The Kennedy Center

Circus Harmony



Biography

Circus Harmony is St. Louis’s only complete circus school and social circus organization. We are both an arts education and a youth development organization. By inspiring individuals and connecting communities with our circus education and entertainment programs, we have a positive impact on the St. Louis community and beyond.  

Founded in 2001, Circus Harmony has gone from ten students to more than 1,000 students and from presenting 40 shows a year to more than 540 shows a year. Since we first brought together Jewish and Muslim children in St. Louis to launch Circus Salaam Shalom, Circus Harmony has used circus arts to inspire individuals and connect communities. We have developed youth circus troupes which consist of Jewish, Christian, Caucasian, Hispanic, African-American and Asian children from inner city and suburban areas throughout St. Louis. Our performance troupe, the St. Louis Arches, is comprised of children of diverse backgrounds. In 2007, we started our first Peace Through Pyramids partnership with the Galilee Circus—a Jewish and Arab youth circus from Israel. In 2015, we brought our Peace Through Pyramids program to Ferguson and have now expanded to five other communities!

Our alumni have worked with Cirque du Soleil, Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey, Les 7 Doigts de la Main, Circa Contemporary Circus, Zoppe Family Circus, and other shows around the world. They have been shot out of cannons and caught triple somersaults on the flying trapeze. They walk wire with the Flying Wallendas. They stand on the back of galloping horses and leap through hoops higher than their heads. We also have graduates teaching in St. Louis public schools, working as electricians, and attending colleges. 

They all start out as ordinary children. In the circus ring, they find their strengths and learn to do extraordinary things. We train our students to be successful in circus and in life. Our programs teach valuable life skills like perseverance, focus, and teamwork. Learning circus with others teaches trust, responsibility and cooperation. Perhaps the most important experience we give our participants is the opportunity to meet and interact with children from different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds than their own. We believe the path to peace is a path of cooperation and communication. Teaching children from different neighborhoods how to stand on each other’s shoulders may seem like a strange way to take this path. But it’s the technique we use! Circus Harmony promotes peace through pyramids, joy through juggling, and harmony through handsprings. So, watch out for flying children as Circus Harmony performers demonstrate how they defy gravity, soar with confidence and leap over social barriers—all at the same time!
 

Watch Past Performances

Video 7/7/2017: Target Family Night: Circus Harmony

Circus Harmony is a non-profit social circus organization that uses circus arts to motivate social change. Programming builds character and expands community for youth of all ages, cultures, abilities, and backgrounds. Circus Harmony promotes peace through pyramids, joy through juggling, and harmony through handsprings.

Presented in collaboration with the 2017 D.C. Smithsonian Folklife Festival and the Library of Congress Homegrown Series.

 Circus Harmony