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Jessica Hentoff ’77

Jessica Hentoff ’77 has been teaching and performing circus arts for over 40 years.

Hentoff has been using circus arts to motivate social change since she founded the St. Louis Arches youth circus performance troupe in 1989. She created Circus Harmony in 2001 to expand youth circus opportunities for St. Louis youth.

“Circus Harmony is a non-profit social circus organization that uses circus arts to motivate social change. By inspiring individuals and connecting communities with our circus education and entertainment programs, we have a positive impact on the St. Louis area and beyond,” according to their website.

In 2009, Ms. Hentoff was named both St. Louis Arts Innovator of the Year and Outstanding Arts Educator of the Year. Hentoff is the only person to be a founding member of both the Big Apple Circus in NYC and Circus Flora in St. Louis.

She serves as youth circus advisor to both the Circus Fans Association of America and the World Circus Federation.

In 2014, she was honored to be the first person to receive the American Youth Circus Organization/American Circus Educators’ Excellence in Circus Education Award.

Hentoff is the artistic/executive director of Circus Harmony where she uses her remarkable vision and use of circus arts to build character and community and to help children “defy gravity, soar with confidence and leap over social barriers.”

Awards / Residencies

Purchase College Distinguished Alumni Award, 2013