August 2015 – December 2015
In 2015, arcenciel and USAID carried out a project to encourage participation in circus and performance arts among Lebanese and refugee communities in the districts of Nabaa and Burj Hammoud, in order to cease tensions between them.
The project, called “Reducing Host Community-Refugee Tensions Through Street Arts”, reached out to 45 youths including Lebanese, Syrians, Iraqis, and Filipinos. Within 4 months, they attended 14 different workshops organized by cirquenciel, learning how to do circus arts, producing their own circus tools, and planning various events.
These activities helped individuals from once-different communities develop a stronger sense of belonging to their neighborhoods and a deep connection to others. They also stimulated the creativity of the performers, reinforced collaborations, and encouraged self-expression among them.
At the end of the project, 16 out of the 45 young girls and boys performed their newly acquired circus skills in front of 200 guests. Six physically challenged participants were also enabled to overcome their obstacles and become stage and circus performers by participating in the project.