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Big Apple Circus: Cash is Dwindling; at Risk of Shutting Down Performances for Good

by Michelle Tabnick
June 24, 2016
The Big Apple Circus, which announced several weeks ago that it was in dire financial condition and launched a $2 million fundraising campaign to Save the Circus, said today that it is low on cash and that unless it receives a significant infusion of funds by Friday, it will have to cancel performances for next season and possibly for good.

“When we went public with our urgent call for help, we needed to raise $250,000 a week over a two-month period to survive. As of today, we have not met that goal,” said executive director Will Maitland Weiss. “Several large supporters have made pledges, but those are contingent on our getting much closer to our target. And so, our cash is dwindling. We are at a point where we are living day to day, week to week. We must raise $600,000 by Friday in order to preserve our circus for the upcoming season and beyond.”

As of June 22, the organization had raised more than $400,000 in cash and a further $300,000 in pledged contributions from its board, ticket buyers, current and former staff members, and others, with $90,000 of that from 900 donors to their online crowdfunding site, www.savethecircus.org. With only $400,000 in cash received to date, cash flow is in critical condition, and unless the organization raises another $600,000 in cash by Friday, performances for the fall season will be cancelled, and it is unlikely they will be resumed in future seasons.

“We’ve been heartened by the outpouring of love and support from our fans, who have made contributions large and small in response to our appeal,” said Big Apple Circus artistic director Guillaume Dufresnoy. “The Big Apple Circus is a cultural treasure that has brought joy and wonder to families and children of all ages and abilities, all ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and all income levels for 38 years, and we want to be here for them for generations to come.”

Contributions can be made online at www.savethecircus.org, or by contacting Lauren Braun at (646) 616-6829.

About Big Apple Circus

Conceived and founded by Paul Binder and Michael Christensen to be a leading presenter of live family entertainment and a nonprofit performing arts institution, our nation-wide performances and community programs have made our 38-year history far-reaching and full. Our mission is to invigorate the communities we serve with the joy and wonder of classical circus. We create authentic, direct contact; laughter and delight, under the Big Top and in hospitals, nursing homes, and schools across the country. For more information, visit www.bigapplecircus.org.
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