Building upon the strong foundations of the highly successful and growing Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, we are creating a full-time, 3-year, professional training program for circus artists. It's called Circadium.
The United States lacks a dedicated facility for circus higher education. In a few cities, recreational schools host "pro-track" programs, which offer a 1-year full-time training to serious students. None, however, come close to the standards of higher-level circus education programs in Canada, Europe and Australia. Students want to study circus intensively for multiple years, and by doing so, deeply explore the history of the art form, their own physical capabilities, and their creative potential. Higher-level coaches agree that this can be accomplished solely in a multi-year program that gives significant weight to dance and theatre training.
Circadium will become the program called for by the circus students of America. Based in Philadelphia and connected to the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, the full-time course will provide students with the myriad of performance opportunities necessary to thrive in the circus world.
Circadium is a non-profit organization with a mission to cultivate, inspire, and innovate contemporary circus performance in America. Through the development of young artists, Circadium will challenge the traditional model of circus in America, advancing the multidisciplinary art form for audiences around the world.
Fundraising for Circadium's launch is critical. We have a priority of keeping tuition costs low for students (the rate is currently set at $15,000 / year). As college costs spiral out of control in the U.S., we are determined not to be part of the problem. Graduating artists should not be saddled with massive debt.
We are also moving into a new facility next year - a historic church in need of major renovations. To transform this space into the circus school of our dreams, we are going to need your financial support.
Risks and challenges
Circadium's biggest risk is that it is a completely new model. In Europe and Canada, schools like this are successful, but they are well-funded by national governments. For us to sustain a school like this purely on tuition dollars and grants, and to keep our students' debt low, is going to require sustained effort. This Kickstarter will get us off the ground; but the funding challenges will remain with us year after year.
We are confident that our graduates, our local arts patrons and the arts foundations of Philadelphia will help us to build a longer-term fundraising platform, and that with each year we'll be able to expand our programming. Building this organizational capacity will be a key part of Circadium's first few years.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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