are! By coming together as a community, we will show America just how numerous and passionate we are.

If you are a circus organization and would like to consult with us about the petition, please send a note to

Let’s come together to help America recognize the circus today.


As a diverse community of American circus artists, educators, administrators, practitioners, and fans…

We BELIEVE that circus is an art. We believe that the circus arts are some of the most inspiring, accessible, beautiful, expressive, and creative forms of performance in the world today.

We INSIST that circus is a unique performance category, distinct from theater, dance, performance art, and multimedia. We insist that it emerges from its own training and skills, that it offers a distinct pleasure, and attracts a distinct audience equally deserving of quality performance.

We ASK that you treat circus arts as a distinct category of performance when allocating funding, stage time or other resources – a policy that has already gained traction in Canada and numerous European countries. We ask that you allow performers to directly apply as circus artists, rather than under the rubrics of other disciplines.

We HOPE that in any decision-making regarding support for the arts, you remember that circus, like all art, is in a constant and dynamic state of evolution. We hope that you remain informed about the exciting and diverse state of circus today and encouraging of contemporary artists and educators exploring the art’s creative possibility and social force.

We KNOW that our collective signatures testify to the popularity of circus in America and to the possibility for future growth.

We TRUST that you will give our requests the serious consideration they deserve.

We UNDERSTAND that change takes time.

But we don’t want to wait.


To add your name to the petition, please visit
Note from the CircusNYC Editors: Posted as received.