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Fern Street Circus at Year's End

Many of you know that John Highkin and Cindy Zimmerman co-founded the Circus 25 years ago, and returned to revive it in July 2014. We recommitted Fern Street to its core values: bringing free-of-charge circus training to low income communities, and creating circus performances in neighborhood parks. Our bilingual presentations are choreographed to home-grown music. We integrate Circus Youth Apprentices with skilled circus pros, combining athletic prowess with artistic expression in visually magical surroundings. To continue doing this work, we need your help. Please consider supporting Fern Street Circus in your year-end giving. Together, we can take the Circus to new heights of beauty, learning, and service.

About Fern Street Circus

Shows & Presentations

   •  FY 2014-15 (July ‘14-June ‘15)  32 shows & presentations   Audience: 4,528

    • FY 2015-16 (July ‘15-present)  31 shows & presentations   Audience: 5,736

   •  29 communities since July 2014

    •  Circus, musical & visual artists and technicians: 58 since July 2014

   •  Fern Street Circus is San Diego International Airport's first-ever Performing Artists-in-Residence


After-School Circus Program

   •  Began February 3, 2015 in City Heights – tumbling, juggling, clowning, & tightwire

   •  Weekly attendance (Feb. - Aug.): 65     Ages 3-5 years: 15    Ages 6 & up: 50

   •  Circus Youth Apprentices (Aug. - Dec.): 23     

   •  Paid staff: 14 coaches & assistants, 3 community liaisons

   •  Other Programs
Pazazz, City Heights; DEEP (Diamond Educa
tional Excellence Partnership), Malcolm X Library;
Boys & Girls Club, 4S Ranch Branch

Highlights of Fern Street's First 18 Months Back
In Training...
  • The four Salas sisters, part of the After-School Program in Golden Hill in the 1990s, now bring four daughters to City Heights to learn as they learned.
  • The Brito siblings, Anahi and Ronaldo, are special needs kids who loved learning circus from their first moment in the gym. Since August, they've performed as apprentices in the Neighborhood Tour. Both are seamlessly accepted and valued in the student and performer culture, and shine brightly in the ring.
  • Lillie LopezFerrer (clowning) and Silvio Damone (juggling), two graduates of the After-School Program in Golden Hill, now coach in City Heights.
In Performance...
  • Veteran Fern Street artist Garry O. Irvingwhite (Clown Otis) and new foot juggler/coach Feven Zewdie are collaborating, teaching, and performing with an inspiring verve and energy.
  • Our first outdoor show helped kick-off the Free Summer Lunch Program for the City and San Diego Unified School District. The deep spirit of Fern Street Circus at its best returned that day in late June. 
  • When we first practiced with the new 10’ high puppet of Heartman at Teralta Park in City Heights, plenty of people were curious and amused. Quite quickly, kids would call out, "Heartman," addressing him as if an old friend. No one had to tell them his name, they already knew. After shows everyone crowds around Heartman for family portraits.

Clown Otis says, "See you at the Circus in 2016."

Please support San Diego's
original social circus

Fern Street Circus
P.O. Box 5864
San Diego, CA  92165
Tel. 619.320.2055

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