Mission Statement – Through the art of the theatrical clown and the one-ring circus, My Nose Turns Red cultivates a supportive environment that inspires youth to challenge themselves, develop essential life skills and engage audiences.
My Nose Turns Red (MNTR) is the only non-profit organization in the Greater Cincinnati area dedicated to youth circus. Every year MNTR provides year-round training and performance opportunities for over 400 youth in the art of the one-ring circus and the theatrical clown. We believe that youth circus is a magical blend of theatre, movement, physical fitness, imagination and childlike wonder. Our instructors blend the ability to play with the precision of circus arts to create programs where youth learn teamwork and trust in a non-competitive environment. From beginners’ classes to advanced performance programs, MNTR provides a safe arena for young people to take risks and challenge themselves.
My Nose Turns Red was founded in 1984 when co-founders Jean St. John and Steve Roenker began touring as theatrical clowns Juice and Shootang, bringing their art form to thousands of children through school performances, workshops and residencies. In 1997, MNTR created a circus program designed to give youth the opportunity to experience the challenge of circus training with the joy of performing.
“My Nose Turns Red is a wonderful addition to our daughter’s life. She has developed physical strength, balance and poise, in addition to self-confidence, all while having fun. Never one for team sports, becoming a member of the MNTR youth circus allows her to work both individually and in groups, without the focus on “winning” and “competition.“
Nancy C. Elder, MD, MSPH
Associate Professor and Director of Research
Department of Family and Community Medicine