Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at NECCA

LETTER FROM OUR BOARD CHAIR

Dear NECCA Community:

On behalf of the NECCA Board of Directors, I want to let you know that after a year of reflection and careful consideration, we adopted the following Statement on Diversity Equity and Inclusion at our Board Meeting last Monday night, April 26, 2021. The work that will unfold as a result, is driven by the promise of our mission to enable a diverse and inclusive community to realize their dreams through the transformative power of circus arts. This statement will have a permanent home on our website, and serves as the starting point for a deeper DEI initiative.

In the coming weeks, the Board Governance Committee will solicit NECCA board members, staff, and students to be part of a DEI Task Force to develop and guide this work within our organization and the greater community over a multi-year period.

Those students and community members interested in volunteering for this work should consider the time and emotional labor involved. All may submit an application to the Executive Director and the Board. Once the Task Force has recruited Board, Staff, and Students, it will examine which other key stakeholders should have representation in order to fulfill its charter.

Please know that we do not undertake this work lightly. We believe that education, a thorough examination of current culture and a carefully developed work plan with clearly articulated goals and measures of success will make NECCA a more equitable and inclusive organization–to the benefit of all.

We also know that as a primarily white-led, cis gender able-bodied organization, we have a great deal to learn, and we will make mistakes along the way. We are committed to using those mistakes as opportunities for learning and improvement.

We are grateful for all the ways that you support NECCA already, and we are excited to share our progress in this work with you.

Sincerely,
Elizabeth Wohl, Board Chair

NECCA Board of Directors 2021
Elizabeth Wohl
John Hatton
Jerry Stockman
Maggie Luther
Patrick Noyes
Valentine Talland
Scott Kaltenbaugh
Cynthia Platero
Jim Verzino

NECCA BOARD POSITION STATEMENT ON DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION

NECCA’s mission demands that we place diversity and inclusion at the forefront of our work. As we examine the American culture in which NECCA and American circus have developed, we recognize that the culture has not been one of equity. Specifically, American culture has long privileged certain groups and disadvantaged others. Without active evaluation,
identification, and remedy, these structural imbalances will remain in place.

Therefore, the NECCA Board commits to creating and empowering a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Taskforce that will report to and be supported by the Board Governance Committee. The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force will include students, staff, board members and other necessary stakeholders, as identified by the Task Force and approved by the Board.

The work of the Task Force will include:
A. Identifying education necessary to the NECCA community
B. Creating a workplan for NECCA to use to (1) examine potentially discriminatory practices; (2) propose policy change to improve practices; and (3) evaluate whether remedial steps to repair harm are necessary.
C. Determining the need for, and recommending to the Board outside resources or consultants to support NECCA in this work.
D. Identifying community partners in the local, regional, national, and international circus communities who can collaborate to support mutual goals.
E. Providing quarterly (at minimum) reports to the Board Governance Committee and an annual report to the Board of Directors.

The Responsibility of the Board of Directors shall be:
A. To integrate the work of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Task Force into the Strategic Plan, and support the Executive Director in developing processes to ensure that all work at NECCA is conducted through the lens of equity.
B. To make ultimate determinations, in consultation with the Executive Director regarding NECCA’s priorities, where competing interests must be balanced, with an eye toward the long-term sustainability of the institution.

APPLICATIONS TO THE TASK FORCE ARE NOW CLOSED

Circus Spectacular 2020 On-Demand

JOIN US!

CIRCUS OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND

Whether you’re an audience member, circus coach, aspiring circus artist, garden fanatic, or circus student, we have opportunities for you to get involved!

  • Circus Spectacular: Streaming on Demand
  • We’re Hiring!
  • Community Garden
  • Save the Dates: Summer Programming

NECCA PRESENTS:

CIRCUS SPECTACULAR – STREAMING ON DEMAND!

APRIL 30 – MAY 9, 2021

The Circus Spectacular thrilled and delighted audiences in 2020 and now you can see the show filmed on the stage at the Latchis Theater in Brattleboro, Vermont. We are embracing virtual streaming options to share past productions with you and raise funds for NECCA’s scholarships & programming.

Featuring celebrity circus ringmasters and star circus acts from around the world, this was our last pre-COVID in person event. Buy your ticket now to view anytime between April 30 – May 9 from the comfort of your own sofa.

