The Circus Village - It takes a village to raise a circus.
The Circus Village was a response driven by a partnership of circus companies and individual artists to, in some small way, try to address the void of genuinely accessible professional development opportunities for UK circus artists.
The village has been a creative space; a living, learning, and working environment. A place for circus artists to explore what we do, what we can learn from each other, to try and test new ways of doing things – all whilst celebrating every aspect of the circus artform we share, together.
Borrowing from the Big Top touring culture we all know and love, the village site in 2023 housed four circus tents and a varied programme of activity. We were especially interested in providing opportunities for mid-career artists with ambition to develop their practice, and artists from outside the mainstream.
The Circus Village in 2023 had 3 main programme focuses available to applicants, supported and encouraged by a professional creative team from across all reaches of the circus world. These were Welsh Youth & Community Focus, Teaching & Training and Challenging Your Creative Practice & Professional Development. It ended with The Circus Village FESTIVAL, showcasing talent from residencies and participants at the Village in a 4-day public festival, with a free Family Fun Day, circus cabaret show, and Circus Sector Day.
The village site was accessible and inclusive. It was free to attend, with travel and subsistence covered. Childcare and financial bursaries were also available to those in need.
Why we created The Circus Village
In 2021 - amidst a lockdown - the Welsh Circus sector wanted to reach out, listen, watch, and learn from each other, connect with our fellow circus friends, and open up conversations with those around the world who want to do the same. Our village became a supportive place where people can take risks and generate exciting ideas ready to launch into the wider world.
Everybody has a creative and social part to play here - with the aim of developing the Circus sector, ensuring its quality, longevity, and accessibility are crucial to the future of our art form; a future that depends on all of us.
welsh steering group
Articulture, Citrus Arts, Elle Edwards, Ellis Grover, NoFit State Circus, Syrcas Cimera, Syrcas Byd Bychan, Upside Down Circus, Zoe Munn.
Articulation Arts, Circus Change Up, Cirque Bijou, Greentop Community Circus Centre, Crying Out Loud, Jackson's Lane, National Centre for Circus Arts, Ockham's Razor, Swansea Council, Take Art, Upswing