project leader
Vanessa L
4939 Broadway Ave
(Slavic Village)
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the project

Crooked River Circus & School is a collective of circus artists dedicated to sharing the joy of circus with the City of Cleveland and surrounding communities. We believe in the power of circus to inspire wonder and curiosity, and to challenge limiting beliefs about what is possible. Through our school, based in the Slavic Village neighborhood of Cleveland, we strive to build a supportive circus community by offering classes, workshops, skill shares, and performance opportunities. Our skilled performers thrill and delight audiences of all ages at community events, local showcases, and professional full-length productions.

We began as a program of Sokol Greater Cleveland in 2010 with aerial silks classes in their gym twice a week. We began putting on aerial showcases in 2015 and occasionally performing at outside events. We have grown over the years to include artists who practice a variety of aerial and non-aerial circus acts, using the gym space at Sokol to train up to four times a week. We incorporated as an LLC in 2022 so we could pursue performance opportunities throughout the community, and aim to become our own non-profit in the coming years. In December 2022 we co-produced an original holiday circus show with Cleveland Public Theater, which had a sold-out six-show run. 

This summer, Crooked River Circus plans to produce a family-friendly outdoor show with an environmental theme that we can bring to locations around the community. Crooked River Circus’s top performers will amaze audiences with acts including aerial silks, lyra, partner acrobatics, slacklining, juggling, stilt walking, and more. After the performance, children in the audience will be invited to join us to play and learn some basic tricks with circus props such as hula hoops, juggling balls, dance ribbons, bubbles, and stilts. With donations raised through this fundraiser, Crooked River Circus will buy needed equipment and supplies, print marketing materials, and provide stipends to our performers. We plan to perform the show at least four times this summer at various locations.

the steps

- Coordinate event locations around the community

- Purchase supplies and equipment, including a pulley system that will allow us to easily switch out aerial apparatus on our rig

- Practice, practice, practice!

- Spread the word about our shows through social media and flyers distributed around the neighborhoods where we will be performing

- Perform at least 4 shows between mid-June and the end of September, 2023

why we're doing it

At Crooked River Circus, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the joy of circus. Circus companies don't come through town as often as they once did, and those who do, like Cirque Du Soleil, are not very affordable for most Cleveland families. We offer a unique live performance experience that Cleveland residents would not otherwise have access to in their own neighborhoods. Through these free summer performances, we seek to delight, amaze, and inspire all who attend.


Final budget


Performers/Artists Stipends $2,780.25

Sound Engineer $500

Space rental $600

TOTAL $3,880.25

Final budget



ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%)

ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)


Original budget

Equipment - $500

Artist Stipends - $3,000

Sound Engineer - $500

Supplies/Props/Costumes - $250

Marketing - $250

Space Rental - $500

ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%)    N/A
"ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $76
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)"    
TOTAL TO RAISE=    $5,076
Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.    


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