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Wise Fool New Mexico
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Wise Fool performing the outdoor spectacle Flexion at the 2010 Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Dylan Priest

Wise Fool New Mexico began as a collective of women activists inspired by the power of collaborative creation and public spectacle to engage unsuspecting audiences and open the door for dialogue and understanding. A nonprofit since 2000, Wise Fool combines giant puppetry, physical theater, and circus arts to ignite imaginations, build community, and promote social justice. They engage thousands annually in a vibrant mix of physical, thought-provoking, and visually stunning performances and hands-on experiences.

Wise Fool carries on circus’ historical roots in promotion of accessibility and social change. Their social circus programs build life skills and self-determination for youth and under-resourced communities. The outdoor spectacles range from giant puppetry processions to aerial, stilt, and acrobatic shows—all brought to life in streets and public spaces where their work speaks to the broadest cross section of society, drawing many into inaugural experiences of live circus-related arts.

At the 2017 Folklife Festival, Wise Fool artists hosted street art performance workshops, created giant puppets, and led participatory processions on the National Mall.

Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sustainability projects, educational outreach, and more.