A Joyful Presence in Madison
Madison Circus Space is home to the largest community of practicing circus artists in Wisconsin. For the past five+ years, Madison Circus Space, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has hosted classes, clubs, and performances that are affordable and open to the public. We provide the building and equipment necessary for safely learning circus arts and give participants a positive environment to support one another and to grow stronger physically, emotionally, and professionally.
- 250+ weekly participants, ranging from young children to older adults.
- 30+ weekly activities, including juggling, aerial, hooping, German wheel and more.
- 6-8 performances per year, which routinely sell out.
A Need to Grow
Madison Circus Space has grown steadily since opening in 2013. The space began with a dozen members and fewer than 20 hours of weekly programming. Since then, programming hours have doubled, and now over 70 members use the space to train, plan shows, and teach classes. To accommodate intense demand, Madison Circus Space needs to grow.
- Instructors have dozens of students on waiting lists.
- Classes regularly overlap to meet high demand.
- Performers struggle to find space and time to rehearse.
To ensure Madison Circus Space is able to meet this demand, we need to raise $1 million for a new building, equipment, and construction.
Guarantee for a Permanent Future
As part of a redevelopment project, the Madison Circus Space, formerly at 2100 Winnebago Street, was torn down in May 2018. We have moved into a temporary warehouse at 84 N. Bryan Street. Redevelopment creates an exciting opportunity. Our Board of Directors has secured an agreement with supportive developers to build and purchase a new, larger circus space on Winnebago Street. This location is pivotal for bus line accessibility and proximity to participants. To keep the new space affordable, developers are working to ensure project costs are reasonable.
Our High-Flying Dreams
With a larger facility, Madison Circus Space can engage more diverse participants, serve more children, and meet the growing demand for circus arts in our community, with an ultimate goal of enriching Madison’s arts culture in a lasting and unique way. Our key aims:
- Expand circus arts after-school programming: With added square footage and equipment, our first priority is to engage more children and teens in the arts through after-school programming. Participants will build self-esteem, develop physical and social skills, and explore their creativity.
- Bring the joy of circus arts to more diverse communities: Madison Circus Space provides a welcoming home to everyone interested in circus arts. Some donations will support our scholarship fund, which offers discounted and free programming to anyone with financial need. Our new space will also allow for stronger partnerships with other area nonprofits, such as Goodman Center’s alternative high school program and Madison Community Montessori School.
- Increase accessibility: Several current circus space users are people with disabilities. Having an accessible place to feel welcome and valued is important. Although not required by code, our new building will include a mezzanine and accessibility lift so all users have access to the entire building.
- Expand circus arts offerings: Our new space will feature a higher ceiling to accommodate new arts including flying trapeze, aerial cradle, swinging trapeze, trampoline, and duo trapeze. A built-in foam pit, a comprehensive grid system for aerial rigging, and smaller rentable studios round out the design.
A new, improved Madison Circus Space gives the local creative arts community a permanent place to call home and to share their most important accomplishments. For our success, we need all arts supporters and community members to join with us and celebrate the continued value and growth of circus arts in Madison.
Do you have questions about our capital campaign? Potential connections or suggestions you’d like to share with us? Please get in touch with our Development Director, Stephanie Richards, by emailing her at email@example.com. Thank you!
Thank You to our community supporters!
Diane Ballweg and our amazing board, members, students, and greater community!
Meet our Capital Campaign Director
Stephanie discovered aerial arts in 2010. Beyond a love of flying, Stephanie found that circus offers a third place and a supportive community that lifts up all its members. A founding director of Skeleton Circus, The MishMash show, and Circus After Dark, Stephanie has a special talent for public relations and collaborative work, and her connections with community members have produced incredible results both in individual acts and in shows with ever-increasing popularity. Dedicated to outreach to underserved populations, she has spearheaded efforts to open the Madison Circus Space doors ever wider, so that no one with a love of death-defying feats ever has to be turned away.