CWB artists constantly gather qualitative data about their work on tour. Is the audience laughing, or are they unimpressed? Are certain games more engaging? Do community members want to participate, or mostly watch? This kind of information combines with audience and partner feedback to inform our impact assessment.
We know we’ve shared resilience through laughter when: the audience is engaged; the community asks us to return or stay longer; partner feedback is encouraging and/or constructive. There are other markers of success, but CWB can continually gather the above types of qualitative feedback throughout a tour.
On this tour, team leader Darina Robles emphasized Rarámuri mythology and wove community beliefs into the show’s storyline. Additionally, our project partner Comisión Estatal para lo Pueblos Indígena watched an early performance and offered feedback to the clowns. We are incredibly honored and grateful to serve the strong and welcoming community Rarámuri community.
Les agradecemos mucho que hayan venido, es muy bueno para los niños. ¿Cuándo regresan de nuevo? –Elvira, gobernadora
CWB artist Julie says that Elvira, the governor, said she couldn’t stay for the show and then ended up staying until the end. La gobernadora told Julie that the show was good for the children and asked when CWB would return.
Me reí, mi parte favorita fue cuando danzaron conmigo. –Brisa, 6 años
After this show, Julie found out that the kids were torn between working—since it was held in a “touristy” spot and many Rarámuri women and children earn money by selling artwork—and coming to the show. Julie says that she feels very proud and grateful that the children stayed for the whole time. One little girl said her favorite part was when the clowns danced with her.
Es la primera vez que veo payasos en vivo. Creo que me reí más que los niños. Ha sido muy bueno reír porque lo del Covid ha sido muy estresante. –Juanita, maestra
A teacher told Julie that she laughed more than the kids, and that the show was an important form of stress relief during COVID-19. Another woman told the clowns that she and her family, including her 70-year-old mother, walked three hours to see the show.
Me gustó mucho cuando creamos los animales y ustedes eran los animales. –Silvia, 8 años
Mi parte favorita fue cuándo hablaron de la Sierra. Yo vivía en la Sierra pero mi papá vino a trabajar a la ciudad. –Jimena, 10 años
Letting the child lead means that every CWB show includes opportunities for audience members to take center stage, succeed where the clowns fail, tell the clowns what to do, or influence the direction of a game. One little girl told the clowns that her favorite part was when the kids made up animals and the clowns became those animals. Another little girl said she liked hearing about la Sierra region, because she used to live there before moving to the city with her father.
Another little girl told Darina that her favorite part was hearing her people’s story. She said, “You told about our mountains and our animals. You are saying that we, the Rarámuri, are here to take care of the world. It’s not just that god takes care of us, but also that we take care of god.”
Reí como si fuera uno de los niños. Regresen cuando quieran, aquí los esperamos. –Liliana Palma, gobernadora
Liliana, a governor, told the clowns that she laughed like she was one of the kids. She invited CWB back whenever we would like to return.
La risa es muy importante para nosotros Raràmuri. Es bueno vivir con alegría, la tristeza enferma. Hay ambos, alegría y tristeza. Los felices pueden hacer felices a los tristes. Además, cuando estamos felices o reímos de algo, Dios también se ríe con nosotros. Qué bien que estuvieran aquí haciendo reír a los niños y también a las mujeres, porque la risa también es necesaria para los adultos. Que vayan muy bonitas. –Lolita, artesana.
A community member and artist named Lolita told the clowns that laughter was important to her community because, though life is both happy and sad, sadness sickens people. She was grateful that the clowns played with both children and adults because adults need laughter too.