Cloud Nine, Pop-up Circus Space

What is Cloud Nine and Why Do We Need Your Help?

Early on this year, we were invited to join a community takeover of the old Debenhams unit at Ocean Terminal – creating a temporary home for circus in Leith for around 12 months. 

This is an incredible opportunity to bring the magic, creativity and playfulness of circus to people in Edinburgh, and we want to provide:

  • Free monthly shows and weekly workshops for families, teenagers and adults
  • A place for everyone in our community to discover and participate in social circus, to improve health, wellbeing and to make new connections
  • A place for circus artists to practice, collaborate, and create new work

Our team have put in lots of work already, removing old shop furniture, building cupboards and doors, fixing up the floors and painting the space to make it feel like home. We even have a name for the space: Cloud Nine!

BUT to make the most of this time we need financial assistance, so that we can make our circus home at Cloud Nine ready for workshops, provide specialist equipment and trainers for the free workshops we will put on, and keep the doors open for artists to train and create.

We need to raise £8,000, and with your help we can do it!

Who Are We?

Think Circus is a small team of performers, facilitators and creators based in Leith, Scotland. We are brought together by a belief that playfulness, connection and quality are really important and have been collectively creating circus for over a decade. We perform and teach circus all over Scotland, specialising in hula hoops, juggling, stilt-walking and fire/light shows.

Since Think Circus CIC began in 2017, we have delivered workshops and shows across Scotland with over 4,000 participants. We love collaborating with local and national organisations. Our proudest achievement has been delivering our regular programmes to women, young people and families in Leith and Craigmillar.

The Wee Hub project is co-ordinated by THELMA (the Living Memory Association, who run Leith’s Wee Museum of Memory).

Why Circus?

Social circus is an established model used all over the world. In practice it means friendly, community-based classes teaching easy, accessible skills like juggling, hula hoop, balancing and spinning. Social circus has been proven to have positive effects on physical literacy, overcoming fear of failure and resilience. See the Research.

We want to offer the benefits of social circus to our community by running regular events – these will be free for everyone. They will include:

  • Circus Community Jam – Thursday evenings
  • Open Community Circus Sessions (families) – Sundays 3-6pm
  • Open Community Circus Circus Sessions (adults) – Sunday 6-8pm
  • Monthly Showcase featuring members of our youth circus, professional performers and new/emerging artists
  • Teenagers Circus Workshops – Friday afternoons
  • Community Projects and Artistic Collaborations – we have lots of ideas and several exciting partnerships on the way!

With Edinburgh’s longest running circus club, Tollcross State Circus, sadly having to close its doors in 2020, we will provide a space for community circus to thrive again.

We will also provide training space for established circus artists in our community to help them level up and create new work. Seeing high-quality circus in our showcases will inspire even more people to take part in the fun of circus!

What will the money you donate go to?

Our budget of £8,000 will cover:

  • Paint, materials, vinyl stickers and supplies for making our space safe, functional and circus-like
  • Curtains/rails to divide up the space (and make it more sound-proof)
  • Mats for teaching dance, acrobatics, stretching and floor-based movement
  • Roll out dance-floor for dedicated rehearsal space
  • A tightrope so we can teach this skill 
  • Facilitator fees for drop-in workshops (for 9 months)
  • Space manager fee for community workshops, jams and artist training sessions (for 9 months)
  • The cost of fulfilling Crowdfunder rewards

What will happen when the project is over?

At some point in the next 12-18 months, developers will be knocking down the building to turn it into housing. But don’t worry, we have a plan to continue Cloud Nine as a Pop-Up Circus, appearing wherever people need more playfulness and fun – that’s probably everywhere! In all seriousness, this project will help us prove the concept and show what is possible with a large dedicated space, supporting the future of circus in Edinburgh. Because we don’t have long, it’s even more important to get Cloud Nine up and running as quickly as possible so more people can benefit.