SARASOTA, FL – The Circus Arts Conservatory (CAC) recently received funding from six grant makers, totaling $311,000, in support of its 2023-2024 season of outreach programs, special events and signature performances.
Major CAC events and shows – including the 2023 Sailor Circus Holiday Show, the 2024 Circus Arts Gala, Circus Sarasota, and the CenterRing Society Dinner – are generously being supported by a $40,000 Arts Appreciation Grant from the Ina L. Donnan Field of Interest Fund at Gulf Coast Community Foundation. This grant also supports the CAC’s Circus Science in the Classroom program.
Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s President/CEO Phillip Lanham said, “We are honored to support The Circus Arts Conservatory, which provides important arts education opportunities and exciting performances to our region’s residents year after year.”
The Community Foundation of Sarasota County has awarded two grants totaling $35,000 in support of the Circus Arts Gala, Circus Sarasota, and scholarships for deserving Sailor Circus Academy students. Additional scholarship support from The Siesta Key Kiwanis Club Foundation provided the final $2,000 grant toward its four-year student arts scholar commitment.
Locally, a Sarasota County Tourist Development Cultural/Arts Grant of more than $132,000 was approved to help underwrite costs associated with the CAC’s annual largest production, Circus Sarasota. These funds were awarded in recognition of the show’s role in helping to attract tourists to the area – more than 50% who attend Circus Sarasota are from outside Sarasota County.
Additionally, two general support grants were awarded: The State of Florida, Division of Arts and Culture approved more than $100,000 in funding to support the CAC’s operations, and The Island Foundation awarded a grant of $2,000. Both grants recognize and fund the overall mission of the CAC.
The Sailor Circus Academy education and training programs enable students, ages 8-18, to bolster their physical and mental health while training after school, learning circus acts that culminate in performances of “The Greatest Little Show on Earth” at the end of December and in May. Through grants and community support, the CAC provides need-based students with scholarships for the Sailor Circus Academy as well as to offer magnet programs at Sarasota High School and Booker Middle School for a unique curriculum that incorporates circus arts into students’ regular school day and earns them credit toward graduation.
The Circus Arts Gala is the CAC’s premier annual extravaganza and major fundraiser, with proceeds dedicated to funding student training. Circus Sarasota is the CAC’s annual professional circus, featuring world-class international acts, with proceeds funding operations and the CAC’s mission. Finally, the CenterRing Society is composed of major CAC donors who contribute $1,000 or more in addition to ticket purchases, sponsorships and/or donations, for the purpose of providing the CAC with unrestricted dollars to achieve excellence.
For more about the CAC, visit CircusArts.org.
About The Circus Arts Conservatory
The Circus Arts Conservatory, located in Sarasota, Fla., is home to world-class performances, excellence in training the circus arts, and community-based outreach programs. The organization was born from decades of circus history and today serves as a legacy to those that have set the standards for international circus artistry and education. The Circus Arts Conservatory is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Visit CircusArts.org for more information.