On the 18 and 19 of November, we were in Galway for the Circus Education: Creativity and Inclusion in Learning Conference.

The two-day event was presented by us in association with Galway Community Circus (GCC) partnering with the University of Galway – Drama and Theatre Studies to explore the application of circus arts education at all levels to promote creativity, inclusion and social change.

The conference featured panel talks, practical workshops and think tanks with national and international professionals. Topics included global perspectives on circus education, inclusive practices and youth-led participation in youth circus, fostering creativity and self-determination, trust and community building and future perspectives for circus education in Ireland.

Our Director Lucy Medlycott said “To meet with so many passionate and inspiring people both working with, for and beyond this sector nationally and internationally was a joy. The conference was summed up with the following few words ‘If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together’ and we in ISACS are great believers in going together….we look forward to the journey.”

“We were so thrilled to welcome circus practitioners, academics and educators to Galway from all around Ireland and beyond. The future is looking very bright for this important sector, and I am particularly proud of all ‘youth circus alumni’ who now bring circus into their work as school teachers, social workers, arts educators and more” commented Ulla Hokkanen, Executive Creative Director of Galway Community Circus.

Here below is some feedback from the conference attendees.

Very inspiring to see the potential of all the various benefits for people that have come from different circus programs and the variety of impacts it can have and ways circus can be used as a method. Great to have conversations with other people who are passionate about the same topics and sharing ideas bouncing off one another.


I loved the wide range of perspectives on circus education that the panel offered. Between the breaks I loved getting insight from circus fanatics and getting an insight into the wonderful projects beginning to lift off in various areas. I found hearing about ways that we can make circus education and social circus sustainable, ‘do we see it as a methodology or a subject’ – beautiful. Hearing about the roots of circus versus the goals of social and youth circus today brought great clarity to me. An insight to the current research being gathered was really cool to see and I look forward to seeing more of this kind of academia.


The Circus Education: Creativity and Inclusion in Learning Conference was funded by Arts Council of Ireland and the CASSCS Research Development Scheme, University of Galway and is co-produced by Galway Community Circus, University of Galway and the Irish Street Arts, Circus and Spectacle Network.

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