Brooklyn Circus School Finds Support in Local Community, But Another Big Top is Imminent

Although Ringling Bros. closed after 146 years in business back in 2017, the circus is far from dead. It's just thriving in new ways. An infectiously "a-Muse-ing" circus school based in Bushwick has seen firsthand the support of the circus arts from the local community. And while their real estate troubles have quieted for now, the troupe will have to relocate in three years' time.</P>


The Muse Brooklyn, a circus arts studio known for its affordable classes and events, first moved into its current space in 2015. In so doing, the company converted an old stone factory into a colorful studio that regularly flies people through the air. The <a href="">U.S. construction market was worth</a> $1,162 billion in 2016, but owner Angela Buccinni Butch had no idea at the time that the renovation would be the easy part -- despite spending over $400,000 in upgrades over the past few years to ensure the safety and comfort of all.

The building, located on Moffat Street, falls under the city's loft law, which complicates regulations for use. Last summer, the Muse experienced permitting issues that prompted the company to cancel all events booked in the space -- despite the fact that those events are essential for financing community programming and the true costs of classes. At the time, Butch was facing the possibility of bankruptcy and saw no other option than to close the studio she'd worked so hard to build.

But fortunately, the Muse's impact on the community did not go unnoticed. Between its multiple locations and its mission to bring physical activity and joyful play to these neighborhoods it's no wonder that area families rallied to ensure that The Muse wouldn't close its doors just yet. Supporters wrote letters to city officials, an act which resulted in an agreement being reached between owner and landlord. That agreement will allow The Muse Brooklyn to remain in its current location for the next three years.

With that happy news, the company can continue doing what it does best. Many classes are geared towards beginners and aim to remove the intimidating (and often expensive) connotation of the circus arts. Since over 80% of adults don't meet the guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, The Muse can keep doing its part to help New Yorkers get active. There's even an event for kids taking place next month to encourage a love of the circus from an early age.

What's next for The Muse Brooklyn is a bit up in the air -- but then again, they're probably used to that. For now, they can continue to call Moffat Street home and give up the "traveling" component that seemed to be such an integral component of circuses of the past.

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