• Programmes pilotes

Triggering innovation

We, street arts and circus professionals, work with creative people – artists – but are we enough creative ourselves ?

Circus arts have always been innovative, linked to the development of technologies, inventing new apparatuses, relying on values such as solidarity, discipline and tough training, cooperation within a team, risks taking, and collective fun ! But also circus artists tend to push their limits, put their bodies in conditions of abnormality, look for the perfect gesture, improve their techniques, invent a new vocabulary with their arts.

As regards street artists, they chose the public space as their field of work and exploration, where they can meet an audience, but also architecture, urbanism. The public space is shared with its inhabitants, the passersby, the businesses, local authorities, public services providers – and is the meeting point of all society’s stakes : social, political, cultural. This is where public and private stakeholders meet, this is where art cannot consider itself self-sufficient. Diversity of stakes, people and roles is a given situation in the public space, and artists as well as “cultural operators” choosing that field do develop an unmatched cleverness to tackle technical, organizational, political constraints. However, the severe worldwide financial crisis weakens the cultural and artistic world, in a highly changing environment.

Some of us live in countries where you can actually make a living out of working in the field of street and circus arts – whether it be as an artist or as a “cultural operator”. Some others are struggling to get a recognition of these arts and the cultural policies that go along. However, we’re going through a transition: less public funding, not so much private ones. We need to start experimenting new ways and new ideas to keep our missions going, to have art works meeting audiences, to maintain poetry, fun, emotions, beauty, energy in our societies !


The CS Lab in a few words

How do we adapt to change ? How do we design new types of partnerships, new business models, new working processes, new work organizations ?

The CS Lab will try thinking differently, by understanding how innovation (both individual and collective) is fostered and nurtured in other organizations outside the arts world. We will also imagine possible links to be created between the business world and circus arts / street arts. We will be curious, daring, we might even step out of our comfort zone !

A working group with core topic “innovation”, and 2 sets of actions

CS Lab action 1 - Trigger creativity:

This will be a 3-year on-going process, including workshops, conferences, interviews, peer to peer learning, sharing of resource material on Circostrada website, with the following objectives :

  • Broaden our minds, be inspired
  • Providing food for thought
  • Experimenting working methods

CS Lab action 2– CS Lab seminars:

3-day seminars organized for Circostrada members and outside professionals in 2016 & 2017, involving:

  • Lectures by out-of-the-cultural-field specialists
  • Experience of collective creative working workshops
  • Time and environment for individual work

Members of the Work Group CS LAB


  • Jeunes Talents Cirque Europe (FR)


  • La Grainerie (FR)
  • Circusstad Festival (NL)
  • Estonian Contemporary Circus development Center (EE)
  • FAI AR (FR)​
  • La Brèche (FR)