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ISACS Member - Fanzini Brothers
ISACS Member - Fanzini Brothers

ISACS is the national voice for the Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle sector with a vital role in developing recognition and respect of these emerging art forms in Ireland. An important part of the work of ISACS is to stay informed and to inform current policy, academic research and strategic developments, both nationally and internationally.

Please refers to our Policy page for current policies and local authorities resources.


Research Papers


This article attempts to support the claim that youth and social circus can affect young people in an extraordinary way. The multifaceted nature of circus reveals it to be an art form that it is adaptable to almost any situation or any kind of participant. Whether it is young performers in Ireland, people with learning difficulties in Finland, or displaced children in Afghanistan, circus is being used as an empowering and educational form of entertainment with extremely positive results. Some causes for those effects are proposed and in doing so, an insight into the nature of youth and social circus training is offered.


  • Dance Meets Circus - ISACS Network & Circostrada (2017)

On the 27th of January 2017, ISACS were delighted to present 'Where Dance Meets Circus', curated by ISACS CEO Lucy Medlycott, at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in Limerick, a focus session exploring the boundaries between dance and circus in partnership with the European Network for Circus and Street Arts Circostrada Network and MA in Festive Arts director Dr. Niamh Nic Ghabhann at Irish World Academy of Music and DanceUniversity of Limerick. This event was an opportunity to gather choreographers, performers, programmers, researchers, and policymakers, among others, to explore where one art form crosses into another, the different paths that have been taken by Dance and Circus artform, and how these routes impact the work, the artist, and the outcomes.



The Joint Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht presented a report Utilising the Arts to Combat Social Disadvantage.  Published on 9 July 2014, this Report examines the feasibility of utilising the arts as an instrument of promoting social inclusion. It makes 19 recommendations (pages 7-10) to the Department with a key one being that the Department carry out a comprehensive study on the impact of arts funding in combatting disadvantage and promoting social inclusion in advance of implementing any policy changes. Download a copy and assess this Report’s recommendations.

Previous to this there was a report entitled In the Frame or out of the Picture which outlines the importance of making cultural citizenship for all a reality. This document highlights the fact that Circus is the only art form which transcends barriers relating to socio-economic background, educational attainment and income. There are many other research documents available to read via the Economic and Social Research Institute and the National Economic and Social Council around these and other issues.




This strategic plan sets out Galway Community Circus’s aims and objectives for the years 2018–2020, so that their members, participants, audiences, partners, funders and supporters can join them on the next phase of their journey. 

Vision: A centre of excellence for youth and social circus in Ireland. Mission: To unlock personal and creative potential and deliver social inclusion for young people through circus arts.


Created by Theatre Bristol, Seachange Arts, Le Forneau, Close Act and Lucy Medlycott at Bui Bolg as a result of the Leonardo Open Out Arts Partnership


Outside Ireland


The Audience Agency

website: http://www.theaudienceagency.org/

The Audience Agency UK joined ISACS at the Circostrada Summer University this Summer and gave a detailed presentation on gathering audience data for Outdoor arts. You may view their most recent report into audience data here.



Circostrada Network


Research into circus and street arts, and outdoor artistic creation in general, is still underdeveloped in Europe and worldwide. Circostrada supports and promotes research by regularly carrying out and publishing thematic studies and guides that shed light on innovative practices and identify the emerging trends impacting and challenging our sectors.


Irish Street Arts Circus and Spectacle Network

Irish Theatre Institute, 17 Eustace St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland
00 353 (0)87 0541812 info@isacs.ie
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