Paul Miller & Circus Mojo Are Changing Lives Through Smiles
His Park Hills neighbors know him as Paul Miller, the family man. But to the greater Tri-State region and in circus circles across the country and abroad, Paul is the former Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey clown who is inspiring people of all ages, abilities and life circumstances to focus on their strengths through circus arts. Paul’s company – Ludlow based Circus Mojo – touches lives in hospitals, boardrooms, workshops, entertainment venues and in their own performance theatre.
Every day is a new opportunity for Paul and his team to foster teamwork, teach life and motor skills, and even encourage youth to stay in school on a path toward their own success.
The picture on the left speaks volumes for the impact of Paul on those whose lives he touches.
Through the Social Circus Foundation’s Circus Scholastic Program, every Tuesday and Wednesday children from low income families attending Ludlow Elementary School and the Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky participate in the afterschool program that includes healthy snacks, homework assistance, and an hour of learning through confidence-building circus skills activities.
Jesse Knuckles, recreation therapist at the Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky, spoke with me about Paul’s impact. This is what he had to say: “In regards to a young man who attended the Circus Mojo group I just recently told another staff member, ‘if Paul Miller was this young man’s therapist we would have had a breakthrough years ago’. I have heard direct quotes from young people participating in Circus Mojo’s Circus Wellness program such as, ‘this is better than being high on drugs’ and ‘I have had a terrible day all I want to do is go to Circus group so I can forget about it all and feel better’.
“Circus Mojo gives our 18 residents something to look forward to each week. The residents here at Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky truly enjoy their time at Circus Mojo. As the Recreation Therapist I enjoy the life lessons and therapeutic value of Circus Mojo. The Circus Wellness program combines physical skills with creative expression to address psychotherapy and personal growth goals including teamwork, leadership, cooperation, trust building, building relationships, self-esteem, coordination, gross & fine motor skills, and focus. I guess you can say we are clowning around for a purpose”
And recently, Circus Mojo took local students on a campus tour of Illinois State University (home of the oldest collegiate circus in the United States).
Some career options that use circus skills including becoming certified as a circus wellness specialist to work in m
Speaking of college, May 16 to 18 is Circus Mojo’s second annual International College Circus Festival – a three day event aimed at encouraging young adults to pursue their passion. Circus artists (professional and students) from the United States and across the globe are coming to lead workshops, network, discuss employment and volunteer opportunities, AND participate in a fabulous family-friendly show on Saturday night.
Among the highlights of the show will be beautiful trapeze artists, Duo Rose, winners of 12 international awards. The Show will begin at 8:00 p.m. on May 17 at Circus Mojo (322 Elm Street, Ludlow, Kentucky; 41016). Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for children under 12; and $25 for VIP tickets. All proceeds from the show will benefit the Social Circus Fund, a nonprofit foundation that is the clearinghouse for scholarships and to educate and study the application of circus for social change and in medical settings.
Please visit Circus Mojo’s website to learn more at http://www.CircusMojo.com
About the Social Circus Foundation:
The Social Circus Fund is a new nonprofit whose focus is on using the circus as tools to work with underserved populations for social change and in medical settings.
It has three main programs:
1- Approximately one-third (1/3) of the Foundation’s attention will be focused on using circus to improve the lives of the mentally and physically disabled.
2- Another approximately one-third (1/3) of the Foundation’s attention will be focused on vocational training. The Foundation will provide job training and skill sets focused on the circus industry to the underprivileged in an effort to give them the tools they need to sustain livelihood and be productive members of society.
3- The remaining one-third (1/3) of the Foundation’s attention will be focused on education. Specifically, the foundation will study the impact of social circus in medical settings and as a tool for social change. The data collected will be used to study impact of circus on an individual’s mental and physical health, and to support social circus work in group homes, detention centers, and medical facilities.