Artists:

  • Keith Nelson & Stephanie Monseau: Ringmasters and Variety Artists Extraordinaire from Bindlestiff Family Cirkus​
  • Molly Gawler: Cyr Wheel & Coat Dance
  • Susan Murphy: Dance Trapeze
  • Troy Wunderle: Comedy Magic
  • Mario Diamond: Mime
  • Elsie Smith: Aerial Hammock
  • Serenity Smith Forchion: Dance Trapeze
  • Montana Miller: Aerial Rings Narrative
  • Ariele Ebacher: Tight Wire
  • Austin Smith: Juggling
  • Sam Gurwitt: Clown
  • Opening Charivari by NECCA’s Advanced Youth Troupe

When: Streaming on demand April 30 – May 9, 2021

Cost: $15-50 (all funds raised go toward outreach programming)

WE’RE HIRING!

JOIN OUR TEAM

We’re hiring coaches and admin positions ASAP. Interested professionals should send their resume in English accompanied by a cover letter, indicating role(s) of interest, availability, two professional references and one personal reference to director@necenterforcircusarts.org. All candidates must agree to adhere to our mission and values.

ADULT CLASS COACHES
We’re hiring coaches who are passionate about teaching circus to adults of all levels and abilities in our recreational classes and summer workshops. Schedules vary: Mondays – Friday after 3 pm; weekends 9 am – 4 pm. Short and long term contracts available. There are also opportunities to lead, co-teach, assist, and sub. Skill areas include all levels of fabric, trapeze, lyra, acrobatics, tight wire, straps, rope, Spanish web, contortion, and hand balancing.

If you’d like to join our community of incredible coaches, please send your resume/CV to director@necenterforcircusarts.org ASAP!

YOUTH CLASS COACHES
Love teaching circus to kiddos? Change lives through coaching our youth students! If you have experience teaching fabric, sling, trapeze, lyra, trampoline, tight wire, tumbling, juggling, dance, physical theater and clowning, and/or invented apparatus, please send your resume/CV to director@necenterforcircusarts.org.

Here are more details on our youth programming:

Youth Summer Camp
June 23 – August 27 (weekly)
Monday – Friday
8:20am – 3:30pm
Weeks, days, and times may vary, must be flexible with schedule. Must have previous work with youth and be comfortable teaching Circus Skills from beginner to intermediate levels. Must go through youth behavior training, child abuse prevention, first aid/CPR.

Advanced Performance Camp
July 26 – 30
Monday – Friday
9am – 3:30pm
Must be comfortable teaching high level fabric and/or rope. Previous work with youth is preferred. Must go through youth behavior training, child abuse prevention, first aid/CPR.

Youth & Teen Program Session Classes
Session I June 14-July 18 (5 weeks)
Session II July 19-Aug 22/29 (5 or 6 weeks)
Mondays between 4:15 – 7pm (age range 5 – 18)
Wednesdays between 4 – 6pm (age range 5 – 18)
Saturdays between 10 – 10:45am (age range 3 – 18)
Must have previous work with youth and be comfortable teaching Circus Skills from beginner to intermediate level. Must go through youth behavior training, child abuse prevention, first aid/CPR.

RECEPTIONIST / HEALTH OFFICER

Our Admin Team, many of whom are artists themselves, bring their organizational skills and “behind the scenes” experiences to support and sustain the mission of NECCA. Our receptionists provide exceptional customer service to a variety of students and visitors and administrative support for NECCA’s various programs and events. Health officers assist in our COVID protocols.

Join us! Send your resume/CV to director@necenterforcircusarts.org.

NECCA’S COMMUNITY GARDEN

GROWING RESILIENCE

Connect with us, nature, and the Brattleboro community! NECCA’s new community garden is part of a town wide project to create gardens that are available to anyone. We’re looking for people to help maintain the garden from now through the end of fall.

Our very own coach, Tony Duncan, is organizing this project and he will be putting out a schedule of specific tasks, such as planting, watering, weeding, pruning and prettifying the gardens in the next couple of weeks. If you’re interested in helping, please sign up through the button below.

SAVE THE DATES

COMING UP AT NECCA!

  • CIRCUS SPECTACULAR 2020 – STREAMING ON DEMAND: April 30 – May 9, 2021
  • PROTRACK YEAR 3 GRADUATION SHOW: May 21 – 30, 2021
  • PROTRACK YEAR 2 GRADUATION SHOW: June 25 – July 4, 2021
  • AERIAL & CIRCUS SKILLS WEEKS: June 14 – 18, 2021
  • SUMMER SESSION 1: June 14 – July 18, 2021
  • SUMMER INTENSIVE: June 14 – July 18, 2021
  • YOUTH SUMMER CAMPS: June 23 – August 27 (weekly)
  • PERFORMANCE BOOT CAMP: July 19 – August 6, 2021
  • SUMMER SESSION 2: July 19 – August 22/29, 2021

Spring Appeal

SPRING APPEAL

REALIZING DREAMS

Last year, we helped over 1,000 community students and 37 career students get closer to their dreams with the transformative power of circus arts. This Spring, you can help sustain our impact on the global cultural landscape and the local economy with your financial support:

  • $1,000 purchases new equipment needed to keep our students safe
  • $400 supports a young person for one week in Summer Camp
  • $150 covers the cost for a health officer to protect our students during the pandemic

Thank you for your dedicated support of NECCA as we continue to bring the American tradition of circus to our community and the world.

