Supporting Youth through Circus

My Nose Turns Red is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Tax number 31-1203908. 

After 35 years, 2019 has marked several milestones! Because of generous donors, we increase our scholarships for free circus classes and camps, hired a full-time executive director, brought in 10 guest coaches for circus camps and workshops, showcased six students at the American Youth Circus Festival in San Diego, and rode illuminated unicycles in Cincinnati’s second BLINK Parade. It has been an exceptional year!

“I realized how much circus helps me with stress and anxiety. It’s not just the circus training, it’s the community I feel and the social aspect of it, and without that, it’s been hard,” responded Carleigh, a Circus Youth in Action team member, a few months into the pandemic.

Community is a central component of what we do.

Youth engaged in circus learn to trust and support each other both physically and emotionally as they take risks and persevere to master new and exciting skills. These skills, and this community, have become even more important in the past year. Due to COVID-19, we have all felt more isolated than before. And this is especially true for young people. As Carleigh reminds us, My Nose Turns Red’s programming is a significant part of our students’ social-emotional well-being.

COVID-19 recommendations for social distancing required us to reduce capacity in all of our programs. Yet, we persevered to sustain as much face-to-face programming as we could, while bringing circus to children and youth in new, virtual formats. We are thankful for all of our donors, the board of directors, and funders who have helped sustain our work in the midst of tremendous challenge. Although we will be unable to gather audiences for some time, and most of our after-school programs are on hold, we are committed to finding new ways of serving culturally, linguistically, and socio-economically diverse youth.

We remain a safe, non-competitive place where youth learn how to collaborate and communicate, create engaging performances, celebrate the joy of working toward a personal goal, develop leadership skills, and learn to trust and support each other.

We made it through 2020—almost—and next year will be just as challenging. We need your support to help My Nose Turns Red finish the year strong and poised to continue to provide the joys and challenges of circus to the youth of our community.

Thank you for your support.

Jean St. John

Executive Director

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Become a Corporate Sponsor

Support youth circus by becoming a sponsor, buying an ad in our Youth Circus Extravaganza or supporting a Circus in the Parks performance this summer.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Social circus programs that allow us to reach new students who would not otherwise have the means to pay.
  • Adding new coaches to accommodate a growing range of skill levels.
  • Circus Youth in Action, a creative youth leadership development program.
  • Search for a permanent space that will serve the organization’s current and future needs.
  • Giving our students to opportunity to showcase their circus skills in the annual Youth Circus Extravaganza, a full-scale theatrical production
  • Teens in the Circus Youth in Action leaderships team, most of whom have been in our program for five or more years, are learning how to coach our younger students and providing interactive workshops and performances in the community. With the help of Imelda EMenaker, EdD, our educational consultant, we are better able to measure their growing empathy, creativity, collaboration, teamwork, and connection — essential life skills that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.

 We accept donations by check or through Paypal. 

Yes, My Nose Turns Red is always looking for volunteers. Please reach out to. . .

My Nose Turns Red conducts weekly after-school circus classes in the Greater Cincinnati Area both in-person and online. After-school classes are led by director Steve Roenker and circus teen apprentices.

Free after-school circus classes (in-person) are offered for Roberts Paidea Academy and  through funding through the National Endowment for the Arts, Ohio Arts Council, ArtsWave, and SC Ministries. Please contact us for a scholarship for any of our classes if they are eligible for free and/or reduced lunch. My Nose Turns Red believes everyone should have the opportunity to take circus classes.

Contact My Nose Turns Red to discuss having an after-school circus program at your school.

Check out our About Us page and read our Annual Report.

We thank you for your generous support!