Over $90,000 to support the development of independent circus

Melbourne Fringe and Circus Oz are excited to announce Springboard – a new program aimed at supporting innovation in contemporary circus. Springboard will support the development of four new small-budget circus works – one of which will grow into a mid-budget commissioned work in 2021.

Australia’s independent circus artists are extraordinary but need more support to really see them swing from the rafters. I’m so excited that Melbourne Fringe will partner with Circus Oz for Springboard, supporting the development of the circus sector to really go to the next level.” – Simon Abrahams, Melbourne Fringe Creative Director and CEO.

The first initiative of its kind, Springboard will provide much-needed support to small circus companies, allowing them to create more ambitious new works, with solid market development and touring strategies in place.

Four artists or companies will receive seed funding to self-produce a new work for Melbourne Fringe Festival or Sidesault-at-the-Melba in 2020. These independently produced shows will receive guidance and support from Melbourne Fringe, Circus Oz and mentors, in order to develop an increased competence in self-producing and navigating the market.

One of the four works presented in 2020 will be selected to receive an additional $35,000 and mentorship to support the growth of the work into a mid-scale circus work. This show will be performed at the 2021 Melbourne Fringe Festival, ready to be pitched to a major performing arts and/or circus touring market.

Circus Oz are very excited to be partnering with Melbourne Fringe to support the circus sector and allow artists this fantastic opportunity. It’s an exciting time for Australian contemporary circus, and Springboard will enable companies and artists to be even more ambitious and to see their ideas and concepts come to fruition.” – Brian Robertson, The Melba Spiegeltent Producer, Circus Oz.

Through collaborative mentoring and support, as well as the provision of access to technical resources and financial investment, Springboard will support the emerging circus sector to be more ambitious, to better realise its full artistic potential, and to maximise its potential audience reach.

Springboard creates a new pathway for independent circus artists to make their way to the mainstage and make a splash in the Australian arts scene.

Applications for Springboard close Wednesday 20 November.

For more information: https://melbournefringe.com.au/participate/artist-development-opportunities/springboard/

Melbourne Fringe was established in 1982 as an annual open access festival that champions cultural democracy and supports anyone to participate in the arts. The annual festival takes voices from the margins and amplifies them across the city in a range of programs including the annual design exhibition Fringe Furniture, participatory public art commissions, children’s programs as well as its First Nations program Deadly Fringe, disability and Deaf arts programs, mentorships, workshops, residencies, forums, awards and touring support.

Circus Oz

Credited with revitalising a traditional art form in a uniquely Australian way, Circus Oz has influenced the development of circus arts around the world since its foundation in 1978. As Melbourne’s home-grown circus troupe, Circus Oz undertook its first and critically praised international tour in 1980 and has continued touring to over 100 cities and regions in 28 countries – playing to over 4 million people. The company now celebrates a new era featuring bold collaborations and works of varying scale and style. Expect emotional journeys of breathtaking agility, death-defying stunts, awe-inspiring acrobatic performances, irreverent comedy and spectacular live music.

Melbourne Fringe Festival