These guidelines lead decision-making within Circus Contraption and communicate our mission to funding sources, potential board members and any artists or aardvarks who want to run away with the circus.
Statement of purpose: Our raison d'Ítre.
Circus Contraption creates surreal, circus-based performance art.
- We operate as a nonprofit, enhancing community through art.
- We explore interdisciplinary territory. Though music and circus arts form the basis of our work, we embrace elements from widely divergent art forms.
- Each element of our work stands on its own as art.
- We have a continuing commitment to touring.
- Our working process exists as an example of a radical/revolutionary paradigm.
Values: Our guiding principles.
- We are idealistic.
- We are involved in, speak to, and speak out about the world around us.
- We embrace diversity.
- We strive to share a wide range of work with diverse audiences.
- We prize art that is not limited by external constraints or driven by external forces, such as commerce or contemporary community standards. Stated positively, we value artistic products that spring naturally from the group and from individuals within the group.
- We honor feedback from the community.
- We believe circus arts should explore the dark and disturbing as well as the lighthearted, whimsical and absurd.
- We believe that empowering all people involved in the creative process leads to better art.
- We believe artists should be paid for their work.
- We believe outside commitments can help artists create more relevant work.
- We hold progressive values such as ecology, equality, freedom, and community.
- We value a scale and scope of performance that engenders an intimate connection with the audience. We favor small venues.
- We defend freedom of expression.
Ways and means: How we pursue our purpose in accordance with our values.
- We are frugal and resourceful. We remain grass-roots.
- We strive toward self-sufficiency in terms of production. We also value collaborations with others.
- We provide a structure that allows for the least amount of bureaucracy and the maximum amount of art making.
- Artists make artistic decisions. Business decisions support the artistic vision.
- We work together in mutual respect; we empower all members; we strive toward consensus.
- We support circus members in their artistic endeavors. We foster an environment in which they can create their own work, and a forum in which to bring their efforts to fruition.
- We incorporate naturally evolving group dynamics into our organizational structure.
- We make our performances accessible to those who can't afford pricey tickets. We travel to small communities. We seek out audiences not normally served by circuses.
- We take good care of ourselves and each other.
- We value conflict, and deal with it openly and directly.
- Good fiscal management allows us to pursue our mission.
- We enjoy ourselves wholeheartedly.
All that and a tent!