No ad campaign to promote St. Louis, however well designed or funded, can have the same reach or credibility as the testimony of its residents. What we show about ourselves or say about our City when we travel is a kind of viral marketing campaign that offers compelling evidence of the kind of place we are. That’s why I was glad to learn that 16 enthusiastic young performers (and their chaperones and technicians) from Jessica Hentoff’s Circus Day Foundation/Circus Harmony recently spent most of a week at the American Youth Circus Festival in San Francisco. By Jessica’s own testimony (and who wouldn’t believe a circus promoter?), they were a big hit. The performers, Circus Day, and the City attracted a lot of positive attention.
If you don’t know about Jessica and her work, you should.
Circus Day sponsors a variety of intergenerational, multicultural programs that use learning and performing circus skills to “defy gravity, soar with confidence, and leap over social barriers, all at the same time.”
You can see young Circus Day-sponsored aerialists, jugglers, tumblers, and clowns in performances at the City Museum, Circus Flora, and — in November — as part of Ringling’s pre-show presentation. You can read about their work here.