New Zealand - International Document

Developing Community Circus in Aotearoa New Zealand

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Trotman R

Year of Publication:

Community Research

Publication Type:


This report presents the main findings of a two year research project conducted from 2011 to 2013, funded by the Lotteries Community Sector Research Fund, which aims to support the development of community circus in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The research project explored these questions:
• What is community circus and how does it differ from other forms of circus?
• What benefits does community circus provide and to whom?
• What does good practice in delivering community circus involve?
• What is effective in evaluating community circus?
• What is the ‘current state’ of community circus in New Zealand?
• How can community circus flourish in New Zealand?

The research used five interrelated research methods:
• A nationwide online survey of community circus related organisations and
• An international literature review
• Stakeholder interviews with 17 key players nationally and internationally
• A workshop with 30 practitioners at the Auckland Circus Convention
• Four case study evaluations of disability, school, preschool and high achiever projects in Auckland and Dargaville

The research found that perceived benefits of community circus are that it:
• Is open to all
• Is inclusive and bonding
• Supports personal growth and development
• Promotes social learning
• Promotes community building and social change
• Offers a healthy alternative to traditional sport, art and recreational pursuits

Evidence Type: Qualitative Research

Main Focus: Community Development

Research Purpose: Discussion / Debate

Context: Community

Art Forms: Multi-Arts

Access Type: Access upon request

APA Citation:

Trotman, R, (2013). Developing Community Circus in Aotearoa New Zealand. Wellington: Community Research.