Growing our Vision

Dear trusted stakeholders and members,

The American Youth Circus Organization took an important step in 2015, adding the name “American Circus Educators Association” and thereby expanding the inclusivity of the organization towards educators. The heart of AYCO–the values and mission that we all stand by–was maintained and expanded, an important step forward in leading our growing community.

We, the Board, believe it is time for AYCO and ACE to grow again, and so we have taken on an expansion of our mission and vision:

We will advance circus arts in the USA by providing support for artistry, education, and appreciation, empowering generations to enjoy lifelong engagement in the circus arts.

We  will uphold the following values:



This shift does not indicate a major shift in focus or values. A dedicated team has been working to create this mission, and create a strategic plan that leads our community into the future, enabling us to harness resources that would be out of reach and accomplish things we never could accomplish individually.

To accomplish this expansion, AYCO is pooling resources with Circus Now. Both organizations support this mission, and in March of 2017 Ed LeClair, Executive Director of Circus Smirkus, Zoe Brookes, Executive Director of Trenton Circus Squad and Chair of the AYCO Social Circus Committee, and Ashley Miglini, a founding member of Circus Now, joined the AYCO Board.

Over the next few months we’ll have other exciting announcements; a new name, a new look, a new website. But many things will stay the same: our commitment to serving youth throughout their lives, our commitment to our current AYCO and ACE programs and events, and our commitment to preserving the values and culture of circus for generations to come.

The Board of AYCO/ACE would like to thank our community in advance for patience and understanding during this exciting and transformative time. We encourage the community to e-mail us with thoughts and suggestions. Please understand that as we iron out details, we are unable to respond to every inquiry.  We will publish an FAQ to address questions that arise on our website.  If you have questions or comments, please address them to with the subject line: AYCO Growth Plans.


The AYCO/ACE Board