News: Churchill Fellows wins prestigious Fantastic for Families Award
Published: 8 Oct 2020
The circus company founded by Churchill Fellow Dea Birkett (CF 1993), Circus250, has won a prestigious Fantastic for Families Award. This is in recognition of Circus250’s show for families, StrongWomen Science, which received the award in the Best Family Event category in September.
“Winning the Fantastic for Families Best Event Award is a wonderful endorsement of our work to bring art and science to families in accessible and exciting ways” - Dea Birkett, Fellow
Dea set up Circus250 as a result of her Churchill Fellowship, with the aim of using the accessibility of circus to tackle issues, raise questions and bring live performances to the heart of communities. For her Fellowship, Dea worked and travelled with the famous Togni family circus in Italy, which strengthened a lasting passion in the circus which has continued to grow. “I would never have created Circus250 without my Fellowship,” says Dea. “It enabled me to purchase a tiny caravan and run away to the circus, discovering a way of life and a people that would become my community.”
Circus250’s StrongWomen Science show aims to make science and accessible for all. In a fun, lively and fast-paced family circus performance, the audience explores how jugglers, acrobats and hula hoop artists use scientific principles to create their acts. The show also seeks to promote enquiry and inventiveness in science and addresses the lack of young women and girls in science education and employment. Launched in February 2019, StrongWomen Science has toured to sold-out audiences throughout the UK. As part of the tour, the show was chosen as the performance for the opening of the gardens at Buckingham Palace on August bank holiday weekend last year. The tour ended in February this year with a two-week run headlining the Abu Dhabi Science Festival.
The StrongWomen Science show performing at the Edinburgh Science Festival as part of their recent tour (photo taken by Ian Georgeson)
“Winning the Fantastic for Families Best Event Award is a wonderful endorsement of our work to bring art and science to families in accessible and exciting ways,” says Dea. “National recognition at this level is unusual for a small company like Circus250, but we are thrilled that StrongWomen Science has been received so warmly and with such enthusiasm by families. The award is a welcome support of using circus to achieve change.”
The Fantastic for Families Award celebrates those who have made an outstanding contribution to family friendly arts and culture over the past year. Circus250 were among seven organisations to have received an award this year across four categories.