Our Mission

The Circus Arts Conservatory’s mission is to engage and educate students using unique and innovative learning programs; to measurably improve the quality of life for individuals in care communities; and to advance the extraordinary legacy and heritage of the circus.

The Circus Arts Conservatory’s extraordinary mission underscores its commitment to sharing the entertainment, education, and enrichment that Circus Arts provide.

Our History and Legacy

  • In 1927, the world-renowned circus impresario, John Ringling - along with his brother Charles Ringling - moved the Ringling Brothers Circus winter quarters from Bridgeport, Connecticut to Sarasota, Florida

  • This move brought with it hundreds of circus performers, support staff, and a whole new national spotlight on Sarasota, Florida - forever impacting and growing the social and economic life of Sarasota in ways we still see today

  • Part of John and Charles Ringling’s creative impact included the construction of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Ca d’Zan, the Charles Ringling Mansion, The Sarasota Terrace Hotel (Sarasota County Administrator Building), and more

  • Sarasota pays homage to the Ringling’s and Sarasota’s circus history through dedications of streets, bridges, buildings, parks, plaques, and more

  • Entrenched in Sarasota since the 1920s, generations of international circus performers are proud to call Sarasota their home

The Circus Arts Conservatory’s History

  • On September 30, 1997, The Circus Arts Conservatory, Inc. was incorporated as The National Circus School of Performing Arts, a not-for-profit organization under the laws of the State of Florida

  • The Organization’s name was later changed to Circus Sarasota, Inc. and then to The Circus Arts Conservatory in 2013, as a result of growth

  • Sarasota’s residents are proud and supportive of The Circus Arts Conservatory for being committed to preserving Sarasota’s extraordinary heritage of circus arts through dedication to perform, train, educate, and to engage the community in their mission

  • The Circus Arts Conservatory’s Circus Sarasota presents annual world-class performances in the one-ring, five-star, European-style Ulla Searing Big Top, and are acclaimed around the globe for artistry and entertainment in addition to preserving Sarasota’s unique circus legacy

  • The Circus Arts Conservatory provides year-round outreach programs in the community: approximately 80% of ticket revenue supports our community outreach programs serving children through the Education Program, the elderly and those in care facilities through the Humor Therapy Program and the Sailor Circus Academy.