Sarasota News Leader

09/21/12

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CIRCUS CENTER Khera Smith, a home-schooled junior and unicyclist for Sailor Circus, enjoys the festivities. Photo by Stan Zimmerman CIRCUS SARASOTA AND SAILOR CIRCUS WILL SHARE A NEW, REFURBISHED HEADQUARTERS ON BAHIA VISTA STREET. By Stan Zimmerman City Editor Two improbable local institutions joined at the hip are now joined at the head. On Wednesday morning, Sept. 19, the com- bined Sailor Circus and Circus Sarasota opened their refurbished headquarters on Bahia Vista Street, just east of the Tami- ami Trail. The HQ includes not only a new ticket of- fice, but also a suite of new administrative offices for the 19 people who keep the two circuses going. It is not an extravagant place. The offices are tasteful but small, with a conference room that might hold five people (or 15 clowns). The combined headquarters is the first physical manifestion of the year-old merger of the two organizations. Sixty-three years ago, the Sailor Circus was born at Sarasota High School, a unique extracurricular ac- tivity through which students learned how to perform on the high wire, the unicycle and the trapeze, juggling and how to mas- ter other hallowed circus arts. Eight years ago, the Sarasota County School Board said it could no longer af- ford to insure the young circus artists; it turned the program over to the Police Ath- letic League. That proved an uncertain fit.

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