NECCA awarded grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

BRATTLEBORO — The New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA) was recently awarded a prestigious grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

NECCA is the leading circus arts school in the United States. Founded in 2007 in Brattleboro, the school has grown to include a three-year professional training program alongside community classes for anyone interested in circus, as well as empowering youth and outreach programs.

The $20,000 funding from the Grants for Arts Projects program supports the Circus Capstone Project, a touring production by the graduating class of Professional Track students.

NECCA's project is among 1,248 projects across America totaling $28,840,000 that were selected to receive this first round of fiscal year 2022 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects category.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects like this one from NECCA that help support the community's creative economy,” NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers said in a news release. “NECCA in Brattleboro is among the arts organizations nationwide that are using the arts as a source of strength, a path to well-being, and providing access and opportunity for people to connect and find joy through the arts.”

“It is a privilege to receive such recognition from The National Endowment for the Arts,” said NECCA executive director Jenna Struble. “This gift helps support the fact that NECCA continues to be a cultural cornerstone and driver for circus arts in the nation.”

NECCA's ProTrack Program provides elite acrobatic and aerial training alongside movement and theater, instigating a deep capacity for creativity in circus arts. This grant will support the creation and touring of a devised circus show embracing innovation at the forefront of modern circus by professional third-year students.

Funding will allow NECCA to employ a professional international director to support the creation of this unique show, as well as support installation of circus rigging in host theaters, coverage of travel costs for the artists, wages for supporting staff and free tickets to outreach organizations.

The production will tour New England in April and May of 2022, with a focus on rural theaters that lack access to high-level arts companies. The show is scalable for school audiences and framed for family viewing. The tour plan includes a mix of residency and performance at Lake Placid, N.Y., Center for the Arts, the Highland Center for the Arts in Greensboro, Vt., and the Stockbridge Theater in Derry, N.H., as well as at the NECCA trapezium in Brattleboro on May 7 and 8.

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