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.