Community Update 1/22/2021

Dear Community,

Circus should be a safe place for all people: a place of trust, learning, and connection. This means that circus educators, organizations, and schools must hold responsibility for assessing and mitigating many different kinds of risks in order to prevent harm to students and all community members. The American Youth Circus Organization/American Circus Educators Association is committed to supporting our members and the wider circus community in securing physical and emotional safety for all.

As our latest step, we are proud to release a new resource from our Health and Wellness Committee, the AYCO/ACE Ethical Principles of Sexual Abuse and Harassment Prevention. This document outlines clearly and specifically what we believe are core truths for reference in developing policy and best practices to prevent sexual abuse and harassment. We hope that this document will be instrumental in helping educators, organizations, and schools to engage seriously and openly in creating a culture of safety, accountability, and best practice in their circus spaces.

The Health & Wellness Committee has been doing vital work for over two years, collecting, creating, and disseminating resources for the community on a variety of topics such as sexual abuse and harassment, disordered eating, concussions, and suicide. Please check out their full resource list of crucial information and links on our website. Our Circus Arts Safety Guidelines and Circus Arts Safety Program are also excellent resources for organizations looking to follow industry best practices.

We all know that this work is ongoing and important, especially as incidents involving individuals in the circus community such as Barry Lubin, William Allen, Marcello Marquis, and (just today) Steven Santos continue to be brought to light. We must work together to speak up, take action, and prevent future harm. Thank you to our member organizations, educators, and youth in supporting this work and joining us in the commitment to make every circus space free from abuse and harassment.

With great care,

Tara Jacob
Executive Director

We recognize that sexual abuse and harassment is a difficult topic. If you are feeling in need of immediate support, please call RAINN’s free, confidential 24hr hotline at 800 656 4673 or visit their website at