SAN DIEGO – Fern Street Circus (FCS), a project of Fern Street Community Arts, a San Diego-based nonprofit social circus, has announced an all-new, original circus show, Tales from Friendship Park, which will be performed during its 2019 Neighborhood Tour from Oct. 4 through Oct. 27. Each year, FSC presents a series of free community performances at public parks in San Diego, featuring a variety of circus acts that combine adult, teen and child performers; live music and cultural celebrations; as well as access to community health and educational resources.
FSC is one of the few circuses in the United States to explore poignant and emotional storytelling through circus. This year, the show’s story is inspired by Friendship Park/Parque de Amistad, a binational park located alongside the U.S./Mexico border, with Fern Street’s bilingual ringmaster, Memo Mendez, guiding the audience through a narrative about building bridges across disparate communities of people – including culture, language and age.
The cast of Tales from Friendship Park includes 11 adult circus performers, four professional musicians, eight to 10 working technicians and as many as 30 students (ages six to 17) that have trained at FSC’s free-of-charge After-School Circus Program in San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood. The story will be told through a variety of circus acts, including juggling, contortion, trapeze, unicycle, tumbling, tightwire, clowning, songs and a newly commissioned seagull puppet.
All Neighborhood Tour events are free and open to the public. No tickets are required. Most shows begin at 2 p.m., with a free parade and puppetry-making workshop beginning 30 minutes prior to the show.
The Neighborhood Tour through San Diego’s mid-city neighborhoods will begin on Friday, Oct. 4, with a show at the North Park Recreation Center. A complete list of event locations and times can be found below and at http://www.fernstreetcircus.com/events.
In addition to the circus show, each stop on the Neighborhood Tour will include a free Community Health Fair, with health screenings, vaccinations and other community resources made available through healthcare partners, including Live Well San Diego and Family Health Centers of San Diego.
Other Neighborhood Tour community partners include United Taxi Workers of San Diego, Somali Bantu Association, Employee Rights Center, SAY San Diego, San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, City Heights Community Development Corp. and the City Heights Business Association.
Artistic partners include San Diego Guild of Puppetry, Animal Cracker Conspiracy and Lindley Lopez Circus.
“We are so excited to bring Fern Street Circus back to San Diego city parks in 2019,” said Executive Director John Highkin. “Our circus reflects the concerns, values and good humor of our artists, students and families. We love working with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to bring multi-generational professional circus to neighborhoods in City Heights and beyond.”
A community fundraiser for the Neighborhood Tour, entitled Escape to the Circus: Shine with the Stars, will be held on Friday, Sept. 27 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Fair @ 44, located at El Cajon Boulevard between Fairmount Avenue and 44th Street. Family and VIP tickets will be available for the event, which will feature a variety of circus performances, live music, circus skills activities, food and drinks.
About Fern Street Circus
Founded in 1990 and based in City Heights, Fern Street Circus is San Diego’s original social circus dedicated to creating intriguing shows, performing in unique venues in underserved neighborhoods and teaching circus skills free of charge in San Diego’s mid-city neighborhoods. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, FSC is committed to serving the community and bringing people of all ages and cultures together through the power of circus. The organization has been recognized and recommended for funding by the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council. Additional information can be found at www.fernstreetcircus.com and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Neighborhood Tour 2019 Schedule:
Fri., Oct. 4 (6 p.m.) North Park Rec Center (4044 Idaho Street, San Diego 92104)
Sat., Oct. 5 (2 p.m.) Teralta Park (4100 Central Avenue, San Diego 92105)
Sun., Oct. 6 (2 p.m.) Willie Henderson Sports Complex (1035 S 45th St, San Diego 92113
Sat., Oct. 12 (2 p.m.) Golden Hill Rec Center (2600 Golf Course Drive, San Diego 92102)
Sun., Oct. 13 (2 p.m.) Azalea Park (2596 Violet Street, San Diego 92105)
Sat., Oct. 19 (2 p.m.) Colina del Sol Park 5319 Orange Avenue, San Diego 92105
Sun., Oct. 20 (2 p.m.) Park de la Cruz (3901 Landis Street, San Diego 92105)
Sat., Oct. 26 (2 p.m.) Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park (3700 Fairmount Avenue, San Diego 92105)
Sun., Oct. 27 (2 p.m.) Gompers Park (4926 Hilltop Drive, San Diego 92102)
Community Health Fairs: 12 noon – 2 p.m. except at North Park Rec Center (4 – 6 p.m.)