Established in 2007 by twin sister aerialists Elsie Smith and Serenity Smith Forchion, the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA) is a not-for-profit educational center. NECCA has become a destination for professional circus artists and a home for the uniquely creative spirit of the community in which it resides. With students ranging from tots to retirees, community engagement isn’t so much a guiding principle as an inextricable part of NECCA’s day-to-day mission to make the circus arts accessible to all.
Offering the longest-running professional circus arts training program in the United States, those who come to NECCA find that they are challenged to push themselves to new heights while knowing that—true to circus culture—their peers will catch them if they fall. NECCA will open its expanded center in Vermont in the summer of 2017, featuring an indoor flying trapeze.
“I have traveled around the world teaching and performing circus since 2008 and have yet to find another environment like NECCA,” says aerialist Destiny Vinley. “The supportive coaching, the caliber of technique, the welcoming community is unparalleled and lends to creating not only great circus but great people as well.”
NECCA sent professional aerialists and coaches Aimee Hancock and Jamie Hodgson to the 2017 Folklife Festival to teach one-on-one trapeze lessons.