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Nik Wallenda and Circus Arts Conservatory partner to bring performing arts to UTC

SARASOTA, FL [September 21, 2023] – While the University Town Center/Nathan Benderson Park area is already home to sports, shopping and dining, there is currently no ongoing arts presence in the area. But that’s about to change: a new collaboration between hometown hero and international superstar Nik Wallenda and the Circus Arts Conservatory (CAC) will create a world class holiday experience that will undoubtedly become a Southwest Florida family holiday tradition for generations to come.

Wallenda and the CAC are already working on the first offering, an extraordinary immersive holiday spectacle titled “A Brave New Wonderland.” The Big Top will be located behind (east of) the Mall at UTC; the production promises to enchant audiences of all ages with a magical holiday experience like never before. The show will run from November 18 through December 31, 2023.

Wallenda, renowned for his breathtaking high-wire performances and artistic vision, has made a name beyond daredevil for himself as a current producer, partner, and visionary of the iconic Big Apple Circus in New York City. The legendary production has been a beloved holiday tradition for New Yorkers for 45 years, captivating millions with its world-class entertainment and captivating performances.

“I’ve always dreamed of sharing the magic of my New York City productions with my beloved hometown – and revered circus community – of Sarasota,” said Wallenda. “With ‘A Brave New Wonderland,’ I’m thrilled to collaborate with the Circus Arts Conservatory to bring this dream to life and create unforgettable holiday memories for the community that means so much to me.”

“A Brave New Wonderland” will feature a blend of thrilling circus acts, mesmerizing aerial performances, and heartwarming holiday storytelling, all curated under the creative genius of Wallenda, who will not only be producing and directing the show but also headlining. Sarasota, known for its rich history in circus arts and performance, is the perfect backdrop for this holiday spectacular, and the CAC – as the curator of the circus arts in our region – is the perfect partner to present this highly-anticipated offering to the wider community.

“When Nik came to us with his idea for a holiday show, we were thrilled at the concept and got to work right away to help bring the idea to life,” said CAC Executive Vice President/COO Jennifer Mitchell. “Our mission is to advance the extraordinary legacy and heritage of the circus; Nik Wallenda holds a prominent place in circus history. It’s entirely appropriate for Sarasota’s ‘hometown hero’ and ‘hometown circus’ to come together for a show that will delight and inspire residents and visitors alike!”

There will be further announcements regarding showtimes, ticket availability and special features. For more about Nik Wallenda, visit nikwallenda.com; for more about the CAC, visit circusarts.org.


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