Charter Oak Cultural Center Commemorates Hartford Circus Fire with COATED

Charter Oak Cultural Center Commemorates Hartford Circus Fire with COATED

Charter Oak Cultural Center announced today a performance of Open Ring Circus' Coated - The Hartford 1944 Circus Fire Projectto be held on Friday, July 12 at 8pm. The group, comprised of Connecticut-based circus artists, will commemorate the tragic fire that turned a popular family outing into a raging inferno that claimed the lives of 167 people and injured hundreds more. The event forever changed the city of Hartford, the circus industry, and fire safety throughout the United States.

Tickets for Coated are $20 to $40 and can be purchased at No one will be turned away due to lack of funds. Charter Oak Cultural Center is located at 21 Charter Oak Avenue in downtown Hartford. Tickets will be available at the door, subject to availability.

Open Ring Circus is a collective of contemporary circus artists led by Connecticut born artist Jack Kavanagh. In honor of the fire's 75th anniversary, Open Ring has created a 90 min show which combines circus acrobatics, theater, dance and original sound design. With support from the Connecticut Arts Council, the collective has focused the past 9 months on researching the event and creating a show that holds space for the fire that echoes throughout Hartford's history. This winter, Open Ring spent time exploring archives of the 1944 fire at the Hartford History Center and the Connecticut Historical Society. They also interviewed survivors and community members deeply affected by the fire. This research has helped them navigate this tragic event and pay respect to this disaster that heavily affected the Hartford and American circus communities.

Coated weaves an immersive story which memorializes the past and prompts discussion of the future. From the classic traveling tent shows to the ripple effect of the event's historical legacy, Open Ring invites you into a story made of sawdust, paraffin wax, smoke and stampedes. Coated is a tale of the undercurrent of fragility and potential that permeates everyday existence.

In addition to the performance, Open Ring Circus will be offering a free all-levels circus and juggle jam on the same day (July 12th) from 11am- 1pm at the Charter Oak Cultural Center. The public is invited to attend and learn some circus basics.

Charter Oak Cultural Center is a beautiful historic landmark and vibrant non-profit multi-cultural arts center, doing the work of social justice through the arts

Charter Oak Cultural Center harnesses the power of the arts to create positive social change, loving community and a safe place for self-expression. Located in a historic building, they present multi-cultural arts programming that they make accessible for free or at a very low cost, they provide completely free classes in the arts to 1000 underserved Hartford young people, work extensively with the homeless community and present performances and exhibits that bring to light the burning issues of the day.

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