The Centre national des arts du cirque - France

The Centre national des arts du cirque is a higher education and research establishment created in 1985 at the initiative of the ministry of Culture.
Nearly 400 artists from 35 different countries have graduated from the Cnac, and are now major players on the international contemporary circus scene.

The Cnac missions are as follows:

• Higher education in the circus arts

with:
- a higher education establishment authorized to deliver the Dnsp (national higher professional diploma), set up in partnership with the Ecole nationale des arts du cirque (Enacr) in Rosny-sous-bois, as well as a BA equivalent, set up with the University of Picardie Jules Vernes
- a professional integration unit that includes a group graduation show, personal help on individual student projects, and help integrating circus companies.

Lifelong learning

with
- Lifelong learning in the performing arts for artists and technicians
- teacher training
- preparation for the national teaching diploma in the circus arts
- validation of acquired experience (VAE)

• A research and resource centre

with

- a resource centre, in association with the Bibliothèque nationale de France / BnF, open to the public (professionals, students and researchers, etc.), with an audio-visual production unit.

- a service dedicated to research et innovation in the field of circus arts with, in particular, the implementation of the chaire Innovation Cirque et Marionnette / ICiMa (Circus and Puppet Innovation chair) in partnership with the Institut International de la Marionnette de Charleville-Mézières (International Puppetry Institute of Charleville-Mézières).

The Cnac is a well-established international reference that defends the values of the circus arts spirit, including rigour, self-control, group work and respect for others.
Through its excellent training programme, it aims to be at the cutting edge of educational, artistic and technical innovation, to better serve its students, researchers and circus professionals, as well as the performing arts in general.

The Cnac is financed by the Directorate General for Artistic Creation/DGCA of the French ministry of Culture. It is supported by the Grand Est regional council, the Marne departmental council and the City and the Urban community of Châlons-en-Champagne.

New workspaces

Over the past years, the Cnac has undergone major developments with the renovation of the historic circus (dating back to the 19th century), which has housed the school since its creation, as well as extension work done at the La Marnaise site, a former agricultural wasteland situated nearby. The architectural project has integrated new constructions with existing buildings perfectly, in keeping with the local identity.

Destined for teaching the circus arts, the site includes a specific aerial space known as the "grand volant" (13.50m high). In addition there are 13 new studios to host artists and guest teachers, as well as spaces dedicated to research and innovation, particularly the design and construction of new apparatus. The site is also used by teachers from the Pierre Bayen high school in Châlons-en-Champagne, for teaching the high school diploma – circus arts option.

This extension enables the historic circus to once again be used for numerous activities such as public performances by students, lifelong learning courses, the documentation and research centre and researchers. And of course, performances by the Furies association in the framework of the "Terre du Cirque" initiative (encouraging companies to set up in the region), as well as performances by the Châlons-en-Champagne La Comète national theatre, which are held here.

This exceptional Cnac tool reinforces its position as the national centre for circus arts.

Cnac - La Marnaise

Contracting authority: the ministry of Culture and Communication
Contracting authority representative: OPPIC – Operator for heritage and cultural real estate projects
Project manager: ARM architecture; Architect's representative: Matthieu Poitevin
User: Cnac

2,500m2 additional work space
2,000 m2 additional hangars and storage space

Financed by the State and supported by the Grand Est regional council, the Marne departmental council and the City and the Urban community of Châlons-en-Champagne.

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