During a time when the world was still, #BLM became a movement that aimed to shed light on the experiences of the global majority within the world we thought we knew.
As a company committed to bridging gaps and offering opportunities to everyone, BLM encouraged us to initiate a grant scheme to provide our services to those who might otherwise be unable to afford classes. This initiative aims to reach communities and minorities, offering them a chance to learn something new while enhancing their physical and mental well-being.
Since establishing our grant scheme, we've been fortunate to connect with many families, providing approximately 90 free or discounted class spaces here at AGL. During the process, we gave applicants the option to share their racial background, revealing that 80% of those benefiting from the grant are from the global majority.
As a limited company, the majority of funding for our grant scheme has come from profits generated by those who can pay full class fees. Additionally, we've been fortunate to receive further support from families who attend our yearly showcase and contribute through donations.
Being able to connect with more children and introduce them to the enchanting world of aerial is among our proudest accomplishments and we cannot wait to meet new aspiring aerialists as AGL continues to expand.
Nathalie Alison (Aerial Gymnastics London Founder):
"The movement of #blacklivesmatter gave us all a chance to draw attention towards the heartache of racism. As the years have passed and the world has resumed into the fast-paced environment that we always knew, many things have taken a back seat. Whilst as humans we can't always be present and available to make change, we can do our best during those quiet moments to ground ourselves and remember what ignites our passions.
For me, aerial has always been an escape where nothing matters but the movement of my body and being able to push my limits. It's an art form that is still very unknown and I can only hope more people will experience the magic of the circus. Whether that be as an audience member, a performer, a technician, or a parent listening to their child's stories after class about hanging upside down from one leg.
As AGL grows, the dream would be to one day offer free or discounted classes to all those coming through our doors. Let's be honest, as adults the chances to try something new become few and far between, especially when it's so expensive and often inaccessible to many.
Something I've learned to be proud of rather than embarrassed about is sharing my entry into the world of circus arts. During my teens, I was able to get 6 years of fully funded training whilst at "National Centre for Circus Arts", without this I wouldn't have pursued a career in circus or founded AGL. My promise is that I will always strive to make AGL an accessible studio for anyone and everyone. We are not there yet, and pretending we are would only do a disservice to the gravity of what being accessible means... but, I can promise we're trying and every day is a chance for us to continue to make steps in the right direction."
(AGL Founder - Nathalie Alison)
All the best and happy flying
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