We are excited to share with you the program of the Riga International Conference on Circus (Riga ICCE) 2022. Organized by BNCN, Cirkus Syd, Rīgas Cirks, the event will take place on the 10th and 11th of May, at Zeļļu Street 25, Riga.

The main themes of Riga ICCE 2022 are artistic thinking in education, an inclusive approach to education, and physical literacy in artistry. The format of the conference will provide both face-to-face and remote meeting opportunities for circus education professionals, circus field professionals, as well as representatives for the cultural and creative sectors, to learn about innovative practices and discuss future developments in circus education.

The program consists of visionary keynote speeches, informal discussions, and workshops not only with Baltic and Nordic professionals but also with a wider range of partners from Europe and the United States.

Conference Program

The program will have three main types of events – keynote speeches – TED Talk-style speeches that will be held by one of our keynote speakers in person AND broadcast live, world cafes – round-table discussions led by an expert on the topic held in person AND online, and workshops. Detailed topics of each event can be found below the schedule.

TUESDAY, MAY 10th / RIGA ZEĻĻU STREET 25

12.00 – 13.00 Registration & guided tour of Riga Circus school 
13.00 – 13.15 Opening of the conference. Latvian Academy of Culture, Baltic Nordic Circus Network, Rīgas Cirks
13.15 – 13.45
KEYNOTE SPEECH: Artistic thinking in education. Creative be-ing as growth. Hybrid&Interpreted – in person and streamed in Baltic Nordic Circus Network facebook page.
14.00 – 15.30
WORLD CAFE: Artistic thinking in education (round tables in small groups together with Jarkko Lehmus, Terje Barnardt, Māra Gaņģe, Ville Sandqvist and Lina B. Frank/Nick Zelle)
15.30 – 16.00 Coffee break
16.00 – 17.30
WORKSHOP: Exploring creativity and circus.
WORKSHOP: How to engage communities in circus?
16.00 – 19.00
WORKSHOP: Ideas of Inclusion.
20.00 Afterparty

WEDNESDAY, MAY 11th / RIGA ZEĻĻU STREET 25

8.45 – 9.15 Registration/coffee break
9.15 – 9.30 Schedule of the day 
9.30 – 10.00
KEYNOTE SPEECH: Circus is for everybody! Inclusion in circus education. Hybrid&Interpreted – in person and streamed in Baltic Nordic Circus Network facebook page.
10.15 – 10.45
KEYNOTE SPEECH: Physical Literacy and circus. Hybrid&Interpreted – in person and streamed in Baltic Nordic Circus Network facebook page.
11.00 – 12.30
WORLD CAFE: Inclusion in arts education and physical literacy (round tables in small groups together with Karina Jones, Aleksey Smolov, Mikko Rinnevuori,Marika Antonova and Oskar Löfquist)
ONLINE WORLD CAFE: Inclusion in arts education and physical literacy. Online with separate zoom link.
12.30 – 13.30 Lunch break
13.30 – 15.00
WORKSHOP: How to engage communities through circus arts? 
ONLINE WORKSHOP: Physical Literacy as an advocacy tool in circus. Online with separate zoom link (if you are participating in the conference in person and would like to attend this workshop, you should have your own computer).
WORKSHOP: Communication strategies in circus education.
15.00 – 15.30 Coffee break
15.30 – 15.45 Closing of the conference
16.00 – 16.30 Riga Circus school kids performances

KEYNOTE SPEECHES

Artistic thinking in education. Creative be-ing as growth
Daniel Gulko / Artistic director in circus high school, Circus Cirkör/Sweden. 

“This is not a talk about artistic thinking in circus education. Because we need a space of sensation before making sense. So this is a talk about making space in our bodies to feel something and using our vocabulary to express it to others. It is a talk about Circus because circus is our vocabulary. And it is a talk about education because my goal as a teacher is inspiring others to want to be larger, to open outwards, to bloom like a flower. Circus is the food – it is the light and the water and the minerals in the soil. So I guess this is a talk about gardening and creating the conditions for growth as living beings.”

Circus is for everybody! Inclusion in circus education
Texas Holly, Community engagement director / San Francisco Circus Center/US

“I want to inspire and offer practical tools for bringing an inclusive approach to circus education. Drawing on over two decades of experience working in historically excluded and under-resourced communities, I will tackle the big questions like: What does inclusivity mean in the realm of circus education? Why circus? Circus education as a vehicle for diversity, equity and inclusion in the classroom. How do I put inclusivity into practice in classroom settings? What are some helpful resources for more inspiration? Illustrated with funny, moving stories and portraits of my long-term engagement through the circus.” 

Physical Literacy and Circus
Alisan Funk / Head of the Bachelor Programme in Circus at the Stockholm University of the Arts/Sweden

“Circus teachers and practitioners experience the power of learning circus first-hand. It can be difficult to explain circus to policy-makers, funding bodies and curriculum developers who have never participated in circus directly. The topic about physical literacy provides circus advocates as well as those who only start to be interested in circus with a framework that reveals particular values circus activities contribute to students and programs.” 

WORKSHOPS

The Ideas of Inclusion.
Hanne Kauppinen / The Finnish Youth Circus Association (FYCA)

In the workshop we will discuss different norms in circus regarding gender, race and body, reflecting about our role and position as teachers and facilitators. This workshop will explore how to make our circus spaces safer and more inclusive through theory, discussions and practical exercises.

Workshop audience: circus teachers and those who are interested in methods of circus pedagogy 

Exploring creativity and circus
Daniel Gulko / Circus Cirkör

There are many ways to approach the circus creatively – in this workshop we will experiment with some tools for composition, ways to use games and improvisation. Circus can be any action that involves mastering risk, creating wonder, having fun. How to be/become a circus artist with whatever skill we have today? How to build trust and take risks safely?

Workshop audience: open for everybody from circus/ performing arts/ physical theatre sector (artists, educators, organisers).

Communication strategies in circus education
Oskar Löfkvistr / Circus Cirkör

The workshop will be focused on group management and communications. We will experiment with wordless communication as well as working with storytelling as a method of inspiration. The group will experience different communications styles and different teacher roles and will be given the opportunity to reflect on their preferences.

Workshop audience: circus teachers and those who are interested in methods of circus pedagogy 

Physical Literacy as an advocacy tool in circus
Alisan Funk / Stockholm University of the Arts

In this session, we will look at different physical literacy assessment tools, discuss different types of circus advocacy strategies, and workshop using these tools and strategies in scenarios proposed by the participants.

Workshop audience: open for everybody


How to engage communities through circus arts? 
Texas Holly / San Francisco Circus Center

What does it mean to work with diverse groups of people outside of the circus community? In the workshop, we will look at interesting examples from experience within the circus field, as well as create new and innovative ideas for successful community engagement, taking into account the individual needs of your organization and the communities you wish to serve.

Workshop audience: perfect for community organizers, program administrators educators, care givers serving seniors, people with physical and/or developmental disabilities, therapists, and parents, artists looking to add to their toolbox of community building skills. 

Register here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc7BMEa92OjyndR4tKxLyTshP0ZT1Vpt6juDWPK0aD9iR3mpA/viewform?usp=sf_link

This activity is supported by Nordic Culture Point, Nordic Culture Ministry, Baltic-American Freedom Foundation and Latvian State Culture Capital Foundation