Clowns Without Borders-USA launches professional artist team to bring laughter to refugees and migrants fleeing to Europe.
New York City, January 12, 2016 – Clowns Without Borders-USA (CWB-USA) announced today that in 2 weeks it will send a team of volunteer professional artists to Lesvos, Greece, to bring smiles and delight to refugees and migrants journeying to Europe.
“With compassion and gratitude we are pleased to return to Greece,” says Molly Levine, Executive Director of Clowns Without Borders-USA. This is the second project CWB-USA has embarked upon in Greece. The first venture began in mid-October of 2015, when refugees crossing the perilous Aegean Sea from Turkey was reaching its peak. “We were moved by the incredible resilience and hope of the refugees, who had undergone so much to make it as far as they had. It is our honor to be invited back to ease the pain and uncertainty of the refugee journey in some small way.”
“This is perfect. This is exactly what we need,” said Stavros Myrogiannis, Director of Karatepe Refugee Camp, after CWB-USA’s first performance in the overcrowded refugee camp where thousands of Syrian refugees were hosted.
The volunteer artists will perform shows and workshops inside the refugee camps on the Greek Island of Lesvos, where as many as 3,000 refugees per day have flooded the island. The programs will focus on drama as therapy, songs, shows with acrobatic tricks and humor, and will be suitable to all ages, children and adults alike.
The clown artist team is composed of Lebanese performer Sabine Choucair, and United States-based circus artists Kolleen Kintz and Jan Damm. The troupe is working directly with local Greek contacts and refugee camp managers.
This project is a multi-national effort between Lebanon, Sweden, Greece, and the United States. The primary sponsor of this project is Clowns Without Borders-Sweden, who received a large donation from a private donor to be applied towards alleviating the plight of the refugees. CWB-Sweden will expand their capacity to assist more refugees by sponsoring a CWB-USA troupe.
Please read about the initial project to Lesvos, here.