Salida Circus Outreach Foundation, 501c3 was established in 2007 as a personal development and community-building tool for under-served youth in Chaffee County. What began as a weekly back yard stilt workshop for a handful of local children has grown into a full-time operation serving an estimated 160 youth in Chaffee County through six weekly workshops, three annual camps, and up to 15 local performances each year.
Since its inception, Salida Circus has partnered with Chaffee County Boys and Girls Club, Chaffee County Mentors, Restorative Justice, Nurturing Parenting Program and PFlag (LBGTQ organization). Salida Circus currently has 10 professional tutors, 17 professional performers, and 6 volunteers who serve on the board of directors.
Salida Circus has been a member of the American Youth Circus Organization since 2008. In 2015 Salida Circus was selected by Cirque du Soleil to be part of its social circus network, chosen for our outreach programs and high skill level.
While our mission remains the same (offering circus training as a personal development and community-building tool), Salida Circus talent base has grown exponentially over the past ten years. Since 2007, Salida Circus attracted many professional circus tutors, (many who have relocated to Chaffee County), bringing a high level of expertise in aerial, juggling, clowning, magic and acrobatics. These tutors include the the Flying Haggertys from Florida/Illinois; American Ninja Warrior finalist Joe Lobeck from Co Springs; Steve Kucera, magician of 30 years from Las Vegas; and Aerial Aura from Pueblo.
In 2016, responding to requests from community leaders in neighboring, under-served counties, Salida Circus began expanding its social circus programs. We currently offer circus programs in Fremont and Saguache counties and will begin programs in Pueblo and Custer counties in the Fall.
In May 2017, Salida Circus celebrated its 10 year anniversary with a 3 day festival that included national and international artists from the Trenton Circus Squad, New Jersey; Creative Kids, Jordan; Red Noses Palestine; Laughter Wellness, France; and Rodney Huey former VP of marketing for Ringling Bros.
Salida Circus current programs include:
1) After School Circus at Chaffee County Boys and Girls Club. From August – May, between 40 – 50 youth ages 6-17, participate in two weekly workshops, two annual camps and perform in 2 Circus Extravaganzas. Skills taught include juggling, stilt-walking, gymnastics, diabolo, rola bola, rolling globe, clowning, unicycling and physical comedy. This After School Circus program is offered free to youth in rural, under-served Chaffee County who have limited access to performing arts training.
2) Beginner aerial workshops at Lau Studio. Weekly workshops for 4-7 year olds.
3) Intermediate/advanced aerial workshops at Holman site.
4) North Valley Circus Project. This Saguache County outreach program serves up to 80 youth, ages 6-18 in the Moffat Consolidated School District.
5) Friday Enrichment programs. Partnering with Salida Recreation, Salida Circus offers two weekly workshops at Salida Middle School for 5-17 year olds.
6) Fremont Outreach. Three workshops currently offered at Cotopaxi School for 42 students ages 6-17.
7) Salida Circus Summer Outreach. a) Partnering with the Foodshed Alliance, Salida Circus will offer free circus workshops every Saturday at the Salida Farmers Market throughout summer. b) Monday circus at boys and girls club. 10-11:30am. Free to members.
8)Summer Reading Program at Public Libraries. Between June-August, Salida Circus will partner with public libraries throughout Colorado and New Mexico to provide 19 interactive circus programs. The programs are offered free to the public for youth ages 3-14.
Salida Circus Outreach Foundation is supported by The Colorado Health Foundation, Arts in Society, Salida Council of the Arts, Sheila Fortune Foundation, Operation Round Up, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Rinehart Family Foundation, High Country Bank, Articipate and many generous individual sponsors.