– Jennifer Struble, Executive Director

 

FROM OUR STUDENTS

TESTIMONIALS

PRO STUDENT

VIOLET

After spending her 20’s in precarious housing and financial situations, Violet attended a graduate program in writing. To cope with stress of feeling completely out of her league, Violet signed up for a recreational circus class. After becoming an adjunct writing professor, circus never left her.

In 2012, a friend flew her to Vermont to take trapeze classes. At NECCA, she never forgot the skill, kindness, and support she witnessed from teachers. Now in her 2nd year of ProTrack, she feels grateful and prepared by dedicated coaches that have given her technique and artistry without ever making her feel like she was not doing well for her age.

Violet will be 40 when she graduates. She will remember her time at NECCA as a series of perfect moments that have taught her it’s possible to live a life filled with complete joy.

DONATE TODAY

YOUTH STUDENT

NATALIE

“So much in the world has been flipped upside-down for the last year and Natalie’s local in person circus training had to stop abruptly due to the pandemic. But these weekly online NECCA classes have helped her practice being upside-down in a good way! In spite of the global pandemic, she’s gotten consistent practice, training, and guidance from Serenity and the other teachers, and even though she really misses in person classes, she has been able to develop a lot in circus arts this year – and the connections she has made with them have been more valuable than ever. Natalie and I really appreciate that NECCA has adapted their programs to include her as a remote student and that she continues to benefit from circus arts.”

-Hugh Morgenbesser (Father of Natalie)

DONATE TODAY

GRADUATE

DANNY

“For me, NECCA was far more than a circus studio – it was a place to learn performance skills and also some really important life skills. I found NECCA’s ProTrack when I was at an extreme low in my life, and by participating in their programs I learned how to be self-disciplined, set goals, and work successfully within groups. I needed a safe and nurturing environment to be a part of, and the coaches and students there helped me to find myself. Now, ten years since I started my training, I work as a full time professional circus artist. I’ve performed hand balancing and aerial acts in many shows in the United States and internationally and won an award for Best Artistry at the Aerial Acrobatic Arts Festival. All of these opportunities were made possible to me because of my time at NECCA. Thank you NECCA!”

DONATE TODAY

 

April Updates #1

SUMMER TRAINING AT NECCA
FOR ADULTS!

Make circus your focus for a few days, weeks, or the entire summer! Enjoy the amenities of our custom built Trapezium and all of the outdoor activities a Vermont summer provides. We understand if you’ve had to take a break from circus – come as you are and our individualized programs will take you to the next level.

Take a look below, mark your calendars, and get those vacation days ready!
Aerial Skills Week: June 14 – 18
Circus Skills Week: June 14 – 18
Summer Intensive: June 14 – July 18
Performance Boot Camp: July 19 – August

All of our programming is COVID safe. Check out our extensive safety protocols here. Vermont residents and anyone who has had their second COVID vaccine more than 14 days before entering the state may register. See you soon!

 

AERIAL SKILLS WEEK

JUNE 14 – 18

Do aerial all day, every day in beautiful Vermont with the coaches you love! Select from a main focus on trapeze, aerial fabric, lyra or rope, then pick from a variety of other aerial and circus skills for your other 2 training areas each day. The schedule includes a warm up, apparatus time split into skill levels, and workshops on injury prevention, rigging basics, and conditioning. For those who want the full Vermont experience we’ll add in a bonfire night, dinner at a restaurant on the river, and morning run/walk or meditation time along the river path.
COST: $925 (Financial aid is available – email us.)

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: Get the special $900 early bird price if you register before May 14!

INSTRUCTORS: Elsie Smith, Serenity Smith Forchion, Aimee Hancock, Jenna Ciotta, and more!

AGES: 16 and up.

SCHEDULE: Monday – Thursday: 9 am – 5 pm. Friday: 9 am – 4 pm.

PREREQUISITES: Beginners are welcome, but a level of fitness is helpful as these are long days of activity! More advanced aerialists will work in more advanced groups. Vermont residents and anyone who has had their second COVID vaccine more than 14 days before entering the state may register.

