FYI Vol. III, No. 3









 Vintage Circus Poster Stamps from USPS

Vintage circus posters will be the subject of stamps to be issued by the United States on the 5th of May in a pane of sixteen stamps (eight designs repeated twice on the pane). This stamp series features the posters of different circus organizations such as Barnum and Bailey, Sells-Floto Circus, Ringling Brothers, Al G. Barnes Circus and Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus.
The Vintage Circus Posters set will be printed in two different large sizes alternating on the pane itself. Thus, the horizontal stamps measure 2 inches across by 1.46 inches down, and the vertical ones – 1.12 inches by 1.46 inches.  On the reverse side is a brief discussion of the history and purpose of circus posters.
The pane selvage depicts an image of the entrance to a circus taken by famous circus photographer Edward J. Kelty in 1937.

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail.  They may purchase new stamps at their local post office, at the Postal Store website or by calling 800-STAMP-24.  They should then affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in a larger envelope addressed  to:

Vintage Circus Posters, Postmaster, 1661 Ringling  Blvd. Sarasota, FL 34230-9998

The stamp’s opening day ceremony will be at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Fl, on May 5, 2014, at 11am.


Circus Flora Announces Theme and Cast for its 28th Season

 The show’s title is The Pawn, and it will represent a chess game brought to life through  circus.  Drawing from the history of Chess, the production will be steeped in the culture of Persia and India.  The cast will include clown Adam Kuchler making his Circus Flora debut, equestrian S. Caleb Carinci-Asch, hand-to-hand and foot juggling artists, Duo Kate and Pasi, Andriy Bilobrov and his five Jack Russell Terriers, aerialist Claire Kuciejczyk-Kernan (who will wed Alex Wallenda this summer), The Flying Cortes, and on the high wire the Flying Wallendas .  The cast will be rounded out by the St. Louis Arches and a group  of pied camels.  The Pawn will run from May 29 through June 22.


Circus Smirkus Expands Its Summer Camp

Circus Smirkus has purchased a 135-year-old farmhouse and barn on 35 acres in Greensboro, VT, with plans to build a permanent home for the Smirkus Camp.  The circus plans to remodel the existing facilities and construct new dormitories to allow its summer camp to bring over 600 campers to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont each summer to learn circus arts.  The land parcel is just eight miles from its world headquarters.  When ready the new facility will add 200 campers a year to the number already attending the annual summer camp.  The Smirkus Camp was founded in 1990.


Portland Circus School Says Its Going to Happen

 And as soon as September , 2015.  Peter Nielsen, president of the Circus Conservatory of America, has announced that construction on the planned 48,000 sq. ft. training complex at Thompson’s Point in Maine will begin later this year and the first students will be accepted in September 2015. Two new partners with the school are  Mercy Hospital and Maine College of Art.   Mercy Hospital, in case you are wondering, will provide sports medicine services and training to the school’s students, while the college will offer general studies in humanities, science and visual arts.

For the conservatory’s first year, students may enroll in a single-semester program or a certificate program until the bachelor of fine arts program is fully launched.  Over the next four years the school needs to raise about $5 million to cover operating expenses, equipment and other expenses.  In the meantime, Nielsen is forming a group of “socially responsible investors” who will create a for-profit partnership to fund construction of the $12 million facility.


UniverSoul Circus Resolves its Problem with New York Health Department

 On March 20, New York health officials decided to  bar the show’s tigers and elephants from performing  during the show’s annual  engagement in the Bronx near Yankee Stadium.  This was UniverSoul’s 18th tour of the city’s boroughs.  Two weeks later officials  were satisfied that the animals were healthy and well housed , and the tigers were back in the show.  The show’s three elephants were being held at a farm outside the city until health officials gave them the green light to return.  Show officials expected that decision to come after the show was able to prove  that the elephants had passed their annual test for tuberculosis.

In part the city’s decision to clear the tigers for inclusion in the performance was a reaction to a suit filed by the circus’ attorneys, claiming the city had imposed tough new rules on the use of wild animals.


 Cuba to Stage International Circus Festival in Havana

 Circuba will be held July 31 to August 5.  It is being billed by its promoters as the most important event of its kind.  Cuba they say is “the circus bridge of the Americas.”

An invitation to compete was recently issued to Cuban and foreign artists and companies.  Just one hitch.  Due to the prevailing  economic situation in Cuba, participating artists will have to pay their own way to get to Havana.  For further information contact