Circus Harmony – Bringing The Middle East To The Midwest

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - A few years ago, Shaina Hughes left the center ring at City Museum to make a connection half a world away.

   'It was amazing,' says 17-Year Old Senior Shaina Hughes.  'It was hot but it was amazing.'

   She and other Circus Harmony tumblers traveled to Israel to take in a new culture.

   'We are a circus made of blacks, whites, Jews and Christians,' says Max Pepose a 17-year old tumbler in the troupe.  'But I think seeing that circus there really kind of made us understand that we`re making a difference here as well.'

   Now the high flyers at the far out City Museum want to bring the Middle East to the Midwest.

   'So they can see where we live and how it is down here,' says Donald Hughes, Shaina`s 12-year old brother.

   They`ve begun a Kickstarter effort called 'Peace Through Pyramids.'
   The goal is to bring the Israeli, Jewish and Arab 'Galilee Circus' to America where they`ll train and perform with their St. Louis counterparts.

   'The program uses circus to bring people together because it's about trust, overcoming fear, and making people laugh,' says Patrick Clark standing between two jugglers throwing bowling pins.  'Thank you for not hitting me.'

   The troupe has to raise 20-thousand dollars by June 15th in order for the circus to circumnavigate its way to St. Louis.

   'But while they're learning to flip, fly and juggle,' says Jessica Hentoff the artistic Executive Director of Circus Harmony.  'They're learning important life skills like focus, persistence, teamwork.  And we work very hard with helping them not just defying gravity but also leaping over social barriers.'

   Building friendships and breaking down walls.

   'It doesn't matter,' says Shania Hughes.  'We see each other as friends and sometimes family.'

  After all, it`s not about your background or where you`re from, but who you are and what you do, that can make a world of difference.

Donate Here - Peace Through Pyramids