 

CIRCUS SKILLS WEEK

JUNE 14 – 18

Circus camp for adults in beautiful Vermont! You’ll to select from a main focus area of trampoline/tramp wall, hand balancing or wheel arts, then pick from a variety of other circus skills for your other 2 training times each day, including trampoline/tramp wall, balancing, parkour/acrobatics, aerials, handstands, partner acrobatics, juggling, wheel arts and more. We’ll have a group warm up to start the day, and after lunch each day we’ll provide a workshop on injury prevention, self care, and/or conditioning.

COST: $925 (Financial aid is available – email us.)

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: Get the special $900 early bird price if you register before May 14!

INSTRUCTORS: Alyk Fuller, Zeb Galipeau, and more!

AGES: 16 and up.

SCHEDULE: Monday – Thursday: 9 am – 5 pm. Friday: 9 am – 4 pm.

PREREQUISITES: Beginners are welcome, but a level of fitness is helpful as these are long days of activity! More advanced participants will work in more advanced groups. Vermont residents and anyone who has had their second COVID vaccine more than 14 days before entering the state may register.

 

SUMMER INTENSIVE

JUNE 14 – JULY 18

Push yourself physically while diving deep into the world of circus arts in this five week immersive training program. NECCA’s professional coaches will help you push harder, explore deeper, and fly higher to help you see where your circus journey can take you. Our custom built facility includes air conditioning, an in-ground foam pit and trampoline, as well as 40′ and 24′ rigging points. You can enjoy the fun and beauty of summer in Vermont with swimming, hiking, biking and water sports just steps away from NECCA’s front door.

Check out our website for full details on the 18 hours of coaching/week, private lessons, unlimited practice time, and so much more!

AGES: 18 and up – come with a circus arts background, or start circus for the first time!

COACHES: The program is directed by Elsie Smith, plus a variety of other coaches including Alyk Fuller, Zeb Galipeau, Jenna Ciotta, and Serenity Smith.

COST: $3,000. Deposit of $1000 due 2 weeks after acceptance, balance due June 1st.

 

PERFORMANCE BOOT CAMP

JULY 19 – AUGUST 6

MONDAY – FRIDAY | 9 AM – 5 PM

Live out your passion all day, every day in one of NECCA’s most intensive performance-centered programs. You’ll spend your days pushing your technical skills, artistry, and stage presence to the edge as you create your own individual act as well as through the collaborative development of a full ensemble show. The program is overseen by an internationally recognized artistic team of directors and coaches thrilled to challenge you to new heights in our amazing custom built facility surrounded by the picturesque Vermont summer.

Visit our website to learn more about what each day entails and all of the circus fun you’ll have strengthening your performance skills and making an act that will be performed at the end of the program.

AGES: Pre-professional circus students ages 14 and up.

COACHES: Aimée Hancock directs the program. Other coaches include Zeb Galipeau, Jenna Ciotta, and Elsie Smith.

COST: $1700. Deposit of $850 will secure your spot, and we can set up flexible installments with the final payment due July 5th.

March Updates

SPRING INTO CIRCUS!

NEW CLASSES: MARCH 22 – JUNE 13*
*NO CLASSES APRIL 19-25, APRIL 30, MAY 31

Spring out of winter and into circus classes! Try something new to move your body and ease your mind. Trapeze, hoop, acrobatics, fabric, and so much more!

  • Online and in person Spring Session classes are designed for:
  • All ages
  • Youth classes: 1.5 – 18 years old
  • Adult classes: 18 and up
  • All levels
  • Beginners welcome!
  • 7 days/week

Questions? Email us! Register today!

 

 

CIRCUS SPECTACULAR

MARCH 6, 2021 | ONLINE @ 7 pm EST

NECCA presents the Circus Spectacular! Our 11th annual fundraising show features internationally renowned circus artists from Cirque du Soleil, 7 Fingers, and more! Award winning artists include Eric Bates, Molly Gawler, Jeff Raz, Kevin Beverley, Ariana Ferber-Carter, Tristan Cunningham, Joel Herzfeld, Micah Ellinger, and Chloe Somers (Walier).

The platform is virtual, but the performers and audience will be joining from around the world for real time interaction. Join us online for a spectacular evening to support outreach and scholarship programming at NECCA.

 

 

STAFF SPOTLIGHT: JENNA CIOTTA

PRONOUNS: SHE/HER

Jenna’s coworkers nominated her to be recognized this month. Fellow staff members said: “She’s a rock star,” and “Jenna C has seamlessly transitioned from student to staff and proven herself to be a vitally important player in terms of student relations, COVID task force, and governance panel.”

