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Creative ID: 040

Art form(s): Community Art, Circus Arts.

Based in: Auckland and Northland. 

When I'm available: Anytime.

Where I'm available: Auckland and Northland. 

My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)

We put a smile on everyone's face! We are a unique and award-winning Circus Arts organisation, improving lives through 'inclusion in action' reaching over 5,000 New Zealanders a year. We deliver circus arts classes, community events and workshops for all ages and abilities across the Auckland region and Northland, using circus as a tool for developing personal confidence and physical literacy, for connecting people and sharing joy. The organisation is a charitable trust that delivers circus classes and programmes for all ages and abilities, based on the value of 'community circus' as a tool for bringing people together to develop self-confidence, improve mental health and physical dexterity, inclusion and cultural well-being. A particular focus of our work is developing inclusion programmes for people with disabilities – using circus as an agent for social change. The organisation has spent years establishing circus programmes at kindergartens, schools and community groups, which we link in with talented youth transition students with learning difficulties. Through our well-established activities, we have strengthened our community networks to widen our impact in Auckland and Northland. We also mentor international student interns/volunteers through our relationship with Cirque du Soleil. 

My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with

We believe that by providing social impact circus arts that directly address social needs we help people of all abilities, in all our communities. We are a key partner for 'inclusion' through Circus Arts. We have won two national awards: the Arts Access Aotearoa Creative Space Award for outstanding leadership and commitment to inclusive and accessible Circus, and the Arts Access Aotearoa Community Partnership Award. Currently, our Circus Arts programmes provide over 400 opportunities across the Auckland and Northland regions. The organisation has already delivered events through the “Out & About” programme, Auckland Arts Festival, linked Auckland Arts Festival performers, enriched Myers Park & Kauri Festivals, and contributes to the International Day for Disabled People, Disability Pride week, Youth Week, Transition Expo, Auckland Circus Conventions, Auckland Circus Network gatherings and Inclusive Showcases. The organisation set up New Zealand’s first inclusive Community Circus group in Dargaville. Since then, the organisation has consistently delivered diversity events, and regular classes at Tapac. In 2014, the organisation was invited to participate in Cirque du Soleil’s: Cirque Du Monde (community youth support programme).

Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes

We are MSD Level 3 Accredited (MYD Opportunities for Youth – Specialist Programmes and Services). We do this by increasing the confidence, energy, creativity and aspiration of people through the joy of discovery. Our target audiences are the public, community, youth, disability, Māori and the arts sector. As a community-interest organisation we aim to alleviate mental health issues, improve life chances and improve health through non-competitive physical activity. Our programmes use circus as an agent for social change by addressing social needs to positively impact the social fabric of communities and well-being of individuals and families. The organisation has spent years establishing circus programmes at kindergartens, schools and community groups, which we can now link in with talented youth transition students with learning difficulties. Over recent years through our well-established activities, we have strengthened our community networks and expanded our regional relationships to widen our impact in Auckland and Northland. All our tutors are already police vetted.

Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice

We inspire all ages and all abilities through leadership to achieve an inclusive society for Auckland with our vision of improving lives through Circus Arts, to include more people and involve more communities. Circus is an amazing tool to engage and motivate young people, to improve their physical and emotional literacy, overcome challenges and gain the confidence to face whatever life throws at you. Circus worldwide has proven effective at impacting positively on school, work and life skills. This is the next step of community circus development that our Creative Director has initiated over the last 20 years here in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“We have been really impressed with the ability of the Creative Director and the team to provide a really fun and playful way for local communities to connect and stay active in our parks and open spaces. The organisation has delivered as part of the Out & About programme for several years now, across multiple local boards and we look forward to working with them into the future.” [sic]

– Peter Caccioppoli, Activation Team Leader, Parks, Sport & Recreation, Auckland Council.

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