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Fern Street Circus Announces 2023 Neighborhood Tour with 10 Free Public Shows Celebrating Cooperati

SAN DIEGO Fern Street Circus (FSC) announced today that it will kick off its 2023 Neighborhood Tour on Saturday, April 8 at Memorial Park in San Diego’s Barrio Logan neighborhood. The Tour will include a total of 10 free public performances at parks and recreation centers around San Diego, including mid-city and San Ysidro, showcasing the talents of professional circus artists and musicians from around the world alongside students from Fern Street Circus’s free after-school program in City Heights. The title of this year’s show is “Hoy por ti, mañana por mí” (“Today for you, tomorrow for me”). It is a gentle exploration of cooperation and working toward a common goal. It is an intentional choice for FSC, which has never shied away from exploring difficult subjects like immigration and healthcare access through poignant and emotional storytelling. “We have seen so much divisiveness over the last few years, between COVID and the strident political environment,” said Executive Director John Highkin. “We wanted this show to take a gentler approach, to be all about kindness, generosity and cooperation, celebrating all the things that can bring communities together, rather than divide us. This concept is reflected in every aspect of the show, including how we built the acts organically through skill-sharing and collaboration among our multi-generational performers. It’s all about considering the needs and desires of other people and working together toward something better.” Live music has always been a key component of FSC’s shows. This year, they have introduced a new “one-man band,” with long-time performer “Bags” playing multiple instruments himself. Counter to the spirit for teamwork, his “band” plays into the storyline of the show, as Bags learns to work together with others on a more cooperative venture. Other groups – dancers, clowns and musicians – discover the value of teamwork throughout the show.

As in past years, FSC has partnered with the City of San Diego’s Parks and Recreation Department and HHSA/Live Well San Diego for the series of shows, which move to a new location each weekend. (See full schedule and locations below.) The San Diego Humane Society, City Heights Music School, Family Health Centers San Diego and Radio Latina are also valued community partners for the Tour.

The shows will feature bilingual ringmaster Memo Mendez, live music and a variety of circus acts, including juggling, clowning, contortion, tumbling, tightwire, puppetry and more. The global cast includes professional circus artists from Guinea, Ethiopia, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Canada.

The shows are free and open to the public. All ages are welcome, and no tickets are required.

Other highlights for this year’s Neighborhood Tour include: Free Community Health Fair – with health screenings, vaccinations and other community resources from Live Well San Diego.

Pre-Show Concerts – featuring student performers from Mariachi Victoria de San Diego

Mobile Vet Clinics – free and low-cost pet vaccinations, micro-chipping, exams and other services by the San Diego Humane Society (April 8 and April 29 events only)

Principal funding for the FSC and its Neighborhood Tours comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, County of San Diego, California Nonprofit Performing Arts Grant, City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and City of San Diego CPPS Program. Fern Street Circus is a project of Fern Street Community Arts, a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization. It has been serving San Diego’s mid-city neighborhoods for 30 years with its signature after-school program and annual performances at public parks, all offered free of charge.

FSC is a pioneer in the growing “social circus” movement, which uses circus as a conduit for addressing social justice and a greater social good. With a mission to serve families and transform neighborhoods, FSC uses physical performance to approach sensitive subjects with humor, warmth and compassion. The professionally produced shows aim to be reach families with simple but meaningful narratives that cross generations, cultures, and language and economic barriers.

Spring 2023 Neighborhood Tour Schedule:

All shows begin at 2 p.m.

Saturday, April 8 Memorial Park, 2975 Ocean View, Blvd., San Diego 92113

Sunday, April 9 (Easter) Golden Hill Recreation Center, 2600 Golf Course Drive, San Diego 92102

Saturday, April 15 Park de la Cruz, 3603 38th Street, San Diego 92105

Sunday, April 16 Azalea Park, 2596 Violet Street, San Diego 92105

Saturday, April 29 Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park, 4455 Wightman St, SD 92105

Sunday, April 30 Colina del Sol Park, 5319 Orange Ave, San Diego, CA 92115

Saturday, May 6 Cesar Chavez Recreation Center, 455 Sycamore Rd, San Diego 92173

Sunday, May 7 Park Recreation Center

Saturday, May 13 Teralta Park

Sunday, May 14 (Mother’s Day) Gompers Park, 4926 Hilltop Drive, San Diego 92102

About Fern Street Circus

Fern Street Circus is San Diego’s original social circus dedicated to creating intriguing shows, performing in under-served neighborhoods and teaching circus skills free of charge in San Diego’s mid-city neighborhoods. Additional information can be found at and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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