5th Annual
Circus for Arts in the Schools

Feburary 8, 2009
Showtimes: 1:00pm and 4:00pm

Kofman Auditorium
2200 Central Avenue
Alameda, CA 94501

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About Circus for Arts in the Schools

After a successful tour as the lead in Cirque du Soleil's show Corteo, Alameda resident Jeff Raz is back home and is once again bringing the Circus to Alameda to help raise funds for the public schools. Raz will present the 5th Annual Circus for Arts in the Schools on Sunday, February 8, 2009 at Alameda's Kofman Auditorium. The two, 70-minute shows will feature acts of skill, daring and silliness with acrobats, clowns, jugglers and musicians (all donating their time), including performers of Cirque du Soleil, the Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe and Pickle Family Circus fame. All the Proceeds from the Circus will support arts education in the Alameda Unified School District. Raz believes that this year the show is especially important to Alameda public schools which face $4.4 million in cuts as a result of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal to cut at least $4 billion in overall education spending.

The Circus, in its fifth year, has fully funded a successful arts program at Paden, Otis and Washington Schools. Centered around live, professional works of art, this program brings classroom teachers and teaching artists together to create vibrant, curriculum-rich lessons that challenge every student and that strive to meet each child's learning needs. Proceeds from the 2009 Circus for Arts in the Schools will continue to support the Arts in the Schools Program in Alameda public schools.

Raz has also enlisted the support of corporate sponsors, including Alameda-based Toy Safari, JetBlue Airways, Financial Benefits Credit Union and Campbell Law Offices. Additional sponsors include, Alameda Marketplace, Curves, as well as individuals interested in supporting the arts and public schools.

The plight of Alameda schools gained national media attention earlier this month as hundreds of high school students walked out of class to protest the proposed cuts to music instruction and high school sports programs. Raz supports the students' actions calling it an important lesson for young people to learn how they can use their voices to raise awareness and to help create change. "Not all learning happens in a classroom, out of a textbook," says Raz. "Students must be allowed to experience life in different ways and learn in different contexts." Raz believes we must join together and build on the movement the students have started to secure educational funding. The Circus for Arts in the Schools is the latest contribution to this effort.

For more information about the 5th Annual Circus for Arts in the Schools, please contact Pam Arneson at 510-587-3355, or email pam@circusforarts.org.