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The Circus Barn, Inc.

Rating: 5 stars   19 reviews 1,595

Nonprofit Issues:

Arts & Culture, Sports

Address:

1 Circus Rd Greensboro VT 05841 USA

Mission:

The mission of Circus Smirkus is to promote the skills, culture, and traditions of the traveling circus and to inspire youth to engage in life enhancing adventures in the circus arts. Smirkus’s vision for the future includes national and international recognition as an organization that offers the highest quality performance and education programs in the traditional circus arts, with an emphasis on providing the opportunity for young people to live up to their potential and transform their lives through participation in circus.

Geographic areas served:

Northeastern United States

Programs:

In-School Residencies, Smirkus Summer Camp, The Big Top Tour

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

802-533-7443
http://www.smirkus.org

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Reviews for The Circus Barn, Inc.

Rating: 5 stars  

Our experience with Rick and Circus Smirkus was outstanding. Rick was able work with a multi-age group and keep all the students invested in the circus experience. All of the students thoroughly enjoyed the program and the teachers were able incorporate the circus theme in all subject areas. It was a individual confidence builder, developed the students large and fine motor skills as well as team cooperation. I highly recommend Rick and the Circus Smirkus program. Coleen Healy Director Southshire Community School

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the value the students, the teachers and the parents gained from it.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The smiles on all the students faces as they were developing their skills.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

passionate.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make a huge difference in education with administrators, teachers and students to work cooperatively and take risks learning new skills.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-6-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

We have had TWO Circus Smirkus residencies at our school in five years -- if that doesn't speak volumes about the quality of this program, I don't know what does! Circus Smirkus takes students to a whole new level of learning. We find that our students are actually more focussed in their classes during a two week residency in which they practice for up to 50 minutes every day. Teachers were at first worried about lost class time, but quickly discovered the time they had was more productive AND the opportunities for integrating circus arts into most areas of the curriculum were unlimited. The thrill of watching a child persevere at a skill until they are able to perform it in front of an enthusiastic audience is unmatched. I could go on for pages with accolades for this organization. We will book them again to work with our students!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

our school with 80 students. Personnel from The Circus Barn in the person of Mr. Rick worked with our students over a two week period of time to produce a circus of extraordinary pizazz!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not change a thing.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the extraordinary quality of Mr. Rick, the artist who works with our children.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

highly skilled, compassionate and organized. This was a residency that practically ran itself.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help bring a very different form of learning into more schools around the country.

Ways to make it better...

it had lasted longer. I would seriously consider a much longer residency, perhaps booked in conjunction with a couple other schools.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding! The cost of a residency is a lot for most schools. Any help to allow them to reduce their fees so more schools could experience this incredible form of learning.

One thing I'd also say is that...

our students learned not only about circus arts, they also learned about the power they each hold within themselves to accomplish unbelievable things if they stick with it.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-6-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I first went with my daughter, thinking it would be a cute kids' show. I was blown away by the professional-quality talent, staging, lighting, music. There were plenty of kids in the audience, but even more adults. What makes Smirkus different from other shows is the joyous spirit of the teenaged performers. They just lift you up, make you happy, make you laugh, make you hold your breath. They're doing this for love, and they do it so well it changes your whole outlook on the world. My daughter's in college now, but I never miss Smirkus when it comes to town.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way it made me happy, and hopeful for the future.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the fun!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

completely into the educational, uplifting aspects of the circus arts.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

bring even more teenagers into the world of circus arts, which means teamwork, responsibility, and personal accomplishment.

Ways to make it better...

the weather had not been so hot.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding. Plenty of talented teen performers, dedicated staff and volunteers, but finance is probably on a razor's edge.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

Circus Smirkus is a reason to restore anyone's faith in humanity. Their Big Top Tour comes to Merriconeag Waldorf School in Freeport, Maine and provides inspiration and beautiful entertainment to the greater Portland community. We welcome children--in-need from organizations like Make-a-Wish and take Smirkus Troupers to the local children's hospital, thus taking the joy of the Circus far beyond the ring. Smirkus is a fantastic organization and we absolutely love working with them to bring such amazing talent and good will into our community.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working with such helpful, committed professionals on the Smirkus Staff and with the joyful, talented, young performers who are great Ambassadors for their generation

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the world through community outreach and amazing talent!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

 
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Role: Volunteer
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

