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VPR's coverage of arts and culture in the region.

Circus Arts Are Alive And Well In Brattleboro

Kristen Piljay
Twin sisters Elsie and Serenity Smith perform aerial acrobatics in the upcoming "Circus Spectacular" shows.

The New England Center for Circus Arts has been teaching and inspiring people of all ages since 1977.

Now, the Brattleboro-based center looks toward the future, having just purchased three acres of land to build a custom-designed training facility.

VPR's Neal Charnoff speaks with NECCA Artistic Director Elsie Smith about the center and about this weekend's Circus Spectacular performances.

Smith says that the school teaches the core circus arts, such as juggling, acrobatics and aerial skills. But she notes that the center also offers extensive outreach programs for people with illness or disability.

Smith believes the school is a healthy ingredient in the Brattleboro economy, bringing long and short-term students to the area.

To that end, the new facility will be built close to the downtown area, making it easy to walk or drive.