At a press conference held on the eastern terrace of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the members of the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts announced the foundation of its new professional training institution, Circadium School of Contemporary Circus. Scheduled to open its doors on September 5, 2017, the non-profit organization will make Philadelphia the first city in the US to offer higher education for circus artists, with a full-time three-year 35-hours-per-week program. Previously, those interested in advancing their mastery of the genre had to travel to Canada or Europe for training.
According to Executive Director Shana Kennedy, the innovative curriculum represents the next step beyond the introductory and intermediary level classes offered at the more recreational all-ages PSCA, which she founded and heads. Circadium will give adult students, aged eighteen and above, comprehensive state-of-the-art instruction that reflects a new Renaissance in the field, revitalizing traditional circus skills by merging them with theater, dance, choreography, music, mime, and the visual arts.
Curriculum Designer and Instructor Greg Kennedy—Shana’s husband and an internationally renowned juggler, who toured for five years with Cirque du Soleil—presented a creative routine at the press conference, to give a taste of the ground-breaking style that will be the hallmark of Circadium. He was followed by a beautiful and elegant static trapeze performance by Nicole Burgio, the Acrobatics Coordinator at PSCA and a member of Circadium’s Board of Directors.
Preceding the appearances of the talented circus artists, introductory comments were made by 8th District Northwest Philadelphia Councilwoman Cindy Bass, City Representative Sheila Hess, and Maud Lyon, President of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. Also speaking was Adam Woolley, Managing Director of Circus Now, Head Coach of PSCA, and Aerial Program Designer for Circadium. All noted that Philadelphia is a city of both history and innovation, to which this new development in circus arts education will make a valuable contribution.
Online applications for the first-year of the program will be due on November 30, 2016, with the groundbreaking on a new building in Germantown scheduled for this coming winter. Interested applicants can visit the website for more information.