Vatican City, 16.06. 2016
During the Jubilee year of Mercy, in a festive audience Pope Francis greeted the representatives of circus organizations, among them the delegation of the Fédération Mondiale du Cirque, circuses, artists, street performers, employees of amusement parks and fairs from all over the world. Addressing the circus and travelling people the Pope said: " you are champions of beauty...you are artisans of festivities, wonder and beauty. And with these qualities you enrich all world society, even with the aim of nurturing sentiments of hope and confidence. You do it through performances that have the ability to elevate the soul, to fascinate with the wonder of beauty and to offer opportunities for healthy entertainment."
Pope Francis enjoyed a short circus performance. At the end a young panther cub and a six months- old tiger appeared on stage, approaching the Pope, who stood up and touched the cat. This sign of appreciation of wild animals as an integral part of the shows is a powerful support for traditional circuses.
The event was supported by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.
Smithsonian, the world's largest museum and research complex, announced on World Circus Day that CIRCUS ARTS will be the theme of its 50th Folklife Festival on the National Mall in Washington, DC, June 29-July 4, and July 6-9. According to its website, the celebration “will bring the rich history, mystique and diversity of circus arts to life.” Festival visitors will get an up-close and personal look at the arts and culture of the circus through the people who make it possible – performing artists, coaches, costume designers, makeup artists, musicians, lighting and sound engineers, riggers, cooks and prop managers among others. The Festival will also feature live circus performances, demonstrations and workshops “under a big top tent” focusing on the disciplines of acrobatics, aerial skills, equilibristics, object manipulation, and clowning. To learn more, see http://www.festival.si.edu/2017/circus-arts/smithsonian.