Circostrada is the European Network for Circus and Street Arts. Created in 2003 with the core mission of furthering the development, empowerment and recognition of these fields at European and international levels, over the years the network has become an important anchoring point for its members and a key interlocutor in the dialogue with cultural policy makers across Europe.

 

In a few words Circostrada is

  • A community of circus and street arts professionals linked together by common values and aspirations, who advocate for greater recognition and more structured cultural policies.
  • The voice and reference network of circus and street arts in Europe.
  • A group of passionate and committed individuals who meet several times a year at the network’s events.
  • A network dedicated to its members, engaged in facilitating the exchange of experiences, knowledge, and good practices at European and international levels.
  • A digital resource platform that provides thematic publications, observation tools and news on circus and street arts, available to all free of charge in English and French.

 

Core objectives and missions of Circostrada: to work towards the development and structuring of street arts and circus arts on the European scale.

If these sectors demonstrate a high level of artistic dynamism throughout Europe, they need a space for exchange, co-operation, reflection and professional representation at the European level. Circostrada wishes to fulfill this need by contributing to the circulation of information within these artistic milieus, by favoring meetings and co-operation between European professionals and by carrying out common actions to further the recognition of these artistic forms. As member of the civil society, Circostrada wishes to provide and disseminate quality professional information to EU institutions, researchers and professionals of the cultural field, regional and national policymakers. As such, the network acts as a bridge between actors in the field and EU policy-makers, relaying their needs and expectations and advocating for the implementation of cultural policies best suited to their specific features.

 

Key focuses are

  • Implement a wide range of advocacy and capacity building initiatives. The focus is on boosting professional exchange and innovation, gathering information and resources, fostering continuous training and knowledge-sharing.
  • Working on different scales of territories, giving the means for an exchange of knowledge and know-how between countries where circus and street arts are facing different levels of development, and learning from different contexts.
  • Advocating for a better recognition for circus and street arts, in a dialogue with institutions working from the local to the European level.
  • Developing synergies between the academic and the professional fields to strengthen professional integration.

Circus and street arts in the network

 
Discipline Nombre de structures
circus 37
street arts 8
circus & street arts 32
multidisciplinary 31

 

Who the members are

 
 circusstreet artscircus & street artsmultidisciplinary
resource / information provider
18
3
9
13
residency space
22
4
13
14
1
00
2
umbrella organisation
4
1
6
9
development agency
4
0
7
10
performance space
19
2
12
16
network
11
3
5
7
festival
25
6
22
16
other
7
3
5
4

 

What the members do

 
nombre de structuressort ascending
programming 76
workshops 74
production 67
cultural participation projects targeting specific audiences 65
mentoring / practical support 62
training / education / professional 62
facilitating professional meetings 59
residencies 58
promotion 51
advocacy 41
documentation and observation 26
financial support 22
publishing 20
3
we run a hospital clowning project in Ethiopia's main public hospital 1
Social circus, lesiure circus 1
Formation 1
Creative Producer 1
exporting artistic work 1
market 1

Building on more than 15 years of experience and the expertise of its members, Circostrada also sets new priorities, representative of the evolution of the cultural field.

  • Adapting to a changing world: The starting point could be: we work with creative people but are we creative enough ourselves when it comes to imagining the evolution of our work processes and our development models? Circostrada wishes to bring cultural players to reflect together on the development of their fields, in a constant dialogue with other sectors and disciplines, to learn from their experiences and develop new food for thought for a stronger development of circus and street arts. 
  • Access to culture: How do we engage with our audience? How can we learn from our different experiences? The network seizes these questions for best practices to emerge and be shared, and to give a better understanding of how circus and street arts are tackling these issues
  • Cooperation with other networks: Circostrada undertakes to develop joint strategies with colleague cultural networks, a key action to ensure a stronger and more relevant impact of our actions in terms of communication, dissemination of information and representation, and to work together on shared issues on a European scale.
  • Observation: Few data exist on circus and street arts at a European level. Circostrada builds on the high number of members present in the network to put forward new in-depth information on their activities, creating new data on these sectors. The network also aims to have a better understanding of the specificities of each region when it comes to the development of circus and street arts and undertakes to start this in-depth research by looking at the newly acceding and candidate countries of the EU.
  • Diversity: The network works to ensure openness and diversity, among its members, as well as balanced geographical representation. It is devoted to providing fertile ground for dialogue and discussion between all stakeholders operating in the fields of circus and street arts, fostering the construction of a collective European identity and advocating for a common understanding of culture as a vector of creativity, innovation and social cohesion.