Circus Smirkus receives national Community Impact Award

Circus Smirkus, Vermont’s own award-winning international youth circus, was recognized earlier this week with the second annual Community Impact Award at the Celebration of American Circus at Lincoln Center, New York. Presented by Circus Now and the Big Apple Circus, The Celebration of American Circus honored four artists and organizations that have “revolutionized the circus arts landscape in America, while spotlighting the thriving state of the circus arts across the nation.” The awardees included Dominique Jando (Elevating Circus Award; Bill Irwin (Evolving Circus Award); and Hovey Burgess (Lifetime Achievement Award).  

The Community Impact Award is given annually to a circus artist or organization that has succeeded in harnessing and demonstrating the power of the circus arts for community engagement and social good, and in bringing diverse audiences together through quality programming. Smirkus founder Rob Mermin and Executive Director Ed LeClair were present to accept the award. Smirkus troupers (former members of the Big Top Tour) Liam Gundlach and Sawyer Oubre performed a duo diabolo act as well.

Circus Smirkus was founded in 1987, and is headquartered in Greensboro. Circus Smirkus promotes the skills, culture and traditions of the traveling circus, inspiring youth to engage in life-changing adventures in the circus arts. Their three principal programs are The Big Top Tour (which takes 30 talented teens on a 7-week performance tour across New England); Smirkus Camp (which serves over 600 children from ages 5 – 18 each summer), and school residencies that bring the circus arts into the classroom. For more information visit

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