NECCA offers free circus activities at underserved areas


BRATTLEBORO — The New England Center for Circus Arts is launching a new outreach program, the Circus Affects Project, to combine free circus activities and food opportunities to support the development of young people in Brattleboro's underserved areas.

Open to youth age 7 - 17 living at Moore Court and Ledgewood Heights, NECCA's coaches will teach a range of skills including juggling, low wire, acrobatics, human pyramids, theater games, clowning and unicycling.

The Circus Affects Project is supported by grants from Cirque du Soleil and the Windham Foundation. "Our goal," explains NECCA founder and project coordinator Serenity Smith Forchion, "is to connect young people in low income housing with the empowering, active, and uplifting activities NECCA offers, influencing positive social development while providing exercise and nourishing meals."

Circus is non competitive and open to all body types, is creative and physically involving, so it is an ideal medium for working with outreach groups. It has also been shown that combining a fun activity with a meals program brings more participation in both opportunities. NECCA has teamed up with the Summer Food program offered through the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union.

"We are excited that NECCA will provide free circus arts programming in conjunction with the Summer Food meals at Ledgewood Heights and Moore Court this summer," explains Kira Sawyer-Hartigan, the WSESU Nutrition Programs and Wellness Consultant. "Combining Summer Meals and fun activities is considered best practice and helps create a more welcoming and festive environment."

The Circus activities will meet two days a week at each location - Moore Court on Mondays and Thursdays and Ledgewood Heights on Tuesdays and Fridays - starting June 24 - from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Free Summer Meals are provided prior to the activities at both locations as well as every weekday, breakfast from 9 to 9:30 a.m. and lunch from noon to 12:30 p.m.

For more information about NECCA, including the Summer Session and Summer Camps at the main Trapezium, visit or call for more information at 802-254-9780.



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