Did you know St. Louis is one of only three cities in the United States with an annual resident circus and year-round outreach programs? Circus Flora is St. Louis’ own theatre company that blends traditional European circus with modern theatre techniques.
Circus Flora was one of the organizations in the initial group to post a project to power2give.org when it first launched in fall 2013. Circus Flora’s project sought to raise funds for a sensory friendly circus with a project titled in that name. The “Sensory Friendly Circus” project’s goal was to create a circus conducive to those with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities.
Circus Flora was able to make their show sensory friendly by removing bothersome stimuli, adjusting noise levels in the show and reducing the stigma of public reaction by providing a tent for a quiet area. The funds raised on power2give allowed more people to get to enjoy the experience of the circus.
“The Sensory Friendly Performance, a show designed specifically for individuals on the autism spectrum, was Circus Flora’s first crowd-funded project. Using Power2Give allowed Circus Flora to reach a broader audience interested in autism services as well as the arts. The campaign ran early in the year enabling us to connect with our audience before the season was in full swing. The efforts of our acting company to create this specially-modified performance were rewarded by the outpouring of appreciation by parents, several of whom expressed through barely suppressed tears what it meant for them to attend a live performance together, as a family, and not have others stare or pass judgment at their child for spinning to express excitement, or clapping too long, or needing to exit and return several times. The inaugural Sensory Friendly Performance was such a success that Circus Flora will again partner with Easter Seals Midwest during our upcoming Big Top season,” Director of Development at Circus Flora, Susan Mintz said.
Circus Flora’s current power2give project is called “Run Away With Us!” which is seeking funds to expand their June 2015 production from three weeks to four weeks so even more audience members and underserved children can enjoy St. Louis’ magical theater under a Big Top.
Circus Flora, an A&E Operating Grantee, has a variety of shows and programs throughout the year. Circus Flora is also home to the “Clowns on Call,” a group that brings specially trained circus artists to the bedsides of young patients. Circus Flora is a tenant in the Centene Center for Arts and Education.