Staff

Tara Jacob Executive Director

Tara first fell in love with the fun, creativity, and community she found in the circus as a teenager at The Circus Space in London, and went on to found the Circus Folk Unite! collective at Hampshire College. She then completed the 2012-2013 Professional Track program at the New England Center for the Circus Arts. Tara served on the AYCO Board of Directors from 2015-2017, then was AYCO’s Operations Manager from 2017-2018. She is currently also an instructor at SHOW Circus Studio in Easthampton, MA.

Claire Dehm Safety Program Manager / Social Circus Program Manager

Claire is a circus educator and advocate who attended her first AYCO event at the 2010 Educators Conference. She holds a B.S. in Marketing Communications and a minor in Recreation from Ithaca College where she was involved with the circus club, ICircus. Claire loves circus because there is a place for everyone.

Rainie Themer Communications Coordinator

Rainie Themer first fell in love with circus while working as an undergrad at Illinois State University’s Milner Library in the Circus and Allied Arts Collection. Over the last decade, her passion for circus has continued to grow. She spent four years serving as the Online Director for Circus Now. During this time she had the opportunity to organize and attend festivals, conferences, and performances around North America. Rainie first became involved with AYCO in 2012 where she served as a Research Intern and returned as the Communications Consultant in April of 2019. Rainie currently works full-time as the Program Director for Gamma Phi Circus at Illinois State University.

Safety Consultants

See bios of our Safety Consultants here!