Circus Events to Benefit Schools

WHAT: Circus for Arts in the Schools
WHEN: 1 and 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 6
WHERE: Kofman Auditorium, 2200 Central Ave.
COST: $10-$18
INFO: www.circusforarts.org or 510-337-1238

Circus for the Arts — the seventh-annual circus-themed fund-raisers are scheduled for 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday at Kofman Auditorium, 2200 Central Ave. The 70-minute shows will feature performers who’ve worked with Cirque du Soleil and the Pickle Family Circus, as well as other talented acts from the circus world like Calvin Kai Ku. Tickets are $10-$18.

Circus for the Arts performers include Cirque du Soleil veterans Jaron Hollander, Marcie Brown, Ben Johnson and Jeff Raz, who helped start the annual fund-raiser about seven years ago and has a son attending Otis School. The show will feature a band led by Johannes Mager, stage clowns from the Medical Clown Project, other circus acts based on talents developed in China, Germany and Brazil, as well as beatbox-juggler Bronkar Lee, aerial dance troupe Zaccho Youth Company and two aerial duet performers of Disney World fame.

Cassie Weigel, star of Bay Area Children’s Theater’s Circus Adventure and a student at St. Philip Neri in Alameda, is also set to perform. And a quartet of talented principals from Alameda public schools have promised to share their talents as well, event organizers say. Among the new acts are those featuring capoeira (or Brazilian martial arts) and a stilt walker.

“Money raised at the Circus for the Arts goes to support arts programs modeled on teaching from the Lincoln Center Institute in New York,” explained Raz. “Students get to see work of art – visual or performing art, like music or dance. Before and after they see it, they work with a teaching artist to do exercises and training.”

Funds raised will help pay for these Creative Education programs at Paden and Otis elementary schools. In addition, the city’s other elementary schools will receive some financial support for participating in events’ ticket sales. In past seven years, the circus shows have a total of more than $130,000.

Janet Levaux