International Arts Consulting

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    Ruth Juliet Wikler, "a woman whose vivaciousness borders on exuberance and whose smile could light up a room during a blackout,"* is a performing arts curator, producer, leader, and strategist with a global, inclusive, equity-centered lens.


    Active in the US, Canada, and beyond, Wikler's work to develop the North American presenting and touring market for circus, via her direction of the MICC (International Market for Contemporary Circus, a project of TOHU, Montreal) from 2019 to 2023, had a transformational impact on the sector. Under her strategic and programmatic direction, the MICC's in-person and virtual convenings, programs, and working groups fostered the development of fluency, curiosity, and touring partnerships for the art form across the North American performing arts presenting field, dramatically increasing the quantity and diversity of circus works and artists being presented on North American stages. Read about the 2023 edition here. 


    As Deputy Director of Programming for TOHU and the Montréal Compl­ètement Cirque Festival during this period, Wikler oversaw season and festival programming, spearheading groundbreaking presentations from Morocco, Mexico, Cambodia, and around the world. She guided Canada's premier artist residency program for circus, creating the Laboratoires de cirque, a national artist development program, and forging multi-year commissioning partnerships with Fira Tarrega (Spain), Chamaleon Theater (Berlin), and The Utopians, a 15-member, 6-country commissioning consortium which she launched under the MICC umbrella. Wikler also supervised TOHU's extensive collection of circus history and art objects, directing the online pedagogical exhibition Circoluza,  under the aegis of Digital Museums Canada.


    Prior to her work with TOHU, Wikler curated seven seasons of contemporary international theatre and performance for Boom Arts in Portland, Oregon, which she also founded, introducing Portland audiences, educational and cultural institutions, and grassroots community organizations to the unique perspectives of key theatre and performance artists from around the world: Kristina Wong, Snehal Desai, The Team, Penny Arcade, Touretteshero, Teatro Linea de Sombra, and many others.


    Wikler previously served as Associate Director of Programs for the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center (The Graduate Center CUNY); in fundraising and administrative capacities for arts organizations in New York City; and as founder, director, and producer for the Brooklyn-based troupe Cirque Boom. She holds an MA in Theatre from Hunter College, where her research focused on neighborhood-based collective theatre creation in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her Barnard thesis on agit-prop theatre during the Spanish civil war was published in Yale's Theatre Magazine (Erika Munk, editor). Wikler is an alumna of the APAP Leadership Fellows program (Cohort 4) and holds a Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell.


    WIkler consults for the performing arts field from her current base in Portland, Oregon, USA, where she also teaches and mobilizes community support for Clark College.


    Ses services de consultation sont également disponibles en français.

    Sus servicios de consultoría también se ofrecen en español.


    *Oregon Arts Watch/Photo by Friderike Heuer


    Offering bespoke consultancies for performing arts venues, festivals, artistic companies, and markets. Specialized artistic knowledge includes: global contemporary circus & puppetry; performing arts for youth; contemporary, international, & Latin American theatre; arts for social justice; international artist mobility; and outdoor/street/site specific performance.

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    For Performing Arts Venues & Festivals

    • Guest Curator / Artistic Advisor
    • Tour / Partnership Development & Strategy
    • Global / Community Engagement Planning & Strategy

    La Presse accolades for curated projects (Montreal):


    "This is, without a doubt, a great moment for circus to which audiences are invited at TOHU. May all who need beauty in these uncertain times take note." - Instable, 2021 (photo)


    "...cares fly away and lightness takes its place. Thanks to these two clowns with tender hearts… These two posess a rare talent for establishing complicity with the audience members, regardless of age." - Air Play, 2022

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    For Performing Artists & Companies

    • Translation, Dramaturgy, Feedback, Outside Eye
    • Creative Producing & Directing for New Works
    • Touring & Market Development Strategy

    Artistic collaborator testimonial:


    "Ruth Wikler was for Teatro Linea de Sombra, in Portland with Boom Arts, not just a programmer but a true curator for our project Small Territories. Her participation as a translator of the piece and as a performer was fundamental, as was the connections she built with the community—all of which gave the text in the piece a special meaning." - Alicia Laguna (Artistic Co-Director, Teatro Linea de Sombra, Mexico City)

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    For Performing Arts Markets, Symposia, Delegations & Professional Exchanges

    • Conference & Session Programming & Facilitation
    • Pitch Session & Showcase Planning & Facilitation
    • International Engagement Strategy
    • Delegation Leadership/Guide/Interpretation
    • Simultaneous Translation (EN - FR - ES)

    Survey response from 2023 MICC Market (posted with permission):


    "This was a very skillfully curated and well balanced program… The range of artists making the pitches was a good balance between varieties of disciplines and size (cost) of the productions. There were projects within the scope of smaller, less well-heeled presenters as well as major institutions… There was a diverse group of attendees and seemingly the right number of attendees for the event to be both informal as well comprehensive; and the program seemed to be optimally sized for the number of attendees... Events and activities were available and attendees were encouraged to attend -- but I don't think anyone felt corralled or mandated to see every performance as they are at some industry gatherings…." - Andrew Wood, San Francisco International Festival, USA


    Photo by Andrew Miller Awesome Photography


    Comments/conributions? Send to ruth@wiklerarts.com

    Berlin, Germany

    Ruth is a brilliant mind, powerful leader and a kind and generous networker who creates a deep connectedness, exchange and common vision that turns strangers into long lasting partners and ideas into successful projects.

    Anke Politz (Artistic Director, Chamäleon Theater)

    Brisbane, Australia

    Ruth is a delight to work with - inspiring,dynamic, professional and joyous. She brings her whole self to every
    opportunity and that self is an exuberant cocktail whose ingredients include dedication, passion, toughness and love. I can’t recommend working with Ruth highly enough.
    Yaron Lifschitz (Artistic Director, Circa)

    London, UK

    Ruth's programming and curatorial skills are testament to her years of experience and a deep commitment to understanding at a core level the artistic practices she is supporting. She is an excellent leader and collaborator; diligent, inspired and has an innate ability to plan long term strategy whilst being responsive to the moment to moment challenges and opportunities that emerge as part of any process.

    Victoria Dela Amedume (Artistic Director, Upswing)

    New York City, USA

    Ruth is a trusted leader in the performing arts sector, presenting and advocating for contemporary circus. Her work
    stretches across geographic and cultural borders. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as an artist and cultural worker that uniquely positions her as an invaluable resource.
    Monique Martin (Creative Producer, Artist, Cultural strategist)


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    Talks & Presentations (recent/upcoming)

    • Moderator/Panelist, Western Arts Alliance, August 2024
    • Moderator/Panelist, International Presenting Commons + Ediinburgh International Festival, August 2024
    • Moderator/Panelist, MICC International Market for Contemporary Circus, July 2024
    • Workshop: Touring in North America, Aurora Nova (Berlin), June 2024
    • Professor/Course Creator, 'Physical, Visual, and Object Theatre,' Clark College, WA, Spring 2024
    • Panelist, "Regional Focus: North America", MASA (Marché des arts du spectacle d'Afrique d'Abidjan), Abidjan, Ivory Coast, April 2024
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    Clients & Collaborators (recent/current)

    • Vancouver International Children's Festival, Vancouver
    • Aurora Nova, Berlin
    • Chamaleon, Berlin
    • TOHU, Montréal


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    Professional Service