Galway Community Circus and NUI Galway have launched a three year partnership that will see them collaborate on a number of projects to promote circus arts.
Recently the Community Circus were successful in their Erasmus+ grant application for a three-year research project called Circus++.
This will result in the creation of the first Europe wide third level training programme for circus teachers at an undergraduate and masters level.
A grant of €360,000 was awarded for the research and development programme: ‘Circus++ Youth and Social Circus Arts – an innovative and inclusive education for Europe’.
This will allow Galway Community Circus, working with four other circus schools across Europe and three universities, to create the first ever BA and MA courses in Youth and Social Circus.
The future curriculum will be delivered by the partnering universities, including NUI Galway, from 2022 onwards.
This project is being led by the University of Tampere in Finland and their local partner Sorin Sirkus and the International Youth and Social Circus Network Caravan.
Executive Artistic Director of Galway Community Circus and Finnish native Ulla Hokkanen said that Galway will be at the forefront of this development in youth circus.
“Through the project, circus will be understood on a deeper level for the developmental and well-being benefits it offers, as well as for its unique characteristics as an art form.”
“We are delighted that NUI Galway will be part of this journey with us, providing a new and innovative educational offering to Irish and international students.’’
Dr Ian Walsh, Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies at NUIG said that they are excited to have this opportunity to evaluate the circus arts and the skills they teach young people.
More than 650 young people attend the classes run by Galway Community Circus which has been in operation for 18 years.
However, the company is now in peril due to growing insurance crisis in Ireland, with prices skyrocketing and many activities not covered by the only quote they could get.
The organisation is in peril of closing if a long term solution is not found, depriving young people in Galway of an incredible resource.
In 2020, for the European Capital of Culture, the group also intends to present ‘Wires Crossed – A Balancing Act for Europe’.
More than 400 people will cross the Corrib on a tightrope and The Claddagh Basin in August 2020, to highlight positive mental health.
But the insurance issue has also left the future of that event up in the air if it is not resolved.
NUI Galway will also partner with Galway Community Circus on the Creative Europe funded project ‘Wires Crossed: Head, Heart, Balance’.
This is a shared project with The Serious Road Trip (Romania), Ecole de Cirque de Bruxelles, and the Université Libre de Bruxelles.
‘Wires Crossed’ will return for the Capital of Culture 2021 in Timisoara, Romania, while the university partners will be working on a research project into the effects of funambulism on the brain.
‘Wires Crossed: Head, Heart, Balance’, will run from October 2019-September 2022, with NUI Galway being the evaluator for the project.