The Let’s Circus team developed a circus and street arts programme as part of the Hebridean Celtic Festival, building from previous annual work established by Steve Cousins in 2002. With a focus on Stornoway, the annual programme has taken British and international artists to the festival and expanded upon the excellent musical programme. During the lifetime of the project, circus and street arts (an otherwise extremely rare visitor to the Outer Hebrides) has established itself as a popular and high demand cultural activity.
With support from the Festival, gradually the focus has shifted from purely Stornoway-based provision, with the delivery locations established across Lewis and Harris, and more recently right across the Hebridean Archipelago. Schools, arts organisations, festivals, community centres and cultural attractions have all partnered with Let’s Circus to deliver a very different kind of educational and entertainment programme.
The Stornoway street arts programme has grown to become a full schedule of dance, music and variety, with local groups embracing the opportunities that the festival now brings. This new, local culture of street art forms a focal point for the summer season of many local groups and is a world away from the humble beginnings of a small team of street artists delivering walkabout entertainment and kids workshops. By 2015 the Let’s Circus Hebridean programme has developed to a tented circus company of award winning international performers, delivering high quality shows and a mobile circus school across Skye, Lewis and Harris.
Developing circus outreach events in remote locations is core to the ambitions of Let’s Circus, and our work in The Hebrides continues to be a motivation.
Project Lifetime: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2015
Location: Isle of Lewis, Scotland & touring Isles of Harris & Skye