Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

The ACA began as an informal Task Force responding to the COVID-19 crisis. A collective group of founders composed of circus artists, directors, educators, and producers came together to confront the challenges brought on by the pandemic, and quickly broadened their mission to include a wide scope of issues facing the industry. This eclectic group represents a national spectrum of like-minded individuals brought together to help unify and give a national voice to the needs of the American Circus Arts.

Join us as we work to gain greater national recognition and support for the Circus Arts within the national arts field.

The American Circus Alliance is a service and advocacy organization dedicated to circus performance and production in the United States.

Learn more about what we stand for here – Our Values

In the spring of 2020, a small group of circus practitioners began convening over zoom calls to talk about how the COVID-19 crisis was affecting them and their professional endeavors. Over the course of a few months, this group grew, and the scope of the conversation expanded to include many issues facing the American circus industry. The group informally named itself the Circus Task Force, and formed small working groups to address several of these key issues: building a national coalition for the circus industry; recognition of circus as an art form; equity, diversity, and inclusion; response to the COVID-19 crisis; bridging the gap between circus students and the profession; and creating a code of ethics. New work groups – now committees – have been added to address potential services for the field, including  a group insurance plan for individuals and organizations. As this work continued and more key issues were identified, the Task Force invited individuals whose expertise could help in our work – growing to over 50 people, with an effort to form a national service and advocacy organization for the performance and production of circus. The group nominated individuals from within its ranks to sit on an Interim Board of Directors in order to pursue 501c3 nonprofit status and launch the American Circus Alliance. That work is ongoing.

The organization grew out of informal zoom meetings and small working groups, with the intention to allow for close collaboration in order to create a foundation from which the organization could grow – that foundation included forming a clear mission, initial ideas for programs, and a focus on circus performance and production. As we are now public, we invite you to add your expertise and unique view, voice, and experience to our work.

There are many gaps in the support of individuals and organizations generating circus performance and production, and we aim to identify and fill those gaps. If other organizations have programs that fill specific needs for the circus industry, we can leverage our voices to support their work. When we identify a gap, we will do the work to develop programming in service. While we have many programs in development, with your help we are focused on advocating for recognition, funding, and infrastructure for the performance and production of American circus.

As a grassroots service and advocacy organization, we invite you to get involved: to recommend programs and initiatives, join a committee, and provide thoughtful feedback to the work as it happens. Currently an all volunteer operation, we envision a Board of Directors and small paid staff in place in the future to administer and maintain the organization. The membership itself will nominate and elect that Board of Directors

First and foremost – because there is strength in numbers. We invite you to add your perspective to help build and represent a resilient national organization meant to serve, support, and advocate for the people and organizations dedicated to the performance and production of circus in the United States. We invite you to collaborate and network with your colleagues and peers through your participation in the Alliance, helping build the programs that will best serve the American circus industry.

Anyone involved in the performance and production of circus in the United States. This includes (but is not limited to) circus artists, presenters, producers, agents, companies, designers, riggers, roustabouts, technicians, coaches, students, philanthropists, and fans.

Yes! We invite everyone dedicated to circus in the United States to join. That said, we also recognize the incredible work being done by a variety of existing organizations, including American Circus Educators Association (ACE), American Youth Circus Organization (AYCO), Circus Fans Of America (CFA), Circus Producers Association (CPA), Circus Talk. En Piste, Circus Historical Society, Outdoor Amusement Business Association, and Circus Model Builders (with links to each of their websites). If you qualify for membership with any of these organizations, we strongly encourage you to join them as well.

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All of the spectacular photos that you see throughout the ACA website are from the personal archives of our Founding Members.


Become a member today!