AYCO News Blog

The AYCO News Blog includes items selected by the website editor, partner members, and sponsor members believed to be of interest to the AYCO community. If you have a news item that you would like to see included, please send details to newsletter@americanyouthcircus.org.
  • 07 Oct 2010 11:15 AM | Deleted user

    The American Youth Circus Organization is proud to announce the first AYCO-sponsored youth circus ambassador tour.  Read the flyer for details of “Circle of Sawdust: A Picturesque History of Circus In Film”

    AYCO is supporting tours like this in order to help spread the word about youth in circus, and to connect youth in circus with the history and culture of circus. As an ambassador for AYCO Rob Mermin will drive across the USA, hosted by circus groups, schools and fans’ groups wherever he is invited along the way.

    The idea for this tour was sown by Mermin’s keynote address on circus traditions at the AYCO Youth Educators Conference in September. In his talk, Mermin addressed the importance of promoting not only the skills that youth circuses teach, but also of preserving the connection to circus history and culture. This message resonated with conference participants, and the tour was conceived as a means to further AYCO’s mission of fostering youth participation in the circus arts. The tour has additional support from Circus Smirkus, the traveling youth circus that Mermin founded in 1987.

    We encourage AYCO members to host a stop on Rob Mermin’s tour, and help find other organizations that would be interested in doing so.  

    Contact Rob by email at Rob@smirkus.org or by phone at (802)922-1339. (During November, Rob will be out of the country so phone inquiries may be made to Amy at AYCO on (914) 441-8834)

  • 07 Oct 2010 9:28 AM | Deleted user
    Laura Ricci, editor of the Journal of American Youth Circus, seeks submissions for the first edition of the Journal, to be published in January 2011.  Submissions are due by November 15th.

    The purpose of the Journal is to provide a well-rounded reflection of our diverse community and its vast breadth of knowledge and experience -- not only for AYCO members, but for anyone with an interest in youth circus in the United States.

    We are looking for submissions in the following general categories:
    • Reviews of Youth Circus shows
    • Articles on Youth Circus programs
    • Articles on Youth Circus performers or acts
    • Articles intended to help develop circus teaching skills
    • Articles intended to help develop organization management skills
    • Editorial articles of interest to youth circus community (e.g. youth development, physiology, youth circus advocacy)
    Please note that these are only general guidelines! If you have an idea for a piece that fits outside of, or in between, these categories, don't be shy -- we'd love to hear about it. Additionally, we welcome work from authors of all ages; any young artists in your program or troupe who have a perspective they'd like to share are encouraged to submit.

    AYCO expects to pay a fee for published articles.  The submission deadline is November 15th, 2010 for the January 15th, 2011 issue.  If you have an idea you'd like to pitch, a piece to submit, or questions about the Journal or the submission process, please email Laura at editor@americanyouthcircus.org.

  • 30 Sep 2010 11:14 AM | Deleted user
    AYCO is offering the opportunity for people with an interest in circus arts to gain experience working for a fast-growing arts advocacy organization.  Internships are offered in:
    •    Journalism
    •    Publishing
    •    Marketing and public relations
    •    Event planning
    •    Web communications and development
    More information here
  • 24 Sep 2010 12:00 PM | Amy Cohen (Administrator)
  • 21 Sep 2010 12:11 PM | Deleted user
    AYCO is pleased to announce the selection of Joan Leonard of PAL Sailor Circus as our 2011 Festival Director.  Joan served as a volunteer at the 2009 AYCO Festival and looks forward to planning a great festival next year.  

