In 2014 American Circus Awards were created by Circus Now and The Big Apple Circus to spotlight particular achievements in the circus arts, while drawing attention to the creativity, diversity, and public relevance of circus to American cultural expression. Honorees are nominated by the Celebration Planning Committee and voted on by a select panel composed of various leaders in the circus arts sector.
Community Impact Award – Cirkus Smirkus
This award is given annually to a circus artist or organization that has succecced in harnessing and demonstrating the power of circus arts for community engagement and social good, and in bringing diverse audiences together through quality programming.
Elevating Circus Award – Dominique Jando
This award is given annually to an individual or an organization who has made a lasting contribution to increasing public awareness about the beauty, artistry, creative potential of the circus arts through their body of work, with particular attention paid to interdisciplinary collaboration or expression.
Evolving Circus Award – Bill Irwin
This award is given annually to an individual whose personal and/or professional contributions have made a significant and permanent impact on the circus field in America, with specific consideration of how the recipient’s work has influenced the perception of the circus arts by the American public and the arts and entertainment industry.
Lifetime Achievement Award – Hovey Burgess
This award is given to an individual artist, troupe, or company whose overall contributions to the field and community are substantial, undeniable and significant.
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Circus Now Managing Director Adam Woolley makes Opening Remarks about Circus in America.
Big Apple Circus Artistic Director Guillaume Dufresnoy makes Opening Remarks about Circus in America.
Thom Wall entertained the crowd as he MC’d the show.
Program Director for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival Preston Scott presents the Community Impact Award.
Circus Smirkus Executive Director Ed LeClair talks about the role of the circus in American Culture.
Circus Smirkus founder Rob Mermin gives the audience a great list of reasons for the circus.
Community Impact Award was given to Circus Smirkus.
Sawyer Oubre and Liam Gundlach perform a ‘diabolo duet’.
Author of “Ordinary Acrobat’ Duncan Wall presents the Elevating Circus Award.
Dominique Jando received the Elevating Circus Award and talks about how important ‘skill’ is in circus discipline.
Brent McBeth, Duncan Wall, Dominique Jando, and Joel Jeske.
Anna and Emily Venizelos perform a magnificent contortion duet.
David Shiner presents the Evolving Circus Award.
Bill Irwin accepts the Evolving Circus Award with his “Old Hat’s” partner David Shiner to his right.
Before leaving the ring David Shiner and Bill Irwin compete with some hat tricks.
Bill tries to ‘up one’ on David’s hat trick,
NEA Heritage Fellowship Award winner Dolly Jacobs presents the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Hovey Burgess was wheeled in (having incurred a fall a few days ago) to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Hovey Burgess was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award with Dolly Jacobs presenting.
Big Apple Circus’ “The Grand Tour’ performer Serge Akimov performs the aerial straps.
Master of Modern Vaudeville Thom Wall makes closing remarks.
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Celebration Planning Committee
Mary Jane Brock (Chair)
Jonathan Cerullo (Director)
Adam Woolley (Managing Director, Circus Now)
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Upcoming performances by Circus Now at Skirball Center.
Big Apple Circus’ The Grand Tour show at Lincoln Center.
The Celebration of American Circus was directed by Jonathan S. Cerullo