My son went to Smirkus Camp twice and then became a performer with the Smirkus Summer Tour for 2 years. In that short time he grew from being quiet, reticent, and a bit insecure to someone who radiated on stage with full confidence and strength of character, and his skills improved 300%. I had no ambitions for my son to be a performer, but I will say that I could not have chosen a better place for him in his teen years. He was surrounded by caring, creative and loving human beings in the troupe and the staff. He found a family that encouraged him and gave him numerous opportunities to grow, succeed and participate fully and responsibly in all areas- performing, creating, and all the behind-the-scenes work. He went from a single parent family to having numerous supportive "parents," mentors and peers. I never had any experience with the circus or any interest either, but that quickly changed as I became an eager, enthusiastic circus mom, thanks to the people who make up this organization and the excitement that was generated the minute I entered the scene.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

advertise it as circus theater or circus musical or some kind of multi-media performance.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the artistic expression. To call it a circus is way too limiting. It may use the language and tools of circus, but it is multi-faceted first-class theater. And the young actors are fully part of the creative process.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

all very inviting and caring. The staff is comprised of deeply focused, talented and devoted people, and they know how to have fun and make you laugh!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

save time and energy now used for fund-raising to share the joy and fun with so many more people, and help more youngsters gain the skills and confidence that help them grow into great adults. And offer scholarships and low income assistance.

Ways to make it better...

we had more years to participate.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

this is a truly unique organization that brings high quality performances and joy out into the greater New England area.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

My daughter attended Smirkus camp for three years and performed with the Big Top Tour for five years. We saw her develop from a shy little girl to a poised, talented young woman. She also gained many life skills, as troupers are engaged in many behind-the-scenes chores. Smirkus gives these kids tremendous opportunities and prepares them for life. But beyond those who participate, Smirkus also brings joy to the tens of thousands of people who see the Big Top Tour, go to camp (as camper or staff), or participate in a wonderfully educational and exciting school residency. It is a not for profit organization that instills strong values and engages people in its important mission. The staff and volunteers are incredibly dedicated and hard working and are passionate about the organization and its mission. It's often said that Smirkus is magical, and it's true!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my daughter's growth as a performer and person, and the joy and wonder on the faces of audience members of all ages.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hire more staff and give them all bonuses

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the energy of the young performers and campers and the passion of the staff and volunteers

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

extraordinary! Dedicated, talented, hard working, and fun

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

spread joy beyond New England, and enable thousands of kids to realize their dreams.

Ways to make it better...

I could be transported back to childhood and be able to perform!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

fundraising.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Smirkus is unique and provides magic and hope in a world that needs more of both.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Two years ago I went to Smirkus Summer Camp just for fun. Within the first few minutes I already felt like I was surrounded by a family. The campers and the staff were so supportive, and they helped me build the confidence that led me to audition for the Big Top Tour last year. I had no idea what to expect when I was accepted as a 2009 trouper, but I was amazed by the experience I had. Not only did I learn new skills, I learned to work as a team and work through challenging conditions. The best part was sharing our show with the public and seeing them walk away from our big top with huge smiles on their faces. I came away from this summer a stronger, harder working person. The people I travelled with are my second family, they picked me up when I was down and brought out the best in me.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Working hard and seeing the pay-off in the faces and comments of people who saw the show.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

the most supportive, fun-loving, hard-working people I will ever meet.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I have been invovled with Circus Smirkus as a parent of a camper who then became a trouper and stayed with it for some ten years. I then joined the board and have been with the board for almost eight years. So from 1993 to the present, I have been involved in some way or another. I have had the great pleasure to see many troupers grow in oh so many ways and watch Smirkus emerge as a real leader in the youth circus field.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching my daughter as a trouper and later, with her brother, as staff members of the summer tour.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the opportunity to watch so many kids enjoy circus arts.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

...kind, giving, understanding, supportive, dedicated, committed...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Provide even more kids the opportunity to experience a residency program during the school year, go to camp and/or join the summer tour!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I went to Smirkus Camp for two summers, and then auditioned for, and was accepted to the Big Top Tour. I toured for four summers. Circus has been my dream and passion since I was three years old, and Smirkus has not only provided me with the opportunity and resources to pursue circus as a career, but, as for so many others, gave me life skills applicable to anything I would want to achieve. Smirkus creates an adventure that is life changing and life enhancing, and is quite indescribable to those who haven't experienced it, but undeniable to those who have. I have gone on to work as a professional clown and continue to work with Circus Smirkus, in many roles, including counselor and production manager, mentoring the current troupe, supporting the artistic integrity of the show, and proudly helping to continue to provide magical entertainment for audiences of all ages.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The hundreds of alumni who will cite Smirkus as a major influence and contributor to their confidence, compassion, well-roundedness and "making me the person I am today."

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

Circus Smirkus is rollicking good fun. Here, talented teenage performers safely push the boundaries of their own potential to the delight of audiences who are swept along with the foot-stomping exhilaration of simply watching them. It’s zany, hilarious and absurd; a brightly colored dream where anything and everything can come true.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing my son, a performer with the circus, take positive risks. Not just in the ring, but with his life choices.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

watching kids who have been involved with Circus Smirkus grow into autonomous, creative and self-confident young adults

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

creative, dedicated, out-of-the-box thinkers who are passionate about what they do.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

give many more young people the opportunity to develop their creative and physical potential.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

 
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