Exploring San Diego


Fern Street Circus juggling to bounce back from pandemic receives $150,000 grant

Fern Street Circus
Fern Street Circus
Fern Street Circus
Posted at 8:11 PM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-27 23:13:38-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The magic of the circus will continue to make it way across San Diego neighborhoods following a $150,000 grant presented to Fern Street Circus, the nonprofit announced Thursday.

The grant came from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic.

“Our nation’s arts sector has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The NEA’s American Rescue Plan funding will help arts organizations, such as Fern Street Circus, rebuild and reopen,” said Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the NEA.

The City Heights-based, 30-year-old nonprofit organizes after-school recreation programs and circus performances featuring contortionists, acrobats, and jugglers in low-income communities.

Fern Street Circus

While the dazzling skills of performers are the obvious draw, the FSC's true feat of strength is the social change created through its performances, which are put on by professional circus performers and participants of the group's after-school programs.

"These funds are a significant investment in Fern Street Community Arts’ infrastructure, which sustains programs that positively affect families in City Heights and beyond. This federal funding literally reaches the sidewalks of San Diego,”said FSC Executive Director John Highkin.

Despite the economic challenges the last two years have posed to arts and cultural organizations in San Diego and beyond, FSC has remained committed to two key principals: All neighborhood shows are free to the public and its professional artists and technicians are always paid.

Its spring neighborhood tour of eight performances at neighborhood parks will kick off in March.