    Joan is already gathering a team of willing volunteers and ideas for presenters for next year’s festival.  If you have ideas, or you’d like to help, please get in touch! E-mail Joan at: joancirc@gmail.com

  • 21 Sep 2010 12:09 PM | Deleted user
    Following its annual meeting on September 19th, the AYCO Board of Directors is pleased to announce the following appointments:

    • Chuck Johnson, Program Director of the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts in Seattle, WA, as President, effective October 1.  Chuck also chairs AYCO’s Committee on Safety.  Chuck replaces David Hunt who is stepping down from the Board.
    • Jean St John, from My Nose Turns Red in Kentucky, as Vice President, effective immediately
    • Maribeth Joy, Executive Director of Circesteem, Chicago, IL, as Treasurer, effective October 1.  Maribeth replaces Kevin George who is stepping down from the Board.
    • Patty Campbell, Director of PAL Sailor Circus, as Chair of the Governance Committee, effective immediately. Patty also chairs AYCO’s Event Supervision Committee.
    • Jessica Hentoff, Director of Circus Harmony, as Chair of the Nominating Committee.
    • Rick Davis will continue to serve as Secretary of AYCO.

    Profiles of all Board members are available here

    AYCO would like to express deep gratitude to Kevin George and David Hunt for their years of service to the AYCO Board.  

  • 21 Sep 2010 12:06 PM | Deleted user
    Last weekend, 80 circus educators, leaders administrators and supporters gathered at New England Center for Circus Arts for three days of workshops, networking, teaching and celebration of our community.  

    Rob Mermin, founder of Circus Smirkus, gave the keynote speech, encouraging us all to help connect today’s youth to the history and culture of circus.  He helped draw connections between our work today and the traditions of travelling circuses of the nineteenth century. Rob’s message: let’s remind America of our rich history to help ensure the place of circus in modern American culture.

    This year, AYCO hosted a series of workshops presented by Jackie Davis, Ed.M. and Jen Agans on developmental circus arts, core competencies, and evaluation.  The series attracted many newcomers to the Educators Conference, and the work done in these workshops will generate insights to be shared by all our members.

    Patrice Aubertin’s captivating presentation on the training program for circus trainers at École National de Cirque in Montréal, Québec, proved a highlight of the weekend.  Shrieks of delight emerged from the break out room where Artfarm’s Dic Wheeler’s group pretended to be eight year olds learning about circus in school.  Many newer faces appreciated the top class instructional workshop on teaching basic skills by circus veteran Karen Quest of Cowgirl Tricks.

    We were honored to host Peter Simon, author of a book of photographs and tales of the creation of New Yorkʼs Big Apple Circus.  Both Jessica Hentoff of Circus Harmony and Philippe Vercruyssen of Circus Arts Camp were active in the early days of Big Apple as well as at this year’s conference.  Peter Simon is remaking his book and spent time with us capturing pictures of the new and old generations of circus.  We look forward to hearing more news of Peter’s book in the near future.

    Many thanks to Serenity Smith Forchion, Executive Director of NECCA, and Elsie Smith, Artistic Director, for hosting us, and to David Hunt, our 2010 Educators Conference director.  If you missed the conference, or missed a workshop, you will be able to catch up by visiting our ‘Past Events’ page on the website.  Papers should be up within the next two weeks.

  • 24 Aug 2010 7:54 AM | Deleted user
    A recent article in the Wall St Journal shone the light on circus activity in the NYC area.  AYCO quoted, and some AYCO  members highlighted. See the full article
  • 05 Aug 2010 11:07 AM | Deleted user
    On August 4th, total pledges and donations to AYCO as part of our membership drive and 'Setting The Stage' Campaign reached $25,000.  Thanks to all who have contributed or promised to help.  
  • 05 Aug 2010 9:58 AM | Deleted user
    Cirque du Soleil has shown its support for AYCO's new five year plan by donating $5,000 towards our 'Setting The Stage' campaign.  Many thanks to our friends at Cirque du Soleil
Our Pyramid Partners:

Circus Smirkus

Circus Center San Francisco SANCA
Circus Conservatory of America
Our Partners:
Cirque du Soleil

The Circus Project

École nationale de cirque Montreal Circus Harmony The Circus Arts Conservatory Sarasota

Le Studio

Amazing Grace Circus Circus Place Circus Arts Institute
Aircraft Aerial Arts
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PO Box 482, Ithaca, NY 14851
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