Community Update 8/31/17

Dear Circus Community:

In June 2017, we published a Vision for American Circus, and announced our intent to merge AYCO/ACE and Circus Now in order to pursue that vision with greater effectiveness. We also invited comment from this community on our plans, including a series of meetings at the American Youth Circus Festival in Trenton, NJ. Thank you for your patience and trust in this Board and thanks to all who contributed to the conversation.

We have heard significant support for our jointly published expanded vision for circus arts in America, and we are committed to doing our part to bring this vision to life.

However, we conclude that our community is not ready to merge Circus Now with AYCO/ACE. As a result, merger talks, which were paused pending the consultation period, have now been stopped.

We continue to believe in our shared vision for circus arts in the USA. AYCO/ACE and Circus Now will collaborate to pursue that vision, with each organization focusing on the elements that are most relevant to their mission. We encourage other organizations and individuals to use this vision as common ground on which to build collaborative efforts.

AYCO/ACE is committed to pursuing aspects of the vision that currently fall within our mission statement. AYCO also heard that 18 – 30-year olds want more support for continued engagement in circus arts.  We are considering ways to provide this support and will provide additional updates as we continue our work.

While our consultation process felt contentious at times, this open discussion may be one of the most beneficial experiences for AYCO/ACE and Circus Now in their histories. Many more of our community members have become fully engaged in looking ahead. Moving forward, AYCO/ACE will need those newly engaged to step up and help.

We will keep the account open for continued communication.

On behalf of the Board, we thank you.

Sincerely yours in circus,

Jesse AlFord

AYCO Board President