Celebrate Jenna by reading on to learn more about her:

Where were you born?
Arizona

How long have you worked for NECCA and what is your job?
I’ve been working for NECCA for the past four years (and was also a student of the Pro Track program for the first two), moving from substitute coach to session class coach and now working as a Pro Track Coach.

Tell us about your background, accomplishments, career highlights, and what brought you to NECCA. Please brag about yourself!
I found and fell in love with circus right after graduating from undergrad and starting a career in the domestic violence field. I ended up finishing my MA degree in Human Rights before fully committing to run away with the circus. I joke now that burying myself in crippling debt was my first step towards becoming a real artist, but I’m truly grateful to have come to circus as an older athlete and with some real world experience under my belt. I like to think that I bring a passion for social justice with me to my circus practice, and performance art activism interests me greatly!

What is something most people don’t know about you?
I hate pickles and mustard. I’m terrified of grasshoppers. All of my tattoos are stick n pokes done by friends.

What do you love about NECCA and how did you first hear about us?
I heard about NECCA from my early aerial coaches. NECCA sounded like the most magical place where the coolest people went to train. Being accepted as a student at NECCA felt like an immense achievement. Becoming part of the coaching staff has been such an honor. Having my idols turn into teachers turn into peers and colleagues makes me feel very lucky!

 

 

COMING UP

Mark your calendars!
——–

  • PROTRACK APPLICATIONS ROUND 2, ONGOING
  • CIRCUS SPECTACULAR (ONLINE SHOW), MARCH 6 @ 7 PM EST
  • ONLINE PROTRACK AUDITIONS, MARCH 12-14
  • AERIAL SKILLS WEEK, JUNE 14-18
  • CIRCUS SKILLS WEEK, JUNE 14-18
  • SUMMER INTENSIVE, JUNE 14 – JULY 18
  • YOUTH CAMPS, JUNE 23 – AUGUST 27
  • PERFORMANCE BOOT CAMP, JULY 19 – AUGUST 6

February News

Our dedication to safety and circus allowed us to persevere through the hardships 2020. As we move into 2021, we’re welcoming new board members and our new Executive Director, presenting the Circus Spectacular, and continuing to offer safe future programming.

Something about the circus stirs their souls, and they ache for it when it is absent.
– Erin Morgensten

Circus is still here. Circus artists are valuable. Art is needed, especially now.

 

2020 YEAR IN REVIEW

The mission of NECCA is “…the transformative power of circus arts enables a diverse and inclusive community of artists, teachers and students to realize their dreams.” This has never been more important to sustain during a global pandemic, in a year of social justice reckoning and a seriously contentious election year. Art has the power to restore and revive – NECCA is doing our part thanks to you.

You may not have been here in person, but you showed up. Students attended online, staff taught online from their homes, and you trusted us to walk into the Trapezium with your mask on to continue to express yourself and learn this special craft that is circus arts. The beloved community gave unprecedented donations that helped us stay afloat. Because of you all, we are still here.

We also acknowledge the support of our ardent funders such as Brattleboro Savings and Loan, the ACCD, Vermont Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts and the New England for the Arts, Vermont Economic Development Authority and our local, state and state governments. Their support helped sustain our students, staff and their families as they in turn contributed to the Southern Vermont economy and civic community efforts.

Sadly, last year’s ProTrack graduating students had to forego their usual spring performance tour and any formal graduation ceremony, all camps and events were cancelled and NECCA’s future was uncertain. But thanks to the leadership of Jamie Hodgson, the board and financial support, NECCA was able to reopen in September.

Through all of these challenges – robust and daily changes were taking place here at NECCA. Interim ED Wendy Harrison managed the re-opening and the board did a national search that led to my arrival as Executive Director. Our dedicated staff organized, took on more responsibilities and filled in the gaps. We organized a COVID Task Force, hired two new permanent staff, Andy Schmitz and Julia Langenberg, to handle the facility needs brought forth by the pandemic and to increase our visibility on the crowded internet.

And in spite of all of the changes, staff have stayed afloat and managed to still deliver quality programming. The numbers reflect all of their hard work. In spite of all the challenges, staff still managed to have an impact. NECCA conducted:

77 Youth In Person classes
176 Adult In Person classes
52 Online Students
493 Private Sessions

In addition, the unduplicated numbers showed that they registered for multiple classes.

