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Circus Arts Conservatory
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Annaliese Nock performs with her father Bello moments after setting a new Guinness World Record for the most somersaults performed in one minute on a double wheel at CAC’s Circus Sarasota in February 2016. Photo by Cliff Roles, Circus Arts Conservatory

The Circus Arts Conservatory (CAC) is home to many community-centered programs that draw strength from Sarasota’s rich circus heritage. With focus on legacy, outreach, training, and performance, CAC provides opportunities for great circus artists to work with new students every day. The community’s circus history is reflected in the faces of CAC’s young artists—many carrying the genes and family names of some of the most respected circus performers of all time.

Everyone at CAC—whether seasoned artist or new recruit—works together to keep the circus arts alive and relevant in the community through many outreach initiatives. CAC’s circus school provides access for rising professionals and novices alike with instruction from legends like Dolly Jacobs, Nik Wallenda, Bello Nock, and others—all lucky to be neighbors and friends. CAC also shares their work in schools, care facilities, and other places throughout the community.

“Your nonprofit’s efforts are keeping an important part of our nation’s history and local culture alive,” U.S. Congressman Vern Buchanan, representing Florida’s sixteenth district, said about CAC. “The impact your circus training and outreach programs have had on our community, on our youth, and our elderly has grown exponentially. We are proud to have you as a leader in arts integrated education.”

The path from CAC’s hard-working training arena to its Big Top on the National Mall reflects the spirit of generations of circus artists who inspire with love of their artistry and shared commitment to keeping it alive for the future.

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