Circus Futures and Histories was a powerful and important project bringing young students and older members of the local community together to learn circus and be inspired by each other. It happened every Friday for 20 weeks in 2016. It became an important part of many people’s lives over that time and produced many surprising connections.
Junction Park State School
TriCare Aged Care Residence
The Annerley Library
Annerley-Stephen Historical Group
Vulcana Women’s Circus worked closely with Junction Park State School to frame the project, and invited residents from TriCare Annerley Aged Care Residence, to join the project and the workshops. The Annerley-Stephens History Group contributed a volunteer, Hazel Aue, who became a vital part of the project, linking the young participants with the older participants. The Annerley Library also contributed to the project, offering resources stories as impetus for the project, and this documentation support.
About Circus Futures and Histories
The school chose a group of students who they identified would benefit from the unique physical and creative art form that is circus. The activities aimed to build their confidence, in a fun and collective way.
The residents from TriCare were an important part of the project. The inspiration that each group drew from the other was palpable. The opportunity to become known to each other changed expectations and assumptions about “old people” and “young people”. They were able to share experiences.
Students learned circus, shared and imagined stories, dressed up and developed a way of working and playing together. Community elders made new friends with these young students and told stories and shared games.
Regular visits from community locals attested to the progress students made on their skills and their growing confidence.
Students were introduced to the local library.
The local historical group created a new connection with the aged care residence.
The relish of the students to come to circus as the last school based thing they did each week was wonderful and only possible with the commitment and enthusiasm of the school and all the facilitators.
The highlight of the project was a visit by all the students to TriCare Annerley Aged Care Residence to share their workshop – their games and their practising - with the Residence community. And everyone ate cake!
Circus Futures and Histories would like to thank:
Christine Wood, Junction Park State School Principal
Jack Irwin, Teacher Aide – Behaviour Support, Junction Park State School
Kerry Meisinger, Diversional Therapist, TriCare Annerley
Celia White, Artistic Director, Vuclana Women’s Circus
Yonna Simon, Circus Facilitator, Vuclana Women’s Circus
Pitisi Hatcher, Circus Facilitator, Vuclana Women’s Circus
Eliza Gawne, Circus Facilitator, Vuclana Women’s Circus
Hazel Aue, Annerely – Stephens History Group
Lara Deak, Artsworker, community member and Junction Park parent
Robyn Gattera, Team Leader, Annerley Library
Funding provided by Community Development and Capacity Building Fund, Brisbane City Council
Photo Credits: Camille Santiago at www.camillenathania.com