A nonprofit group says it wants to open a circus performance college in Portland, Maine. School founders announced Thursday that the newly formed Circus Conservatory of America would offer a bachelor of fine arts degree in circus arts and would be located in a converted 33,000-square-foot brick building on the former Thompson’s Point industrial site that developers want to turn into a multiuse development with an events center, a hotel, a sports medicine lab, and office space. The school plans to offer courses that focus on theatrical, acrobatic, and artistic elements, rather than old-fashioned clown acts and animal tricks.

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