Big Apple Circus Announces Emergency Fundraising Drive

Big Apple Circus announced today its campaign to “Save the Circus,” an emergency fundraising drive to help the circus raise $2 million over the next two months or it will have to cease operation, according to a press release.

Executive Director Will Maitland Weiss said the organization is going public with this major fundraising appeal, reaching beyond the over 200,000 families in its database in an effort to raise the necessary funds. If it doesn’t reach its goal, there will be no 2016 performances at Lincoln Center and the circus will come to an end.  

“Our acrobats may be leaping their last dazzling leap,” Weiss said. “Our aerialists may never again make us gasp in wonder as they glide through the air with the greatest of ease. And this may be the last laugh for our clowns, who have brought joy to audiences young and old for so many years. The Big Apple Circus is in trouble.”

While Weiss says ticket sales have remained steady, those profits only cover a portion of the Circus’ operating expenses and, like other nonprofits, Big Apple Circus relies on the support of individuals and public and private institutions to stay open.

There have also other factors that have contributed to the Circus’ economic distress, particularly a significant drop in revenue from private performances during the economic recession, as well as tragedies in locations where it was performing: Hurricane Sandy in New York in 2012, the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, and the Atlanta ice storms in 2014.   

“If you believe in what we do, don’t let the Circus close.  If you believe our work enriches the lives of children and adults of all ages, inside and outside the tent, please keep the Big Apple Circus alive. Go to and give.”  

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