The gigantic, eye-catching blue and yellow tents adjacent to the
Santa Monica Pier for tonight’s debut of Cirque de Soleil’s “Totem”
stand boldly and have caught the eye of many a passerby.
In light of Cirque de Soleil’s new home in the parking lot north of
the pier through March 16, a philanthropic partnership has budded
between the world-famous entertainment company and the Santa Monica Pier
Aquarium. Alongside this new partnership are coming a variety of
benefits to offer to the surrounding community.
This Saturday, Jan. 18 the Pier Aquarium will reveal a brand new exhibit in one of its remodeled rooms.
The Watershed Exhibit, located in the newly renovated Dorothy Green
Room, will boast two sections of live animals as well as interactive
activities in order to engage visitors with the realities of marine
In fact, one of the exhibit’s components includes an exploration of
how human activity affects the ocean. This aligns with the goals of Heal
the Bay, the non-profit environmental organization that acquired the
Pier Aquarium in 2003 and seeks to promote the safety and cleanliness of
Southern California beaches through education and awareness.
To celebrate this unveiling, Cirque de Soleil is courteously
sponsoring the grand opening and offering free admission to all visitors
during the aquarium’s hours from 12:30 pm to 5 pm this Saturday.
In the month of February, the partnership between the Pier Aquarium
and Cirque de Soleil will gift to the community free admission on
Fridays. And to further educate the public about the relationship
between man and marine life, Cirque will be sponsoring five educational
field trips to the Aquarium to local, low-income schools.
Students from these schools will likely have very little experience
with the ocean, therefore making for fertile teaching grounds. With
education and awareness as two significant components of this
partnership, locals should take no hesitation in taking advantage of the
free admission dates and learning a little more about the titanic body
of water they reside so close to.
In lieu of these several upcoming events, Cirque performers visited
the Aquarium’s Watershed Exhibit on Tuesday, exploring the exhibit,
interacting with marine life, and witnessing firsthand a huge part of
what characterizes Santa Monica: the beach environment.
Remaining in character and decked out in colorful, elaborate
costumes, the Cirque performers were able to take a breather from their
strenuous training. They graciously sacrificed some of their precious
time and playfully struck some poses in the Aquarium for the press in
order to represent the collaboration between the renowned circus arts
company and the beachside city they are now calling home for the next
Needless to say, this looks like the beginning of a beautiful
relationship. It’s a smart, valuable, and of course very gracious move
for Cirque to invest in the places that they are touring in –
fortunately, this partnership will be able to benefit both the
surrounding community as well as the Cirque performers and producers,
who can hopefully forge a true and lasting relationship with the places
they visit and people they perform for.
The aquarium is located a 1600 Ocean Front Walk, underneath the Pier Bridge.
For more information, visit www.healthebay.org/santa-monica-pier-aquarium.
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