89 Aerial Adult students
140 Ground Adult students
139 Youth students
42 Youth Break Camp participants
59 Workshop participants
38 Flying Trapeze students
118 Reserved and Member Training participants
35 ProTrack students
18 Residency participants
383 Online Class students
17 Special Events

NECCA staff also sought opportunities to serve their community. Juggling Coach, Tony Duncan not only organized food drop offs for community members – with other NECCA staff volunteering, as well – he, along with ProTrack’s Jenna Ciotta created a Brattleboro community garden and helped get our own NECCA garden started. Coach Marysia Kochac created a Facebook support group called “Circus Every Damn Pandemic” that now has over 15K members where artists not only connect, but share skills, virtual shows and classes to help them through this difficult time. Serenity produced a virtual production entitled “A Singular Them” and she and co-founder Elsie Smith helped us at NECCA by having their own outdoor performance of “Circus in Place” through their company Nimble Arts. This is helping to inform what we will do in spring for our ProTrack 3 students and other revenue generating outdoor events that will help us navigate the continuation of the pandemic.

As the new Executive Director, it makes me already proud to work with such community and people serving staff and board members in a welcoming environment that all I speak with call a family. NECCA weather the storm and we will weather yet more to come, but we will continue to always make an impact and serve our mission of making dreams come true through the circus arts.

For the love of the arts and community service,

Jenna Struble

 

MEET OUR NEW BOARD MEMBERS

Please welcome new board members Valentine Talland, Scott Kaltenbaugh, Cynthia Platero, Jim Verzino, and Patrick Noyes. We’re looking forward to their unique contributions!

We are deeply grateful to David Dunn, Martin Langeveld, and Lisa Sullivan for their incredible work on our board for the last 3 years. They transformed our organization, helped raise money, created a structure for NECCA’s success, and so much more! We wish them all the best as they depart our board.

 

COMING UP

Mark your calendars!
——–

  • RACHEL REES (NECCA COACH) PERFORMANCE, FEB. 5-6 & 12-13
  • PROTRACK APPLICATIONS ROUND 2, ONGOING
  • CIRCUS SPECTACULAR (ONLINE SHOW), MARCH 6 @ 7 PM EST
  • ONLINE PROTRACK AUDITIONS, MARCH 12-14
  • AERIAL SKILLS WEEK, JUNE 14-18
  • CIRCUS SKILLS WEEK, JUNE 14-18
  • SUMMER INTENSIVE, JUNE 14 – JULY 18
  • YOUTH CAMPS, JUNE 23 – AUGUST 27
  • PERFORMANCE BOOT CAMP, JULY 19 – AUGUST 6

New Executive Director Announcement

ANNOUNCING NECCA’S
NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR!

Please welcome Jenna Struble who is joining us in January!

 

JENNA STRUBLE

The Board of Directors is delighted to announce that Jennifer (“Jenna”) Struble has been hired to serve as NECCA’s next executive director.

Jenna holds a B.A. from the University of Central Florida in Arts and began her professional career as co-founder, producer, and resident artist for the Cerulean Group theater company in Orlando, Florida. While in Orlando, she worked as a wardrobe attendant for the resident show La Nouba. She then toured with the Asia/Pacific tour of Saltimbanco, having served as Head of Wardrobe for the European Tour. While in Europe, Jenna also served as an elected artistic liaison and the internal newsletter editor for the tour, and volunteered her time teaching sewing and theater arts for students in the circus school.

In 2005, Jenna returned to her hometown, Amarillo, TX, where she honed her non-profit leadership experience. Jenna was recruited by the Amarillo Family YMCA to create teen and arts programming. After building several teen and nationally recognized arts programs, Jenna became Operations Director for the Midtown facility, under the Amarillo umbrella, and later Director of the North Branch facility, as well as their Community Youth Development grant director. There she provided valuable programs and services to 600 members and over 2,000 under served urban and rural youth and families.

Jenna moved to Dallas in 2013 to run civic engagement programs across the Dallas Metropolitan Area and to assist the Texas Youth and Government State Program Office, administered by the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas. Jenna’s last role from 2015 to 2020 was as the Association Teen Director, where she led teen program initiatives for 19 North Texas communities and 22 school districts across the State of Texas. There she also served on the Diversity and Inclusion committee, led the Dallas Y as part of a national cohort for LGBTQ inclusion, and chaired the LBGTQ Employee Resource Group. Jenna was given the distinction of Top Ten Paper by YUSA Leadership Symposium for her work on Mental Health Hygiene. Jenna is also a freelance grant writer, and consultant for non-profits and for C3 Equity Consulting, helping public and private organizations strategize their efforts in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Mental Wellness.

