NECCA launches LGBTQ+ scholarships

BRATTLEBORO — With support from the Samara Fund, as well as individual donors, the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA) has launched three scholarships in support of LGBTQ+ students facing financial difficulty.

According to a news release, the scholarship began as an idea by NECCA Cofounders Elsie Smith and Serenity Smith Forchion in conversation with Scott Heller and Dave King, owners of Frog Meadow Bed & Breakfast in Newfane, “and grew out of an understanding that many applicants to NECCA's need-based scholarship fund were disproportionately LGBTQ+ identifying.”

NECCA is offering a 50-percent tuition scholarship for one self-identifying LGBTQ+ youth and one LGBTQ+ adult in NECCA's regular session classes that are open to all level students, as well as $3,000 of scholarships for aspiring professionals enrolled in the full-time ProTrack performer training program.

“These are often marginalized or at-risk students that are sometimes at an economic disadvantage because of lack of family support,” Smith and Forchion said.

In spring 2020, NECCA was awarded a grant from the Samara Fund to create the scholarship.

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