Dear Editor: Circus World is unique in America. Where else can a family enjoy a blend of history and see a circus? This is a true Wisconsin gem, and the winter quarters for Ringling Circus.
As a consultant some years back, I visited and made a presentation where I suggested to staff and board members seeking an executive director that they needed to stress the circus, and underplay the “history” in order to draw people to the museum. Then, when the families arrived they would be immersed in the wonderful library, history of the circus, photograph collection, manuscripts, ads, circus wagons, circus posters and more. Use the cotton candy and show feature to lead visitors to the learning aspect. However, Historical Society representatives and some board members wanted the opposite. Education first and downplay and reduce the circus aspect. Wrong!
I am so impressed with the current leadership and especially Steve Freese, the executive director, whom I have never met. I’ll bet dollars to cotton candy that if the Historical Society takes over the circus, Circus World will change to a more staid center for education. The reality is that sweets can and will lead to education and Circus World has proven it. Do not change a winning formula — it works!