This month has brought us another weekend to listen, reflect and learn. Fortunately, the circus provides a lens through which to educate ourselves, witness the incredible stories of those in our community, and marvel at the talent and creativity of our world.
CIRCADEMIA — A BRIEF INTRODUCTION
- In this week’s Dispatch, Lottie welcomes you to the world of Circademia, as Circus District prepares to launch a series of circus book reviews. Check out her article, which includes links to jump-start your circus research journey, in today’s issue.
- Like all prominent entertainment industries in the U.S., the circus has played a significant role in promoting and profiting from Asian stereotypes, and as a result distilling all Asian identities into an indistinct ‘other.’
- Learn about the Chinese woman Afong Moy, renamed as such and brought to the U.S as a teenager in 1834 by traders who sought to make money from her perceived exoticism. She toured extensively and also performed at P.T. Barnum’s American Museum in 1842. Hers is an all-too-common story that persists today of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders receiving token fascination in manufactured stereotypes while suffering unjust angst from a public eager to groundlessly blame them for society’s ills.
- This study guide from The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art explores harmful depictions of Asian cultures in circus posters from 1850 to 1950, providing an introduction to some of the more common images and tropes that left a mark on American popular culture.
- Sign up for a free bystander intervention training to help curb Asian/American and xenophobic harassment.
- Puppeteers of America will celebrate World Puppetry Day with a free online gathering of puppeteers and puppet enthusiasts from 3-5 p.m. EST. The first hour will feature an introduction to this annual event as well as information about the Puppet Relief Fund. The second hour includes breakout rooms covering topics like equity and diversity in puppetry, 3D filmmaking, puppet building and more. Register for free at this link.
- Jugglers by the name of John, Dzhoy and David are hosting an informal, socially distanced juggling hangout at the Old Town Playground near the College Park Metro station, at the intersection of Columbia and College Avenues. Parking is available on the street, or you can use the metro parking lot. Message John at email@example.com for meeting days and times.
- The 7 Fingers will air their show Out of Order, with showtimes at 10:30 p.m. (3/19-20) and 3 p.m. (3/21) EST. This production was created in the throes of lockdown, using theatricality and acrobatics to express the strife and hope of the present times. Get tickets at this link.
March 19-April 17
- Register for the Circus International Film Festival and get free links to film screenings sent to your inbox as they are released. Films will be available to view for 24 hours each day, and you can also vote for your favorites to receive awards on the festival’s final day, April 17. Categories include filmmakers under 18, documentary/performance shorts and full length productions. Register at this link. Donate to the organizers here.
- Bindlestiff Family Cirkus presents Open Stage Quarantine Edition: Season 3 at 8 p.m. EST on Facebook and YouTube. Want to perform in future editions of this weekly show? Fill out their act submission form at this link.
- Peek into a world of creativity in Buffering… Inner Monologues in Process, which highlights the works-in-progress of several aerialists in various stages of act creation. The virtual show begins at 7 p.m. EST. Registration is free, but tips to support the artists are encouraged. Get a virtual pass at this link.
- Circadium will host an evening of unfinished/experimental circus acts in Test Flights, emceed by Circadium graduate Zak McAllister. Links to watch the show will be posted soon on their website.
- Enjoy a wide variety of all-ages performances in Virtual Moisture Festival, the longstanding Seattle variety arts event that’s been forced online for two seasons now. Shows are April 1-3 (10:30 p.m. EST) and April 4 (7 p.m. EST). Get tickets at this link.
- Kathryn Carr is teaching an upcoming juggling workshop through the Creative Alliance in Baltimore. Visit this link to learn more and register for the class, which runs from March 28 to April 18 and will be held in-person with social distancing in Patterson Park on Sundays at 11 a.m.
- Students ages 10-17 can now apply for the Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour InTENTsive, which runs for eight weeks from June 19 to mid-August. Applications are due March 22. Visit this link to apply and get more details. No accepted students are denied participation because of financial need, as scholarships are available.
- Bindlestiff Family Cirkus is offering their tenth annual First of May Awards, which provide creation and residency grants for circus artists. Applications are due April 1. Get more information and apply at this link.