2020 American Circus Educators Conference

October 13-24, 2020

The 2020 American Circus Educators Conference (EdCon) has been transformed into a virtual experience! The conference’s offerings will be spread out over the course of two weeks in October, creating an accessible space for education and connection. New this year, we are offering sliding scale ticket pricing, just $30-$150 for two weeks of inspiring panels, discussions, and meetups. ACE membership is required to attend (individual Professional membership now also available on a sliding scale).

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Schedule Information

The SCHEDULE IS NOW LIVE TO VIEW! Session sign-up opened October 1st.

Sessions happen over Zoom, via the Sched.com online system. Some sessions have limited capacity – participants will be able to sign up in advance on Sched.

To be able to sign up for sessions, after registration you will receive an email invitation to Sched. Invitations are sent to new registrants once daily on weekdays.

The 2020 virtual conference includes:
+ Classic session offerings of presentations, panels, and workshops on many topics
+ A new track program with sessions grouped around focuses based on important and timely topics for circus educators, which will allow the opportunity for discussion and interaction between attendees with similar interests
+ All-attendee community meetings
+ Interactive social events
+ Opportunities for specific interest groups to meet together in solidarity

Track Descriptions:

Race in Circus In the wake of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery’s murders earlier this year, the United States has been forced to reckon with its racist history, institutions, and power structures. In this timely, important, and necessary track, we hear from BIPOC individuals and organizations about their lived experiences, and how we as circus educators can face our own internal bias and begin to shift our own actions and those of our organizations to move towards a more just world.
Mind & BodyHow does the mind impact how you learn and develop circus skills? How do you stay grounded in the chaotic life of an educator, performer, and/or small business owner in an industry largely shut down by the pandemic? This track features sessions with mental health professionals, practitioners, and researchers to help lead you and your students to better mind and body connections.
Circus is for Every BodyWe’re here, we’re fat, and queer, and disabled, and old – get used to it! The face of circus has shifted to be more inclusive and accessible over the years, but how do you practice what you preach and do right by the communities that you serve? This track covers talks about inclusivity that offer specific lived experiences and guidance from circus professionals!
Reimagining Social CircusOn the surface, social circus as a social change intervention seems like an admirable pursuit, but when faced with the realities of white supremacy, white saviorhood, racial justice issues, and the other realities of working in this space, we’re now reckoning how we can match our impact with our intent and truly make change for communities of color and other marginialized groups that social circus programs aim to serve.
Circus NerdScience is real and we’ve got lots of it coming at you at this year’s EdCon! Armed with research, critical thinking, and analysis, these circus researchers, scientists, historians, and thought leaders from around the globe are here to look at the biomechanical, psychological, taxonomic, and historical aspects of our world and hope to bring to you enlightening new data on how to look at our work.
Business Unusual2020 has been anything but business as usual. In this track, we focus on topics related to surviving amidst the current pandemic and thriving by creating meaningful work, finding funding for your organization, and reimagining your revenue streams.
SafetySafety is the foundation of everything we do and this year, we’ll be covering various aspects of safety in this track including aerial rigging, preventing harassment and abuse in your space, and business liability.
Circus On The InternetWe’re all getting lots more screentime in these days and we’re settling into the reality of circus on the internet. But creating work and learning skills on your computer does not have to be a drag. Join us in exploring this brave new world and discover ways to grow your skills and knowledge as an educator, performer, practitioner, and community member from your computer!
ExperientialA favorite usual track of EdCon — we do things. There are fewer experiential topics on the roster this year because of our focus on race, reimagining social circus, inclusivity, and circus science, but we hope that this hand picked track offers some fun ways to get moving!
Educational Approaches Pedagogy, ways to teach, and other perennial favorites of EdCon!


The EdCon is priced on a sliding scale with the goal of accessibility in a financially-difficult time.

Ticket PriceLevel Description
$30If you are just meeting your costs of living (bills, rent, etc). (You may be unemployed, not working at all at any job.)
$50If you are meeting your costs of living, but don’t have much extra. (You may be underemployed, working part-time at any job.)
$75If you are comfortably meeting all of your costs of living. (You may be fully employed.)
$100If you are comfortably meeting all your costs of living, and additionally able to contribute to savings, make donations to worthy causes, etc. (You are likely fully employed.)
$150If you want to help others attend the conference in addition to your own ticket cost.

If these pricing levels are not accessible to you, please contact info@americanyouthcircus.org.

Volunteer Application

The volunteer application closed on Thursday, October 8.

Volunteers are expected to put in a minimum of 8 hours of volunteer work over the course of the event, and will in return be given a free virtual pass. Volunteer time will primarily consist of introducing and assisting presenters over Zoom, so a general tech-savviness is required. ACE is committed to creating an inclusive and diverse conference, and would like to particularly invite BIPOC folks and those who hold other marginalized identities who might not otherwise have access to the conference to apply.

Become a 2020 virtual EdCon sponsor! This year, ACE is offering 3 levels of sponsorship for the EdCon.

After October 1st, we will only be accepting additional Banner-Only Sponsors ($150).

Notebook Level: $150

Put your logo on a notebook that will be sent to participants of the EdCon! Your logo will hold a physical place in today’s virtual world – you’ll be remembered for years to come. Logos will be edited to one color and approximately 1.25’’x1.25’’. 

Banner Level (includes Notebook): $300

Have your logo on the banner of the EdCon website! Attendees will see this whenever they navigate to Zoom events. You will also receive a social media shoutout from ACE.

Room Name Level (includes Notebook and Banner): $500

Have a Zoom Room named after you/your organization! The schedule and website will refer to a certain Zoom room as the “Your Organization” Room.

Email natasha@americanyouthcircus.org to become a sponsor!

Presenter Applications

Applications for presenters are now closed. Accepted presenters receive complimentary tickets to the conference.

Questions about presenting? Email winnie@americancircuseducators.org