The Festival was the first in the world to be created for semi-professional emerging aerial acrobats. It created a unique opportunity for these artists to perform in competitive shows in Denver and for audiences to be inspired by their talent.
Each year, from 2011 to 2015, aerialists traveled to Denver to compete in the Festival shows, to connect with one another, to be inspired, to learn, and to have fun!
Experts were flown to Denver as Festival judges, workshop presenters, and to provide rigging expertise and artistic direction. The synergy of each year made the Festival experience unique.
The Festival showcased emerging aerialists who were highly skilled and in so doing, helped many to be hired by companies including Cirque du Soleil, Cavalia, Circus Flora, cabarets in the U.S. and Europe.
Lynn Coleman, producer of the Aerial Acrobatic Arts Festival and owner of Aerial Fabric Acrobatics researched aerial and circus festivals around the world and reached out to a friend who helped in creating this first-of-its-kind event. The Festival has been a co-creation that has drawn to itself what it needed. It benefited from the consulting expertise of former Cirque du Soleil coach, Marshall Garfield and the financial backing of Aerial Fabric Acrobatics.
It attracted not only aerialists from all across the U.S. and other countries, but connected experts and professionals with one another. Audiences had the chance to see undiscovered artists they otherwise would not have seen. Partnerships were formed with venues, the University of Colorado at Denver, and in 2015, the Millibo Art Theater.
The Festival was made possible with the dedication and time of hundreds of volunteers. It created opportunities and fostered friendships.
The Festival has been inspirational to not only those who came to Denver to participate in the event, but to others who have been inspired to create their own Festivals.
Although the Festival will no longer offer performance opportunities in Denver, the hope is that the Festival energy will continue to form positive connections within the aerial and circus community.