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In January 2022 CSAW launched its inagural Tuition Grant Program for U.S. Circus Artists of Color. Originally, CSAW planned to award one grant of $5K to a circus artist in need. However, at the discretion of the CSAW Selection Committee, three Tuition Grant recipients were chosen instead, each receiving grants of $5K, $1K and $500 respectively. 

For the next round of the Tuition Grant Program, CSAW will now be able to award not just one, but two grants of $5K for circus artists seeking to enhance their education and training.


Thank you to Andrew Dunn for making this possible!



Sophia Layos-Wagaman


Sophia Layos-Wagaman is an aspiring circus arts performer from Fairbanks, Alaska.

A competitive gymnast since 2013, Sophia has competed at U.S. Gymnastics invitationals in Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, Montana and Alaska. She has spent the last four years adding circus skills to her repertoire including straps, lyra, wire and partner acrobatics.

She performed with the Golden Heart Performing Arts Studio in the 2021 Solstice Soiree. 


Sophia will use her grant to further her skills by attending Circus Smirkus Camp this summer and investing in additional circus skills training. She hopes to pursue post-secondary circus arts training after she graduates from high school in 2023.

Roux Haile

(First Runner-Up)


Roux Haile is a transdisciplinary artist, community organizer and educator. In addition to being a dancer and tattoo practitioner, they are the cofounder of Ori Gallery in Portland Oregon: an art space committed to redefining the white cube and making a home for marginalized artists. In their work, Haile centers the creation of collaborative and intentional spaces specifically for Black folks infusing healing and liberation into every aspect of their practice. They cultivate an intimacy in their dedication to artistic labor which affirms Black Queer and Trans people particularly through their tattoo and dance practice. With knowledge of how misogynior, transphobia, ablism and white supremacy inform dominant culture and practices, Haile calls upon kinship and collectivism to reimagine these processes and relationships.


Haile will use their tuition grant for classes with a pole instructor and a basic acrobatics course, as well as some adaptive gear they can use for accessibility purposes.

Lyla Lawless

(Second Runner-Up)


Lyla Lawless is an 11-year-old student at Circus Harmony located in St. Louis, Missouri. She specializes in contortion, hand balancing, and partner acrobatics. She works extremely hard inside and outside the circus ring. She's a straight A student at Gotsch Intermediate School and she’s very passionate about everything she does.

Lyla will be using her tuition grant for handstand and balance private lessons with former CSAW Microgrant recipient, Kyran Walton.