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The Big Apple Circus was actually born in Kent, England in 1974, when American entertainers Michael Christensen and Paul Binder began performing a juggling act on street corners. They became so popular they performed at the Nouveau Cirque de Paris, and then returned to America in 1976 with the vision of entertaining to help the less fortunate. The first Big Apple Circus was held in Battery Park in New York City, and today the show performs as a non-profit act, bringing the traditional circus joys of acrobats, animals and entertainment to the public, while raising money for community outreach programs. The Big Apple Circus sponsors many events, including its Circus After School outreach to at-risk youth; Clown Care, which brings smiles to hospitalized children; Circus of the Senses for the vision and hearing impaired and otherwise disabled patrons; and the Vaudeville Caravan, which travels to residential elder care facilities.