$20,745
pledged of $25,000pledged of $25,000 goal
170
backers
5days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, December 14 2018 10:04 PM UTC +00:00.

Stephanie SpeicherBy Stephanie Speicher
First created
Stephanie SpeicherBy Stephanie Speicher
First created
$20,745
pledged of $25,000pledged of $25,000 goal
170
backers
5days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, December 14 2018 10:04 PM UTC +00:00.

About

In 2013, an incredible group of supporters came together to turn a loose bunch of high-flying, juggling, hooping, German wheeling ruffians into a unified collective of circus artists. Together we created the Madison Circus Space, a non-profit, 24-hour center for circus artists. Thank you! You helped get a roof over our heads and even sprung wood floors under our feet!  

Since then, we have grown -- a LOT. And now we need your support once again for a project that's even more amazing! 

Like too many clowns in a telephone booth, we have outgrown our original beloved warehouse. Classes carry waitlists, groups compete for space, and performances sell out. Our facility was torn down, but we now have the opportunity to raise funds for a new(!!), permanent(!!), custom-built (!!) structure on Madison's near east side. This is BIG NEWS. In the entire country, there are fewer than half a dozen facilities specifically built for circus arts, so this will put us on the map as a national and international training and teaching destination. We have already purchased the land and designed the building, but we need YOU to help fill it up!

Although federal funding for circus and performance arts is common in Europe and Canada, it's almost impossible to come by in the United States. Over the past six years, we've proven that our community loves circus. We've introduced new activities to thousands of students, spawned five national champions in wheel gymnastics, and provided a platform for several new small business owners who can now train, teach, and perform for a living. We believe that circus is for everyone, and we aim to help every single person who walks through our doors believe that they are strong, capable, and worthy...

... but we can't do that without some basics. And that's where you come in. 

Our Goals

Our new building will give us some tremendous opportunities. With 10,000 square feet and 36-foot ceilings, we can have:

  • Flying trapeze!
  • Trampoline training!
  • Instruction in disciplines never before seen at the circus space like Russian bar, teeterboard, hand to hand, tightrope, and hoop diving!
  • A rigging, truss, and pulley system replacing the single pulley in our old space. More pulleys means smoother act-to-act transitions during shows, easy height changes during classes, and minimal ladder usage, making things safer for all students and instructors!
  • A mirrored dance studio!
  • A matted area for kids' classes!
  • Larger, more elaborate shows!
  • Shorter wait lines because we have more bathrooms!! Plus even a shower!
  • A spotting belt system!
  • A greater variety of mats to explore more skills!

We're asking supporters to help us fill our space. Right now, we have a literal shell of a building and nothing else. It's great for practicing your yodeling but not yet suitable for anyone to do circus in. But it could become a place of legend (legend, legend, legend...) We can picture it -- and we know you can, too! The supplies and equipment we need total much more than $25,000, so we have set our goal amount low here in hopes that we'll surpass it and you'll keep donating until our building is fit to fly! PLEASE help us fill our beautiful new building with good vibes, safe equipment, and an awesome sense of community right from the start.

 You Rock

We understand that many of you don't live in Madison and may never get to see our space in person. However, our mission is not only to support local artists but also to spread circus as far and wide as possible through our work. By helping us fill our space, you will also be enabling us to host more guest instructors, launch more careers, and serve as a home base for many more traveling coaches, artists, and students. In short, we hope and trust that our work and our new space will affect all circus supporters in some way at some point -- and we are so happy to be able to count all of you as part of our circus family. THANK YOU for your help! It truly means the world to us.

Risks and challenges

Currently we're trying to raise more than $1,000,000 in a capital campaign to build our brand spanking new circus space. We're on our way, but we're not there yet. Our hope is to raise the remaining amount by May 2019. One risk is that despite the hard work of tons of volunteers and supporters, we won't meet our May goal. That means we may have to take out larger loans and make sacrifices on the project. However, the funds raised from this page will get us some of the rigging, mats, and other equipment we need when we are able to move in and practice.

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    Shout-Out

    We'll send out "props" to you on Facebook, Instagram, or both. Fun fact: "Props" may have originated from Aretha Franklin's song "Respect". Remember "Give me my propers when they're due"? We're taking Ms. Franklin's advice to heart and showing a little respect and gratitude on social media.

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    Video thank you!

    One of our circus artists will create a personalized thank you video. MCS totally endorses using a copy as your annual holiday card to show friends and family how generous you are.

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    Circus Performer Mug

    You'll want to throw away those crystal wineglasses, donate your mother's china teacups when you see our state of the art circus mug!! It holds virtually anything or a very tiny replica of that thing. The inside is good for grog and yuletide! The outside is lovely to look at because it features one of 4 circus performers. Choose between the lyra, silks, or German wheel artist or the juggler!

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    Madison Circus Space sticker pack!

    What says "You + MCS = True Love" better than a limited-edition MCS sticker pack? Four artsy stickers will let the world know how much you <3 circus. Trapper keeper or old high school notebook not included.

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    Limited edition MCS T-shirt!

    More effective than mistletoe! This well-loved, previously sold out model comes in dark grey, slate, and indigo. Styles include men's and a more fitted women's version. xs-xxl

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    Carabiner naming rights

    Stay warm on a winter night and let us handle the graffiti! Make your mark on our new facility with exclusive naming rights to an MCS carabiner. Choose your name, initials, or something that speaks to your classy upbringing like "Biner McBiner Face." We'll email you a photo of your namesake carabiner in June 2019 when we move into our new space.

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    MCS artists improvise for you!

    We're so grateful for your gift, we want to dance, juggle, balance, and hang from high things just for you. Send us a prompt (your favorite song, poem, color, seasonal love, or dislike... ) and we'll create a personalized improvisation, film it, tag you, and post it in our social media.

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    You are gonna look soo good...

    Do you have legs (or very long arms)? Then our custom circus-print leggings may just be your thing. Gusseted, yellow and mid-shin featuring original circus-themed artwork. Make waves and cartwheels with our circus leggings!

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    Come learn and play with the pros

    Protect Grandma from any reindeer-related accidents this season: Bring her (or anyone you like) to a private lesson for up to three at the circus space! Train like a pro when you choose instruction in one of any number of floor or aerial arts.

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    VIP tickets to an MCS Show!

    Take it from us. As fun as your office holiday party was last year (Carol's Santa Cat memes were a riot!!), your date may prefer the original circus acts at the Madison Circus Space. Impress them with two premium-seat tickets to a future MCS performance. RSVP to performance is required. Please claim within one year.

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    Plant a flag... in our bathroom

    Claim one MCS porcelain throne for God and country or just name it after your favorite corgi. In addition, your generosity will be rewarded with a super-fancy plaque placed on site.

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