Clowns Without Borders was recently awarded grant funding by The Javitch Family and Magellanic Foundations as part of Miriam’s Magical Memorial Mission. These grants will be used to fund program support in CWB’s mission to promote resilience through laughter for communities who are displaced, living in conflict zones, or living in situations of emergency.
Honoring Miriam Javitch
The grants, part of Miriam’s Magical Memorial Mission, are made in honor of Miriam Javitch, whose wish was to support “clowns and get them back to work bringing laughter and joy to peoples’ lives.” Miriam’s Magical Memorial Mission honors the legacy of a woman whose personal and business life was dedicated to helping family, friends, colleagues, and clients to transform their lives through realizing their personal and leadership potential. She brought to this a love for the good and light inside of everyone and taught so many to look for laughter, joy and gratitude in each and every day.
This grant offers CWB an unprecedented opportunity to increase its capacity. In light of the pandemic, and the organization’s increased demand for programs, CWB has decided to shift away from a volunteer model.
“We ask so much of artists”, says Naomi Shafer, CWB Executive Director. “In addition to their professional time and skill, we also ask our artists to perform in unconventional, and often uncomfortable, conditions. The work is physically and emotionally taxing. It demands artists to be fully present for the 2-3 weeks of the tour, as well as a commitment to preparation and follow up.”
For years, CWB artists have donated their time. “On one hand, artists volunteering their professional time and skills represents the incredible generosity of our clowns,” comments Shafer “It is how we as an organization have been able to exist for so long. Part of our narrative to donors has always been, ‘look at how much we can do with so little funds.’ But of course, we were only able to do that because we pushed a huge cost to artists. We as an organization are no longer comfortable with that model.”
These grants offer CWB the opportunity to double its organizational budget by acting as a challenge grant. The funds are contingent on CWB’s ability to increase its individual fundraising. “If you’re worried that your $10 donation no longer has as big an impact on the organization, fear not!,” cautions Shafer, ‘Your $10 can help us leverage $100,000.”