Support the Variety Arts!

Dear Cirkus Friend:

Supporting the variety arts means fostering a rich cultural environment, encouraging brave and daring acts, and applauding the courage to go against what is expected. In times like these, keeping those values alive is more important than ever. With the end of the year approaching, we are writing to ask you to make a donation in support of the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus’s fantastic variety arts programming:


This past year we presented a top-notch season of the Bindlestiff shows you know and love – the Winter Cabaret variety show, the Cavalcade of Youth showcase, the monthly Variety Open Stage, and more. We have amazed and inspired audiences while continuing to invest in the next generation of performers through our teaching programs.

But that’s not all we’ve been up to. Over the past two years we have been inspired to build wider participation in the variety arts community. Bindlestiff has taken a leadership role in letting people know the circus and variety arts are for everyone, producing two new festivals:

  • NYC UniFest: In 2010 Bindlestiff launched the annual NYC Unicycle Festival, a free event celebrating one-wheel cycling that includes lessons, workshops, contests, stunt shows and a mass unicycle ride across Brooklyn.

  • NYC Regional AYCO Festival: In 2011 Bindlestiff and Playful Productions co-produced NYC's first youth circus festival, giving young people the opportunity to try out circus skills under the guidance of seasoned circus professionals.

We have been creating theater shows and residency opportunities so that we can bring our unique brand of variety performance to a national audience. In 2011 Bindlestiff performed at the historic Myrna Loy Center for the Performing & Media Arts in Helena, Montana, where we also offered a circus skills workshop to local youngsters who became the opening act for our show. We are planning similar events in other states in 2012.

Bindlestiff has also been expanding its national presence through the documentary web TV series “The Bindlestiffs,” which chronicles life behind the scenes of the Cirkus. While our focus will always be on live performance, the web series lets us document and archive new work, and it lets us stay in touch with a wider audience (a sustainable alternative to a gas-hogging tour bus!).

At home, Bindlestiff’s involvement in arts educational outreach programs has grown. We have been working with underserved youth in New York’s Hudson Valley through partnerships with community agencies and non-profit groups. Unfortunately, local budget challenges threaten the continuation of these programs, and our activities have been extremely curtailed. To help us continue our work with low-income kids in upstate New York, we invite you to earmark your donation for Hudson Valley programming via the link below.

All of our programming seeks the same goal: to build a community in which young performers, aspiring amateurs, hobbyists, and fans can share the joy of the circus and variety arts with the professionals.

We invite you to participate in that community by making a tax-deductible financial contribution to Bindlestiff, in support of our mission to cultivate, develop and sustain the variety arts. Your donation, whether large or small, makes a big difference.

We’ll see you at the Cirkus!

In Play,

Keith Nelson & Stephanie Monseu
Co-Founders, Bindlestiff Family Cirkus


Bindlestiff Family Cirkus (all programs):

BFC Hudson Valley programming:

BFC Cavalcade of Youth program:


Please send checks made out to Bindlestiff Family Variety Arts, Inc. to:

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus
PO Box 1917
New York, NY 10009 USA