Jenna will begin work remotely on January 4, 2021, and she will arrive in Brattleboro in mid-January. Jenna plans to be onsite no later than the first week in February. Jenna will take the reins from Wendy Harrison, who has ably filled the role in an interim capacity since Jamie Hodgson stepped down in early September.

The Board would like to express its deep gratitude to the Executive Director Search Committee, a committee made up of board members, NECCA staff, and students. The committee worked through dozens of applications and engaged in a rigorous two-step interview process.

Jenna will be deeply engaged in learning the ropes and meeting all parts of the NECCA community during the coming months. Please extend her a warm welcome. We can’t wait for you to meet her!

 

DON’T FORGET…
WINTER SESSION STARTS JAN. 4!

IN-PERSON & ONLINE CLASSES
SIGN UP TODAY!

From Intro to Aerials to Youth Performance Troupe and Aerial Fitness, there’s something for everyone! Review our COVID protocols and warm up this winter with circus classes inside NECCA’S Trapezium or online!

 

CIRCUS GIFTS!

Give the perfect gift of circus this season. Stay active with gift cards for online or in person classes, and show tickets too! Treat yo self with NECCA gear – new hoodies, long sleeve shirts, and more will keep you warm this winter.

 

ANNUAL APPEAL

Before 2020 ends, please consider expressing your love for circus in the form of a tax-deductible gift. Every little bit will help sustain NECCA in the new year.

December 2020 Updates

WINTER IS COMING!

Stay warm with circus through these cold winter months!

Online and in person classes (with COVID protocols, of course!) offer something for everyone.
Find the perfect gift for the circus enthusiast in your life with our gift cards and new NECCA gear!
Learn more about ProTrack with our Q&A session.
Join us for an online version of the Circus Spectacular!
See you online or in person soon!

 

WINTER CLASSES @ NECCA

JAN. 4 – MAR. 21

Come bounce off our walls with youth and adult trampoline classes! Balance on your hands or climb into the air for the first time – we have classes for all ages, levels, and interests. From Intro to Aerials to Youth Performance Troupe and Aerial Fitness, there’s something for everyone. Review our COVID protocols and warm up this winter with circus classes inside NECCA’S Trapezium!

 

WINTER SESSION ONLINE

MOVE YOUR BODY, EASE YOUR MIND… AT HOME!

NEW virtual classes are coming your way starting Jan. 4! Sign up for Core & Flex, Juggling, Early Bird Fitness, Hand Balancing, Youth Fitness, Stretching & Conditioning with a Foam Roller, and so much more. We’ll help you stay warm and active this winter – all from the comfort of your home!

 

CIRCUS THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS

Give the perfect gift of circus this season. Stay active with gift cards for online or in person classes, and show tickets too!

 

UPDATED NECCA SHOP

Treat yo self! Check out our new hoodies, long sleeve shirts, and more to keep you warm this winter.

 

PROTRACK Q+A

Are you curious about what it takes to get into America’s longest running professional circus training program? Do you have questions about the full time schedule, world-class coaches, custom built trapezium, and how we can transform you into a versatile, skilled, creative circus artist?

Follow in the footsteps of our graduates who perform for 7 Fingers, Circa, Cirque Eloize, Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Mechanics, Acrobatic Conundrum, and more!

Join us for a Question & Answer session for aspiring ProTrack applicants and family on December 27 at 12 pm EST / 9 am PT on Zoom. Save the date with our Facebook event and invite your friends!

 

2021 CIRCUS SPECTACULAR

An online version of our popular Circus Spectacular show will be March 6, 2021! Now you can watch this engaging production from the comfort of your own home. Save the date and be prepared to spend a lavish evening with our celebrity artists from around the world!

 

COMING UP AT NECCA

Mark your calendars!
——–

PROTRACK APPLICATIONS DUE, JAN. 17

CIRCUS SPECTACULAR, MARCH 6

ONLINE PROTRACK AUDITIONS, MARCH 12-14

Before 2020 ends, please consider expressing your love for circus in the form of a tax-deductible gift. Every little bit will help sustain NECCA in the new year.

DONATE TO NECCA TODAY

2020 Annual Appeal

MOVING BODIES, EASING MINDS

————————————————————

Dear NECCA Enthusiast,

At NECCA, we help our students develop agility, flexibility, strength, and creativity. This year has required that NECCA itself employ all of these skills to continue to meet our mission: At NECCA, the transformative power of circus arts enables a diverse and inclusive community of artists, teachers and students to realize their dreams.

When Wendy Harrison arrived in September as interim Executive Director, NECCA was well into its carefully phased re-opening plan. We had rehired all the staff who had been laid off and welcomed our largest ProTrack program enrollment yet. Training in a mask and physically distancing has not dulled the ProTrackers enthusiasm and thirst for learning.

I’ve never played around on a trapeze like that and it just really challenged me and excited me in a way I haven’t felt before . . . I feel like this new experimental door has been opened and I’m so curious and excited to explore it. Thank you for helping me find that door!

– Thea L, ProTrack 2020/21

Our robust cleaning processes and masked training protocol allowed us to begin teaching over the summer, with confidence that we were mitigating risk to the greatest extent possible. We have continued online teaching programs that allow us to stay connected with students who normally travel from around the world to take workshops here in Brattleboro. Thanks to the dedication and flexibility of our staff, the future looks bright for NECCA.

Circus has been a place to build strength so I can keep up with the demands of a highly active child with special needs. It has become my therapeutic, happy place where I feel humbled, inspired and full of life!

– Melanie White

None of this would have been possible without the dedicated work of outgoing Executive Director, Jamie Hodgson, and NECCA’s Founders, Elsie Smith and Serenity Smith Forchion, who worked tirelessly during the shut-down to secure funding from many sources. Our core coaching, administrative, and facilities staff responded to the challenge and poured themselves into finding new, safe ways to rig apparatuses and teach skills.

In addition to the amazing work of our staff, financial support has come from the Vermont Agency for Commerce and Community Development, Federal Paycheck Protection Program, New England Foundation for the Arts, Vermont Arts Council, and Thomas Thompson Trust. We’ve also received a vital development grant from the Vermont Arts Council (a three-year Arts Partnership Grant) that will support a strategic planning program and a Samara Fund grant for a new LGBTQ+ scholarship. We are so thankful for the responsiveness and flexibility of our lenders and donors.

But even with all of this support from state and federal governments, we are depending on our individual donors to make it through “COVID-time.” The external grants should cover much of the additional expenses from COVID, but they won’t cover all of them, and our revenues are down—with fewer programs and fewer students due to spacing limitations. As we head into colder weather, it is clear that we will need ongoing financial resources to ensure that NECCA’s doors remain open to all students. In a time when isolation and fear are taking their toll, movement and circus education is a way to cope with stress and a ray of hope for many.

Sophie has been dancing for quite a while . . . but this (NECCA) is where her heart really lives. She really glowed and came alive like I’ve never seen before when she was at circus. . .exhausted, excited, and proud of her accomplishments every day. – Breta Yvars Petraccia

– Breta Yvars Petraccia

NECCA offers emotional support, a safe space, and a caring welcome to hundreds of students of all ages and skill levels. We are so thankful to be able to continue to do what we love—share circus education and the love of it. I hope you will join us by giving what you can to help us continue this challenging and exciting work.

We are so very grateful.

Sincerely,

Wendy Harrison, Interim Executive Director

Elizabeth Wohl, Board President

DONATE TODAY 

ProTrack Applications

Hello circus friends!

We hope you’re staying safe and well as we all navigate this new territory. Thank you for your support of NECCA over the years.

NECCA just opened applications for our ProTrack Program, which is the longest running professional training program in the US. If you have students who want to take their circus passions to the next level, please let them know that applications for ProTrack are due by January 17, 2021.

This comprehensive 3 year training program will give dedicated students an in-depth, well rounded focus in circus arts. Our world renowned coaches will guide students through intensive training to be the best professional circus artist they can be!
Share the Facebook Event (https://fb.me/e/3um2rEIPp)

If you feel so inclined, please share our Facebook event (https://fb.me/e/3um2rEIPp) on your page and in local groups. Feel free to copy and paste this blurb with your post:

Take your circus passions to the next level in the longest running professional program in the US! NECCA’s graduates are performing worldwide and you could be next!
Application deadline: January 17, 2021
Online auditions: March 12-14, 2021
Find more info and apply now:
https://necenterforcircusarts.org/training/protrack-program/
Print the Poster (https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/15g95bl6Ni88jIKZSHiCuizkbfapZe4pd?usp=sharing)

We would also be grateful if you could print this ProTrack poster (https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/15g95bl6Ni88jIKZSHiCuizkbfapZe4pd?usp=sharing) to post at your studio, and share with your students and anyone you think should be considered for the ProTrack program at NECCA.

Feel free to share this (pre-COVID) ProTrack video.

We are looking for aspirational artists with creativity, talent, and uniqueness to apply!

Thank you!

Serenity Smith Forchion
Founder / Producing Director
&
Julia Langenberg
Marketing Director