Laughing Matters! This is the core of our work at Clowns Without Borders – USA. Our artists see and experience laughter’s impact on an audience. You’ve probably glimpsed this in our photos. You’ve read our final statistics from a tour. The total number of performances and participants is the easiest way to measure our work, but is by no means the most important way we evaluate our impact.
In 2018, we had a five part strategy for our programming:
Respond to crisis situations and those who are experiencing current displacement.
CWB’s first tours were in refugee camps and communities experiencing displacement as the result of a crisis situation. Seven of our 2018 tours were for an audience that was currently displaced or had been impacted by a trauma within the past year. Those tours included both of the tours to Mexico and Puerto Rico, the Balkan Route, Lebanon, and Guatemala Volcano Response.
Respond to situations caused/impacted by the United States.
CWB – USA often tours to areas where our country of origin has impacted displacement. Though our mission is to be “without borders,” the nationality of the team impacts our audience’s experience. In 2018, six of our tours were inextricably linked to how the U.S. impacts displacement. Those included both of our tours in Colombia, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
Respond to situations of protracted displacement.
The U.N. defines protracted displacement as displacement that lasts for more than five years. It’s most comfortable to think of displacement as a temporary phase in someone’s life. Shifting political and global realities mean that the majority of the world’s displaced people have, or will, experience protractions. 2018 tours responded to protracted displacement in both Colombia tours, Lebanon, and Myanmar. The indigenous communities we performed for in Mexico have also experienced generations of displacement.
Build diversity within performing teams.
CWB – USA strives to be an equitable and just organization. In 2018, all tours had teams of mixed nationality, gender identification, and race. All tours except the Balkan Route and Myanmar had local artists. Like any human experience, displacement impacts all types of people. It’s important that our performing teams reflect the diversity of our audiences, and of our world.
Partner with CSF-Canada and PSF-Brasil to strengthen CWB’s presence in the Western Hemisphere.
CWB – USA is proud to work as a member of Clowns Without Borders International. Therefore we work in a spirit of collaboration instead of competition. At the 2018 General Assembly, the chapters from Canada and Brazil put out a call looking for collaborators. CWB – USA joined our neighbor chapters on tours in Mexico, Colombia, Haiti, and Guatemala.