Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival

CCCF is the first contemporary circus festival to be held in the US, featuring 5 days of genre-defying shows, workshops, and more.

In partnership with

Daringly Moving Circus, January 6-12, 2014

About the Festival

Based out of the beautiful and historic Athenaeum Theatre in glorious Chicago, the festival will fill 3 theaters with shows, workshops and community outreach, featuring nationally renowned, genre-defying artists from around the US and abroad.

The mission of this new festival is two-fold: to elevate the perception and promote the artistic view of circus performance in America and to inspire growth and development of budding new American circus artists and directors towards international levels of artistry and creation.

Since its inception, American circus has been viewed as clowns with big shoes, glittery show girl costumes and elephants. In stark contrast, the contemporary circus, already well established and respected in Europe, Canada and other parts of the world since the 1970's, is a mix of circus skill, theater, dance and music. It provokes emotion and feeling rather than focusing solely on technical skill.

Just as other industries have annual conventions to improve upon the skills and knowledge of its participants, we hope the CCCF will encourage American artists to explore what the world of circus is in other countries and develop a deeper artistic process. By attending professional development workshops and seminars, the level of professionalism, skills and business understanding will help the artist to compete in the global marketplace.

The CCCF believes that we can encourage an appreciation of all arts through the discovery of contemporary circus. This will ultimately lead audiences and artists to search out and support a greater variety of arts, be it classical or modern art, dance, music, theater, or cinema.​​

What We Need & What You Get

  • Through our Crowdfunding campaign we are attempting to raise $20,000. This is what we need to keep us from going to debtor's jail forever. However, the overall festival budget is $100,000, which we are attempting to raise through fundraisers, sponsorships and ticket sales. Everything over our goal lessens the stress on other funding sources.
  • Donating to our festival at any level will get you shout outs and endless appreciation. Each level has a unique gift package from t-shirts to VIP passes, recognition in our printed materials, even reserved tables at private parties with the artists! 
  • Most importantly though, donating brings us together as a community. It's an event that we all create together because we all realize the importance and need for it. It's our event and our celebration. Let's all be owners of it.

The Impact

Our goals for the festival include the following:

  • To expose American audiences to a new performing art that they will LOVE and be unable to believe they lived without for so long!
  • Expose performing arts presenters to exciting new programming options.
  • To encourage the development of new full-length American contemporary circus shows. So many people are making amazing acts that have nowhere to go once made. Let's make the shows for the acts to go into!
  • To guide US circus artists towards international standards of creation and promotion so that we can compete on the international market.
  • To connect individual circus artists with potential jobs, training and resources within the community.

Other Ways You Can Help

Some people just can’t contribute $$$, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help:

  • We need airline miles! Please contact us if you can help get our artists here.
  • We also need other sorts of in-kind donations including hotel rooms or home-stays, catering, ground transportation (lend your car!) and so much more. 
  • Spread the word. Tell your Gazillionaire friends. Come to the festival.

See you in Chicago! Don't forget your snowsuit!

Team on This Campaign: