WCAX News Story on NECCA

We’re celebrating 15 years of circus in Vermont and we can’t wait to keep growing in this community! Check out this story from WCAX who captured just a little bit of what we do:

  • Welcoming students from all over the world
  • Longest running professional training program in the US
  • Only custom built circus facility in the US
  • Accessible classes for all ages, abilities, and aspirations

[Description: A news station reports on the 15 year anniversary celebration and Open House at NECCA. Co-founder Elsie Smith talks with the reporter about NECCA’s role in American circus. Outside, adult students are juggling and inside, children and youth students demonstrate and play on aerial equipment.]

Year Anniversary Open House – WCAX 15

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (WCAX) – The New England Center for Circus Arts is celebrating 15 years of circus. And they’re not clowning around.

“NECCA is the mecca for circus arts in the United States,” said Elsie Smith, the co-founder of the center.

Founded in 2007 the New England Center for Circus Arts or NECCA is an internationally recognized non-profit circus school, known for its outstanding physical and creative programming for students of all ages and abilities.

“If you’re one and a half you can come if you’re 102 you can come, we do everything,” said Smith

From trapeze to tightrope walking aerial skills and juggling the center draws interested students from all across the country serving over 2,00o people each year.

“It’s the only circus arts facility in the United States and to have it with you right here in Brattleboro, Vermont, which most people think of as a small little town… we also bring people in from all over the world,” said Smith.

The founders say their goal is to empower a community of artists, students, performers, and instructors to strengthen their skills and achieve their goals through the mesmerizing and joyful power of circus arts

“We might use the term circus very loosely like Oh, politics or Circus. But Circus is actually about people coming together, working together, building the community and doing hard things, and dangerous and scary things together in a really positive way.”

And say they’re proud to be able to provide such a unique activity to the area and community

“We just started to start teaching in the community. And that community instead of feeling like circus was really weird. They embraced us and just kept asking us for more and before we knew it, we had what is now the longest running professional training program for circus artists in the country, and one of the largest circus schools in the country,” said Smith

And now that they’ve reached 15 years, performers and students at the center says they’re looking forward to many more

“I feel super lucky to be able to come here… I just really like it I like to be able to do physical stuff in my body. I like to artistic part of that I just like everything,” said Eowin Jakub a student performer at the center.

Read the full article here.

Support Ukrainian Circus Students

Latchis Theater hosts circus for first live show in two years

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (WCAX) – For the first time in two years, the Latchis Theater is hosting a live performance.

On Saturday and Sunday, international circus artists will be performing at the theater for the New England Center for Circus Arts’ (NECCA) 12th annual fundraiser called Circus Spectacular.

The show will feature 10 performers.

Serenity Smith Forchion, the producer of Circus Spectacular, says there will be a mix of performers, from aerials to groundwork to comedy.

“We have a cirque wheel artist who does an acrobatic act on a spinning wheel on the ground. We have a juggler who’s coming in. He actually went through our youth troupe program. He trained in Quebec and has toured all over the world,” Smith Forchion said. “We have tall aerial acts and they were both on Cirque du Soleil before the pandemic shut them down, so I’m really excited to see that.”

The show will be held Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. The show can also be viewed via livestream. For more information, click here.

Read the full article here.

Brattleboro winter circus arts programs underway

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (WCAX) – If you’re looking for something fun to do this winter to keep yourself busy, the New England Center for Circus Arts might have just the right thing, and you don’t need to be an acrobat to join in.

The Brattleboro center began offering winter programs last week.

Elissa Borden spoke with the center’s Julia Langenberg about what they are offering and she also tried out some of the equipment. Watch below.

Read the full article here.

image of king charles troupe

Black History Month Feature – King Charles Troupe


The King Charles Troupe, created by Jerry King, hails from the Bronx, New York. A unicycle enthusiast all his life, Mr. King taught his son, Charles, how to ride a unicycle in the hallway of their apartment building. Kids from the neighborhood soon demanded lessons and the unique one-wheel club was formed. While practicing in Crotona Park, a basketball rolled over to one of the guys. He picked it up on his unicycle and shot it into the hoop, thus the idea was born.

The name of the troupe was originally the Charles Riders, for branding purposes it was later changed to the King Charles Troupe. Word spread about the Bronx unicyclers, and in 1968, the guys auditioned for circus producer Irvin Feld on the sidewalk of Madison Square Garden. Irvin was delighted with the act and welcomed them into Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1969 as the first all-black act in the center ring. They performed with RBBBC for a consecutive 18 years as one of the longest running acts in circus history!

photo of three women performing a three high for the show Fractured, at the NEw England CEnter for Circus Arts

NECCA taking a show on the road

Sentinel Source

photo of an older woman performing on trapeze

Boston Spirit – Gay Night at the Circus Spectacular

Boston Spirit

Download the full article here.

aerial rope artists in the air on her rope

New England Center for Circus Arts Lifts Hopes

By Nancy A. Olson

Circus is for everyone. That’s the foundation on which identical twins Elsie Smith and Serenity Smith Forchion, world-renowned circus performers and teachers, have built the New England Center for Circus Arts in Brattleboro, Vt.

Since its founding in 2007, NECCA’s mission has been to create and sustain “a school, facility, and community where circus arts are available to the general public and to inspire students of all skill levels, ages, abilities, and aspirations.”

NECCA has grown substantially in the last decade. In June 2007, the center moved into its new state-of-the-art circus trapezium, a custom-designed 8,600-square-foot building with 40-foot-high ceilings, which allow for varied training apparatus, including an indoor flying trapeze rig, a built-in trampoline, and requisite safety equipment.

Today, the circus school offers the most comprehensive full-time professional training program, a three-year track, for artists in the newest facility in the United States.

Read the Full Article Here

young child on a trapeze with the help of a NECCA coach

New England Center for Circus Arts Shows Off New Home

Brattleboro Reformer

New England Center for Circus Arts opened its doors Saturday and welcomed in the community for an open house at the organization’s new home at 10 Town Crier Drive.

The event had jugglers, flying trapeze, face painting and clowns. People were invited to walk around and explore. They even were allowed to try out some of the equipment, including a brand new trampoline and foam pit, with supervision and assistance from coaches.

The event brought out all types of people.

For the full article visit HERE