“In Spanish we say resignificar, which I guess you could translate as ‘redefine.’ I wanted to redefine the role of the clown. To really make a transformation or push a button in society, we need professional clowns.”
– Ilana Levy, founder CaliClown
Over the past year, my conversations with CWB project partners Rami Khader (Diyar Theatre) and Ilana Levy (CaliClown) have returned to the same question: How can we resignificar (redefine) clowning and support artists who want to be professional clowns, if there isn’t access to clown training?
We arrived at the answer together.
CWB – USA is launching a new initiative to support long-term programming. These partnerships focus on capacity building for local clown organizations. We will emphasize clown training for artists working within their home communities—communities experiencing protracted displacement and violence.
To start, we are committing to a three-year program that includes:
- Six 30-hour training intensives for local artists.
- The creation of six original clown performances to be toured in refugee camps, schools, and rural areas.
- Train-the-trainer workshops for social workers and teachers, to bring levity to their work.
Over the past few years, we have frequently partnered with artists living in and alongside the communities we perform for. Our new long-term partnerships are an opportunity to expand collaborations and support artists who live in areas of protracted displacement and ongoing crisis.
The goal of this program is to support the formation and continuation of clowning in these areas, as well as demonstrate cross-cultural collaboration and solidarity to our audiences. Supporting local partners so they can train and perform in place, even after CWB’s tour is over, contributes to that goal.