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Catalyst funding recipient Circus Space receives $1 million donation from Aileen Getty

  • Date: 22 April 2013
  • Area: International, London, National

American philanthropist Aileen Getty has pledged £200,000 per annum for the next three years to Arts Council National portfolio organisation Circus Space, the UK's national centre for circus arts. The funds will go towards core running costs for the organisation.

The donation follows Circus Space's successful application for our Catalyst Arts capacity building and match funding scheme. The scheme is designed to help arts organisations develop their fundraising capability and increase the amount of income they receive through non statutory grants and donations. It helps build resources and capacity in organisations before offering matched funding to incentivise donations. Circus Space had already raised ten times the target amount set for the first year of the scheme before the $1 million pledge was made.

Aileen Getty is renowned for her work in the struggle against HIV/AIDS, substance abuse and addiction, mental illness and homelessness. Of choosing to widen her philanthropic interests to education in the performing arts she said:

'These are difficult and challenging times for so many and the opportunities to give are endless. And one may question the importance of supporting the Circus Arts when basic needs in our cities are so great and not being met. I have thought deeply about this over the years and believe you cannot underestimate the value of keeping wonder alive. Wonder keeps our sprits joyous and resilient.'

Jane Rice-Bowen Joint Chief Executive of Circus Space said:

'We have been overwhelmed by Aileen's generosity and believe that this is the largest donation ever made by an individual to any UK Circus organisation. More importantly we are delighted that someone as influential as Aileen has seen the true value of this incredible artform and wants to support the development of the sector.'

Alan Davey, Chief Executive Arts Council England said:

'Aileen Getty's pledge to Circus Space is brilliant news and a great example of how Catalyst funding is helping many different kinds of arts organisation to attract significant private donations. Public funding is the bedrock of England's creative culture. Together with generous private support, it keeps our arts and cultural sector strong and able to produce the amazing performers and work, audiences flock to see.'