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The Circus Arts Conservatory Presents Annual Circus Science Machine for Thousands of Local Students

The Circus Arts Conservatory (CAC) is proud to announce the return of the Circus Science Machine, hosted in the Sailor Circus Arena, from January 18-19, 2018. The Machine, a giant cause and effect Chain Reaction contraption, is a larger-than-life demonstration of physics, force, mass and acceleration that transforms standard science lessons into an interactive, circus-themed experience!

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Let Sailor Circus Take Your Breath Away with “High Flying Holidays”

This holiday season, celebrate circus style! Sailor Circus presents The High Flying Holidays, a show for the whole family, Wednesday, December 27 through Saturday, December 30 for only eight shows!

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Meet Our Summer Intern: Brett Szalbirak

My name is Brett Szalbirak and I am a graduating senior in the Class of 2018 at The Out-of-Door Academy.

I first got my start with The Circus Arts Conservatory in the 2015 season. The CAC has a volunteer partnership with my high school. I soon learned much more during a presentation done by Michael Salmon and Marcia Pack. They were looking for volunteers to staff the Big Top at Nathan Benderson Park for the upcoming Circus Sarasota winter production. I thought that this opportunity was something different – I did not even know that Sarasota even had a circus production before moving here in 2014! Nevertheless, I grabbed a volunteer form and decided to sign up.

Going into the Big Top, I did not know what to expect. There were a lot of seats and sections, and managing a large crowd seemed overwhelming. That’s where I met Marcia Pack, who took me under her wing and showed me the ropes. She was so patient, kind and caring; the Big Top started to feel like home.

That first year for me was a hit. I enjoyed every minute of volunteering and I got to meet some amazing people, including the Wallenda family, and started to build relationships. I started out ushering patrons to their seats, helping with crowd control, and setting up or tearing down within the tent. The performances blew me away every time I got to watch them. By the end of my first season, volunteering at the Big Top did not seem like an obligation. Rather it became enjoyable, something I looked forward to doing, almost like a privilege. Sadly, the run of that year’s production came to an end. But I knew that I would be back.

This past circus season has been my fourth consecutive season with Circus Sarasota. In 2017 I had the great honor of being a Guest Ringmaster during closing weekend. This year I had the honor of being a Student Volunteer Coordinator with the help of a close friend and classmate (and another CAC summer intern) Zachary Wells. I balanced this position along with full-time school work and my part-time job over the weekends.

But, the circus has never felt like a job to me. Granted volunteering comes with responsibilities, but the circus is all about having fun, and I can truly say that I have had fun over the past four years. I reflect back on my first season in 2014 and am impressed to see how far I have come, not only as a volunteer but also as a person. It has been a very humbling experience. I have gotten to see many of the behind-the-scenes and inner workings of The CAC and it has been a pleasure all throughout.

As I advance my academic studies into Business Administration at the University of South Florida, I plan on maintaining the relationships I have built with many of the volunteers over the years. I also plan on continuing to volunteer and help out any way I can with The CAC. I currently have the pleasure of interning at The Circus Arts Conservatory offices in Sarasota, learning about the business aspects of a non-for-profit organization.

The Circus has really become a part of my life. I am so grateful for individuals like Marica Pack, who I refer to as my “Circus Mom,” that have taken the time to teach me and become a part of my life. I have enjoyed every minute of it and encourage anyone who wishes to volunteer or simply see what The CAC has to offer to some see what it is all about.

Meet Our Summer Intern: Zachary Wells

My name is Zach Wells and I am a senior at the Out-of-Door Academy. I have been involved with the circus arts for three years now. During my senior year, I helped start the ODA Circus Club with fellow student Mia Hamill and Mr. Michael Salmon (who is also on the Board of The Circus Arts Conservatory). These two individuals are very passionate about circus and its history. Within the circus club, we have done it all, from having speakers come in and tell their life stories about their involvement in circus over the years, to flying high above the trapeze with Tito Gaona.

My journey with the circus started my sophomore year when I needed volunteer hours for my school. A friend of mine who was an upperclassman recommended that I volunteer with the circus to get the last few hours I needed. I only needed to do two shows to get the hours I needed. However, I found myself working with the team under the Big Top for six shows!

In my junior year, I found myself back at the Big Top, this time signing up for more shows and spending more time getting to know the performers. I had found something I was passionate about and loved being a part of! This year, I was tasked with leading the ODA Volunteer Team under the Big Top along with fellow senior Brett Szalbirak. It was our job to encourage our friends and other students to come out and volunteer under the tent.

Since I had spent the last three years being involved with Circus Sarasota and meeting so many amazing people who have amazing stories, I figured The Circus Arts Conservatory was the perfect place to do my senior internship. I wanted to learn what went on behind-the-scenes and what happened when the red and white tent came down for the season.

Volunteering with The CAC for the last three years has created countless memories that I will never forget, from working the Big Top to flying on the trapeze. I have met, talked to,and become friends with people that have infinite knowledge about all things circus and have created friendships that I will carry with me throughout college and life.

Zach will be studying Psychology and Education in the fall at Florida Gulf Coast University.

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CAC Breaks Ground in the Sailor Circus Arena

By SRQ DAILY SATURDAY PERSPECTIVES EDITION 

A new era of circus arts legacy has begun. This week The Circus Arts Conservatory officially broke ground in the iconic Sailor Circus Arena for a $4 million renovation that will provide air conditioning, state-of-the-art flooring and retractable seating. More.