CIRCUS250 – FAQS –What you’ve asked to know

What’s so special about 2018 and circus?

The first ever modern circus was invented by Philip Astley in the centre of London. 2018 marks 250 years since he first launched into the entertainments business in 1768.

What is Circus250?

Circus250 is the co-ordinating body for all the activity happening nationwide to celebrate 250 years of circus in 2018.

Circus250 provides the framework and scaffolding within which all activities take place, whether in theatres, rings, outdoors, archives, museums, schools, libraries.

The framework is:

  • Six Cities of Circus – London, Bristol, Blackpool, Belfast, Norwich/Great Yarmouth, Newcastle under Lyme
  • Highlights Programme chosen by a Guest Director – excellent and exciting activity happening anywhere
  • Nationwide activities – from workshops to walks, small scale community circus to talks – as part of the broad range of participation in 2018

Does Circus250 take place all year?

Yes – throughout 2018. But the Six Cities of Circus spotlights are concentrated from April to September 2018. However, activity will take place year round.

Do you have to be a circus to get involved with Circus250?

No! You can be a museum, archive, film festival, literary festival, traditional or contemporary circus, library, school, university, music festival, orchestra … We believe in #circuseverywhere

Does Circus250 produce events?

No. The only events Circus250 produces are press and other launches to advertise the year. We do not produce any circus.

Does Circus250 have any artistic input to 2018 activities?

No. The only place in which we make any choices are when the Guest Director picks the Highlights of 2018 for our Highlights programme.

Does Circus250 provide funding?

No. We are not a funding body and we do not distribute funds.

How can Circus250 support us?

Circus250 can:

  • Put you on the Circus250 map by listing your activity on our website and including you in our programme.
  • Put you in touch with new partners, for example linking you up with your local library or archive, or letting you know about a venue that wants to programme circus in 2018.
  • Inform you about what others are doing, so you can work in partnership and make sure your own creation stands out as unique.
  • Let you know about experts in different fields, from circus history to rigging, performance to academic surveys, so you can assemble the skills you need to deliver.
  • Let you use our Sir Peter Blake designed logo on your publicity and marketing, so people know you’re part of a high-profile nationwide initiative.
  • Benefit from our marketing materials – on line and off line – in which you can be included.
  • Gather your stories, so we can send media queries your way and enhance the profile of your work.
  • Help you tell the story of circus, through providing resources, for example ‘Ten Top Facts about Circus History’ and ‘Best Circus Books for Kids’.
  • Invite you to free networking meetings, such as the one you are attending today.
  • Throw a national spotlight on your local activity through our press activity. Nationally powerful, locally diverse is how we work.
  • Advocate for circus to those with power and influence, so it can be better embedded in our culture and recognized for the leading artform it is.

How can we get involved in and be part of Circus250?

  • See how your 2018 activity fits into the Circus250 framework, so you can make use of the above benefits that brings.
  • Let us know if you have a skill to share or something to offer, or need an expert in a particular field. We can then match-make.
  • Make sure you’re on our mailing list for regular updates – bigtop@circus250.org
  • Come to our meetings, such as the one you’re at today, to learn about further opportunities.
  • Let us know your plans for 2018, even if they’re only sketched out. We can only support you if we know about you.
  • Let us know your hopes and fears for circus, so we can make sure we are reflecting your message in all our advocacy work.
  • Follow us on Twitter @circus250 and Facebook Circus250.

What sort of organisation is Circus250?

We are a Community Interest Company (not for profit). We are a small organization supported by Arts Council England, and the enthusiasm and commitment of our supporters in the circus world and beyond. Thanks for being part of that team.