NECCA receives NEA Art Works grant

Photo provided by Jeffrey M. LewisThe New England Center for Circus Arts has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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BRATTLEBORO — New England Center for Circus Arts has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, one of six organizations in Vermont to receive grants as part of the Art Works program. Art Works is the NEA's largest category and focuses on funding the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with the arts, lifelong learning in the arts, and strengthening of communities through the arts.

The $10,000 NEA grant is designated to support artist residencies for circus arts performers. Emerging circus arts ensembles are provided housing, rehearsal space, production mentorship, technical support, and directorial guidance for the development or completion of a new work. Residencies culminate with work-in-progress showings, and ensembles are given video recordings of their work.

"We are honored to receive this award," says NECCA executive director Michael Helmstadter. "It's a strong recommendation of our mission to promote circus arts not just locally, but in the country and the world. This grant will help artists enhance their professional development in a supportive, and creative environment, and engage with the community through NECCA's Residency Program."

Helmstadter adds, "NECCA's pro students are working in circuses and theaters, cabarets and concert tours, vaudeville street shows and operas, in venues of every size and scope throughout the industry."

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, NECCA recently moved into its new headquarters on Town Crier Road in Brattleboro. The new trapezium building is the newest custom-designed circus arts training and performance facility in the U.S. It offers year-round, indoor flying trapeze training, fabric/silk, juggling, contortion, unicycle, partner acrobatics, German wheel, teeterboard and more. Summer camps and classes are now taking place in the new building. A grand opening celebration is planned for early September.

NECCA serves more than 2000 individuals of all ages, toddlers to 80 years and up, in a range of skill levels and programs, including recreational community classes, professional level training, and outreach programs serving at-risk and disadvantaged youth.

Other recipients of the Art Works grants include New Music On the Point in Brandon, Burlington City Arts in Burlington, The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, The Vermont Symphony Orchestra in Burlington, and The Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury.

The New England Center for Circus Arts is governed by a board of trustees. The nonprofit group offers programs for professionals, students seeking a professional career, and therapeutic and recreational programs for people of all ages. NECCA it is a prominent player in the world of circus arts, and a safe, accepting place where the joy and possibility of circus are accessible to anyone and everyone.