NECCA is founded by Elsie Smith and Serenity Smith Forchion and receives its 501(c)(3) status as a nonprofit circus arts education facility. For several years previous to this, circus arts instruction was provided under the name of Nimble Arts. Elsie and Serenity felt it was vital for the students and the community for NECCA to take this next step and grow into a nonprofit. Classes were taught with a staff of approximately 10 coaches at the Cotton Mill and the New England Youth Theater in Brattleboro, VT. The original Professional Track or “ProTrack” program began in 2007 as well, beginning NECCA’s reputation of successfully preparing professional circus artists for careers in circus.
Many Thanks To
The New England Center for Circus Arts is supported by the New England Foundation for the Arts through the New England Arts Resilience Fund, part of the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund, an initiative of the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with major funding from the federal CARES Act from the National Endowment for the Arts.
NECCA expands into 3 studios at the Cotton Mill and establishes an additional professional program, the Intensive Program, designed to meet the growing needs of the industry. This year also brought the first annual Flying Nut holiday show as well as the Circus In The Neighborhood outreach program established to bring circus to those who otherwise wouldn’t have access to NECCA programming. This was also the first year of the Circus Spectacular: an annual fundraising event at the Latchis Theater aimed at raising funds specifically for outreach and scholarships.
NECCA received its 501(c)(3) not for profit status in December 2007 and can accept tax deductible donations. The incorporation of NECCA and the filing of not for profit papers was the culmination of much work from a supportive community, school members and a Board of Directors who believed that it was an important next step in the building of an internationally recognized yet locally vital circus center.
NECCA grows into 4 studios at the Cotton Mill as well as the Winston-Prouty gymnasium and has a staff of around 35. Land was purchased at Town Crier Dr, which would be the future home of NECCA’s custom trapezium. The outdoor Flying Trapeze rig moved to this site to take advantage of the amazing space and location.
NECCA officially breaks ground for construction at the 10 Town Crier Drive location.
In June, NECCA officially moved to its new and permanent home in a custom built Trapezium. This moved allowed NECCA to expand its ProTrack program to a full-time 3-year professional training program to better prepare students for the careers ahead. By this time, NECCA’s staff grew to 50 employees.
FlyTeam, professional Flying Trapeze program begins.
First graduates and tour of the 3-year ProTrack program.
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NECCA is a nonprofit that’s committed to the people it serves and the community within which it thrives. We rely on our many generous donors to continue to be a place that’s accessible to everyone, where creativity and artistry soar, and where the seemingly impossible becomes possible—every single day. Please consider joining others in supporting our work. Thank you!