Dear Community,

It is with great joy and excitement for the future, that the AYCO/ACE Board of Directors announces our new Executive Director! The past year of searching, interviewing, listening, and brainstorming, has led us to the best person for this job. We are thrilled to announce that Tara Jacob is our new Executive Director! Tara has kept the organization steady as Interim Executive Director, all while consistently impressing and exciting our search committee with her passion, diligence, and care for the community. We are grateful to Tara for her work as Interim ED, and look forward to seeing where she helps us take this growing organization. The outpouring of advice, interest, applicants, and support from this community has been incredibly valuable to the organization and our process, so we thank you for your support and investment in our greater community.

Jesse AlFord

AYCO/ACE Board President

Dear Community,

I am incredibly honored and excited to accept the position of Executive Director of AYCO/ACE. I believe fully in the mission and impact of our wonderful organization. My experience as an interim ED has allowed me to get to know our members better and to become better versed in the strengths and challenges our industry faces. It is clear to me that our greatest strength has always been in community. In the 20 years that AYCO/ACE has been around, we’ve seen our membership grow, as new organizations, schools, studios, and programs have been founded and pioneering organizations have expanded. The breadth of our membership showcases the diversity in circus arts education today in the USA and beyond, from social circus organizations to small aerial studios, large circus schools to afterschool and residency programs, and more.

Every student, coach, and organization leader has a different approach to circus arts, but we all know what a difference circus can make in a person’s life. We’ve all personally felt that impact. In a field as varied and diverse as circus, we are stronger together – and AYCO/ACE brings us together. Events like AYCOfest, the Educator’s Conference, and Regional Festivals connect us in person. Digital communications like our email newsletters, Hup Squad blog, and social media posts keep us up to date. Resources hosted on our websites and programs like the Safety Network provide important support that helps circus to thrive. AYCO/ACE is a conduit for community connection!

I feel such enthusiasm and hope for our further growth together, and am so excited to work with you all as we continue to strengthen our supportive and inspiring community!

Yours in circus,

Tara Jacob