The 2020 Circus Arts Gala was held Jan. 31 at the Ulla Searing Big Top.
The Circus Arts Conservatory showcased feats of strength and works of wonder at its 2020 Circus Arts Gala on Jan. 31.
The annual bash, held as usual at the Ulla Searing Big Top, had Sarasota's philanthropists trying on their most performative, vibrant, and showman-like outfits for a night of both compassion and razzle-dazzle.
Following last year's revised schedule, the evening started with cocktails outside of the Big Top before guests filled into the circus arena for the show. Founder and CEO Pedro Reis and Founder and Vice President Dolly Jacobs welcomed guests and introduced the night's entertainment, which included jugglers and silk performers from Sailor Circus Academy and trapeze and hand-balancing acts from Circus Sarasota.
It wouldn't be a proper show without a surprise, of course. The program's midpoint featured a trio of magic tricks from co-chairwomen Donna Koffman, Jaclyn Brunckhorst and Tammy Karp. Koffman was sawed in half and fitted into a box, Brunckhorst lost her head, and Karp had her limbs rearranged — all in a whimsical and cheer-inducing manner.
The night continued with dinner and a paddle raise, which benefited the Circus Arts Conservatory's many programs that highlight science, art, math, engineering, and more. Guests finished off the evening with an after-party in the circus ring.