Artists in Residence

SANCA Artist-in-Residence Program

Overview and History
Our mission is to encourage the advancement of circus arts performance in the Pacific Northwest by providing rehearsal space, artistic guidance, and administrative guidance to artists creating new works. We also seek to foster a vibrant circus culture in our community by providing a pathway for artists to share their art as well as their expertise.

The Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program began in 2010 with Circus Syzygy, a mix of local and international artists who collaboratively created and produced full-length shows over two three-month residencies at SANCA. Since that time, SANCA has hosted various artists in residence, including the Seattle-based IMPulse Collective, the nomadic foot-juggling Gentile Family, and the nationally renowned contemporary circus company Acrobatic Conundrum. Individual artists and duos such as Faeble Kievman and Rebekah Cavinder, Esther de Monteflores, and Ariel Schmidtke have also created new material under the auspices of the program.

What does the AIR program entail?
Throughout the residency, SANCA and artists in residence will arrange work-in-progress presentations for AIR to share their work with the community. Additionally, we encourage artists to contribute to SANCA’s educational programs in whatever way they feel most comfortable: via education for coaches, workshops, choreographing for youth performance companies, facilitating jams, mentoring young artists, and/or participating in social circus programming/outreach.

Who should apply?
The SANCA AIR program is intended for individuals or groups who

  • Seek a space to create new artistic work OR
  • Currently perform and plan to refine their work, AND
  • Are excited to contribute to a vibrant, diverse, all-ages circus community.

Where will the residency take place?
During the residency, artists have access to SANCA’s gym and South Annex. See our Facilities page for more information on what SANCA’s space can offer. SANCA will provide the artists with space for independent training and group rehearsal time. In the case of larger artist groups, the full South Annex floor space, and 2 rigging beams are available for group rehearsals up to 10 hours per week; individual/small group training does not have a specific time limit, but rather is subject to the same reservation process and restrictions as the SANCA staff training policy. AIR rehearsals must be scheduled around SANCA classes.

Guest teaching & private lessons

AIR participants will be temporarily onboarded to allow them the possibility to teach in-session classes, and also provide private lessons for the period of their residency.

When is the residency available?

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Residency periods are intended to be finite, from 1 week – 3 months.

What is expected of participants in exchange for SANCA’s support, and being an official AIR participant?

In exchange for the resources SANCA supplies to artists in residence, we ask our A.I.R.s to engage with the SANCA circus community and to carry the SANCA name forward as their project advances.

  • About 10% of each artist’s residency at SANCA should be dedicated to engaging our community in some way. In effect, for every 9 hours of creation time, we expect approximately 1 hour of “give back” time. Works in progress/Open rehearsals, Q and A sessions, artist talks, and interviews with the SANCA marketing team/Media time count toward this “give back” time. Interest and active participation in giving back to the SANCA community are central to being a SANCA AIR Participant.
  • SANCA will be considered a coproducer or coproduction partner with the project going forward, and promotional material and media must state this information. SANCA will provide logos for physical and electronic materials, including show programs, posters, handbills, etc. By giving back to SANCA in these ways, AIR participants help this program grow and create further opportunities for future artists in residence, and in turn foster a more vibrant contemporary circus ecosystem in the PNW and beyond. 

Past AIR participants include:
Circus Syzygy
IMPulse Circus Collective
Acrobatic Conundrum
Faeble Kievman and Rebekah Cavinder
The Gentile Family
Jasmine Manuel

Interested in bringing a project to the SANCA Artist in Residence program?

Apply here



Impulse – Photo by: Gabriel Corey

Gabby Leiva – Acrobatic Conundrum Vol 9: Thresholds

Ivanna Wei – Acrobatic Conundrum Vol 9: Thresholds 2022