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CAU. Urban Arts Center

Granada , Spain
Type of organisation
festival, residency space, resource / information provider
Main discipline
contemporary circus and outdoor arts
Type of activities
mentoring / practical support
training / education / professional
Year established
Circostrada member since
Other networks the organisation belongs to
Contact Person
Rosa Colell (Artistic Director and manager)
7 Cuesta Molinos
18008, Granada - Spain

CAU, Centro de las Artes Urbanas (Urban Arts Center) was born in 2009 by the Cultural Association MetaCAU who manage two projects:  The International Circus School, CAU, and CAU Circus Festival (CAU is Circus and Urban Arts), in Granada. First of all, this organisation was included in a strategic plan of the Andalusian Government and it had the Honour Mention of the Lorca Awards in 2016. They also won an ACA (Association of Circus of Andalusia) award for promoting Circus. Nowadays, Jose A. Pascual Garrido is the president to FEFPAC (The federation of the three professional circus schools in Spain) and he has been a member of Council State of Performing Arts since 2017. 

For the last few decades, Circus and the Performing Arts, in general, have been through a huge change, as did the world of dance in the time of Pina Baush.  But currently in virtue of fusions within the performing arts, new languages of artistic creation are creating new concepts, realities and dramaturgies which are transforming circus as it was once conceived to be. 

This is the reality of contemporary circus and the professional circus schools which strive to achieve this transformation. In Granada the school CAU has been revolutionising circus and the way it is perceived for nine years. We have achieved so much in this time and will keep striving for more advances in investigation, quality and professionalism in Andalusian circus in the years to come.  

Four years ago, CAU, was able to create Festival CAU, thanks to the support of INAEM (State Department of Performing Arts), Granada council and La Caixa Fundation. This Festival strives to be an example in Europe due to its dedication to social activism, gender issues and innovative art. Festival CAU prioritizes new creations, works in progress, investigation and sector analysis.

We want to be an artistic “container”, a place with an infinite capacity of transformation and the possibility to accumulate and contrast interests. We are inspired by new knowledge, critical thinking and beauty.

Since 2018, as well as indoor shows Festival CAU amplified it´s performances spaces to the street.  The aim of this advancement was to create more social inclusion and general public involvement.  The outcome therefore creating coherence with the social aspect of the festival by arriving to as many of the general population as possible.   

Since the very first festival we have put special focus on women in circus and the power of circus and urban arts as tools for social transformation. For instance, last edition in 2019 the main theme was "Ecofeminism".

On the other hand, we wanted to erase “women” from the title because we think it’s time to talk without tags, but as long as it is necessary we will continue to have special interest in women's work.  

We are clear that this festival is based on respect, sensitivity and empathy for social struggles and injustices.