Our Guest Today: Lisa B Lewis
Lisa B Lewis is the Founder and Executive Director, of Omnium Circus Lisa began her career as a graduate of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. She has a BA from Brandeis University and earned a Master’s Degree in Clown/Circus History from NYU, co-founded the Super Scientific Circus, and spent many years working with the Big Apple Circus in multiple capacities. Lisa’s passion for sharing the magic of the circus combined with her many years of experience inspired her to reimagine the art form of circus for 21st Century audiences as Omnium: A Bold New Circus. Sharing in the joy and excitement of the performing arts is an experience that should be available to everyone, regardless of background, race, gender, or ability. Omnium makes that happen.
In a world where diversity and inclusion are increasingly valued and celebrated, there’s one circus that is at the forefront of championing these principles – Omnium Circus. Founded and led by the passionate Lisa B Lewis, this groundbreaking circus reimagines the art form for the 21st century, making it accessible to everyone, regardless of their background, race, gender, or ability. Join me as we delve into the inspiring story of America’s first multi-abled, fully accessible circus.
Lisa B Lewis: A Trailblazer in the Circus World
At the heart of Omnium Circus stands Lisa B Lewis, a visionary circus artist, and educator. With a background that includes being a graduate of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, along with a master’s degree in clown and circus history from New York University, Lisa’s passion for the magic of the circus has been deeply ingrained in her journey.
Her Career Path and Inspiration
Lisa’s journey in the circus world began with her training at the prestigious Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. Throughout her career, she worked with various circus companies, including the Big Apple Circus, where she honed her skills and expertise.
Inspired by the joy and excitement that circus arts brought to people’s lives, Lisa felt the urge to make this experience accessible to everyone. Her mission became clear – to break barriers and create a circus that would be a celebration of diversity and inclusivity.
The Birth of Omnium Circus
Founded with the idea of “of all and belonging to all,” Omnium Circus aims to provide a platform for talented performers of diverse abilities to showcase their skills. Lisa’s vision was to create an all-encompassing circus experience where every individual feels represented and welcomed.
Omnium Circus is not just another circus; it is a paradigm shift in the world of performing arts. With a cast of 40 performers with disabilities, Omnium Circus proves that there are no limits to what can be achieved on stage. Every act, be it aerials, acrobatics, or clowning, is a testament to the extraordinary talent that resides in people of all abilities.
Beyond Representing, Creating a Model
One of the unique aspects of Omnium Circus is their commitment to authentic representation. Lisa and her team work closely with performers to ensure that their voices are heard, and their acts are a true reflection of their talents. This process extends to hiring interns from underrepresented communities, offering opportunities that were previously denied to them.
The Big Umbrella Festival at Lincoln Center
Omnium Circus’s dedication to inclusion has garnered them a special place at the Big Umbrella Festival at Lincoln Center. Amidst the challenges of a pandemic, Omnium Circus found an opportunity to open its doors to a wider audience through virtual productions. This festival celebrates the performing arts as an experience for all, irrespective of their circumstances.
Embracing Change and Paving the Way
Omnium Circus’s unwavering commitment to change and inclusivity is setting a new standard for the circus world. They are breaking down barriers, opening doors, and welcoming everyone under the big top. The joy, wonder, and magic of performing arts are now accessible to all, thanks to Lisa B Lewis and her extraordinary team.
Omnium Circus is a beacon of hope and a symbol of change in the world of circus arts. Lisa B Lewis’s vision and determination have transformed the art form, making it an inclusive and welcoming experience for all. As we look to the future, let us celebrate the achievements of Omnium Circus and draw inspiration from their remarkable journey towards a more inclusive world of performing arts. So, let’s all join the circus – the Omnium Circus – where every voice counts, every talent shines, and the magic of performing arts unites us all.