Arts Queensland has given $18,000 to Flipside Circus to tailor a six-month program for students at Red Hill Special School.

A circus workshop series for children with disabilities was one of the Artist in Residence projects to be funded by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland this year. Organised by youth circus organisation Flipside Circus, the workshop is designed for the 54 students at the Red Hill Special School, all of whom have some form of physical, intellectual or sensory disability.

Titled Rethink What’s Possible, the program will take place over six months. For one hour a week, the Red Hill students will venture out of the school’s surrounds to train at the circus’s Alderley location. Through circus activities such as trampolining, juggling and aerial acrobatics, Flipside hopes the encourage safe risk taking, instill confidence and inspire creativity in these students. At the end of the program, they will hold a performance for the local community.

Beginning in 1998 as a small group of children working with a circus trainer in a park, Flipside has since expanded to its current 1,540 square metre premises. From just eight children at its inception, Flipside has gone on to conduct workshops for 20,567 children and young people in 2011 alone.

This is not the first time Flipside has worked with a school; the relationship between the circus and Red Hill Special School began with a school excursion last term. Recently, Flipside has expanded into the school system, promoting the circus arts as a fun way of shedding light on a variety of subjects including physical education, drama and science.

In addition to its residency at Red Hill Special School, the circus will also be conducting independent residencies at Nudge Junior College, Fortitude Valley State School, Watson Road State School and Inala State School during this school term.

Flipside Circus’s program was just one of 13 Artist in Residence projects funded by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland this year, to a total cost of $245,170.

By Toby Fehily | Wednesday July 31 2013  |  www.artshub.com