MCF Staff

Madison Circus Space receives a $50,000 challenge grant from Madison Community Foundation to build Wisconsin’s largest  circus arts training facility

Madison Circus Space has been awarded a $50,000 challenge grant from Madison Community Foundation to build Wisconsin’s largest circus arts training facility, opening this summer at 2082 Winnebago Street on Madison’s east side.

The challenge grant will support the five-year-old nonprofit’s $1 million capital campaign for a 10,000-square-foot facility, owned and operated by Madison Circus Space and built specifically for training, learning, and performing circus arts. To date, the organization has raised $700,000. Every dollar up to $50,000 will be matched by Madison Community Foundation through May 1.

“Madison Circus Space is the kind of place that makes our community so unique and special,” said Tom Linfield, Madison Community Foundation Vice President of Community Impact. “From the sheer variety of arts performers and enthusiasts to the mixture of learning, collaboration, and arts entrepreneurship, Madison Circus Space is poised to become one of Madison’s favorite cultural attractions.”

Madison Circus Space is the largest community of circus artists in Wisconsin, with 70 members, 50-plus hours of weekly programming, and 12 public activities per month. Since March 2016, the organization has provided 32 individuals from low-income households with approximately $1,500 in scholarship funds. Madison Circus Space is invested in serving youth and older adults.

"We believe that circus is for everybody, and the demand for a dedicated facility has never been stronger,” said Luke Emery, President of the Madison Circus Space Board of Directors. “Our members, instructors, students, and audiences have increased exponentially, and with strong support, we will continue to grow an inclusive circus arts community."

For the past five years, Madison Circus Space, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has hosted classes, clubs, and performances that are affordable and open to the public. Madison Circus Space provides the building and equipment necessary to safely learn circus arts and give participants a positive environment to support one another and to grow stronger physically, emotionally, and professionally.

Madison Circus Space is also a circus arts incubator, building capacity for arts education and entrepreneurship, performance, and collaboration among artists ranging from hobbyists to professionals. Audiences find connection, belonging, and community through celebrating authentic art.

“A dedicated facility puts Madison on the map for performers to train their craft, makes it a destination for touring shows, and helps builds a lasting, permanent community for those interested in circus arts,”  said Thom Wall, Cirque du Soleil performer.

About Madison Circus Space: The mission of Madison Circus Space is to be a home for modern circus and movement arts and to foster appreciation for a variety of circus-related talent and creativity. The National Endowment for the Arts recognizes circus both in its traditional form (Wisconsin’s own Ringling Brothers) and its modern form. Madison Circus Space emphasizes dance, creativity, fitness, and recreation for all ages, abilities, and aspirations.

To learn more, visit


We would love to connect with you! Get our newsletters.