All the clowns squeeze inside a wooden picture frame. They are performing outside, in Palestine.

Empathy, Humanity, and Advocacy Are Not Cancelled

A letter from CWB – USA Executive Director Naomi Shafer: 

Dear Community,

I hope you are well.

I know many of you are experiencing job insecurity, restlessness, anxiety, and travel restrictions. You may not be able to see your family. You may suddenly be in close quarters with your family. Maybe, like me, you had to choose which family members to be with, knowing as you did that it meant saying goodbye to others for an unknown amount of time. These choices are hard, yet they are the choices and restrictions faced by millions of displaced people every day.

Right now, many of us are limited to local actions. Our attention, by necessity, is focused on our families and home communities. With that in mind, CWB will continue to advocate for and serve displaced people within the constraints of a pandemic. As China, the United States, and Western Europe struggle with the toll of COVID-19, displaced people around the world are more vulnerable than ever. The best practices for stopping the spread of infectious disease, such as hand washing and social distancing, are impossible in refugee camps where crowding, water and food scarcity, and limited mobility are the norm.

In this time of pandemic, Clowns Without Borders is unable to serve its primary audience. I find myself wondering, “How can Clowns Without Borders continue?” Tours and performances might be cancelled, but empathy, humanity and advocacy are not . We can all reflect on a shared experience of scarcity and a shared goal of resilience. While CWB cannot reach its primary audience, our staff has created a number of online resources in recognition that we are all experiencing crisis, and that laughter and hope are a universal human right.

As always, our intention is to offer relevant programming for people of all ages.

Stay connected to us in the following ways:

  1. Follow us on Facebook (Clowns Without Borders USA) and Instagram (@clownswithoutborders) to see photos and project blogs from the archives. We’ll post archival material on Sundays and Mondays, respectively.
  2. Check our website every Wednesday for new blogs from a variety of CWB contributors.
  3. Tune in on Thursdays for zoom screenings and panel discussions, and FB Live events.
  4. Check our social feeds on Tuesdays for a weekly caption challenge, and on Fridays for a new coloring book image.
  5. On Saturdays, we’ll amplify our amazing artists by reposting and sharing their work on our social channels.

FREE Live Event : Thursday April 2nd, 4pm EST

Our first live event is a screening of True Clowns and Laughter, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.

Paúl Gomex takes us on a journey about what it means to use clowning and laughter as a vehicle for connecting with our fellow humans, and the actual value theater holds in a world dominated by digital interactions. Produced in Bozeman, Montana, by Paúl Gomex and Johnny Holder, this short film features footage from Gomex’s journey through some of the places where laughter is needed the most. Reserve your spot here! 

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