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Why Clowns?

We know, we know. Clowns?! What can clowns bring to people impacted by natural disaster, human conflict, and other serious crises?

Our answer: a lot more than you might think!

Clown and kid smiling at each other

Everyone Deserves to Laugh

People impacted by crisis, conflict, and migration are so rarely seen for who they are. They’re people with full lives and rich histories — and they sorely need something to smile about.

That’s why we clown!

As clowns, we SEE the people we’re performing for. In fact, we’re performing WITH them! Together with audience members, we twist our bodies, we make funny faces, we juggle ridiculous items, and above all, we laugh.

Our clowns aren’t solving geopolitics, preventing global conflict, or taking away trauma. We’re simply showing up — and showing people that they matter enough to laugh, play, and have an extraordinary day.

Are you imagining tacky makeup and wigs? That’s NOT what we do. Our contemporary clowning approach isn’t about goofy tricks — it’s about giving the audience a starring role, both on stage and in their own lives.

Laughter Heals

You’ve surely experienced it for yourself. Something unexpectedly delightful happens and invites a tiny glimmer of positivity — just when you felt like things would never get better.

That moment of laughter, even if fleeting and half-hearted, is so often the doorway to all the other emotions.

After all, comic relief IS relief!

By expressing ALL of their feelings, our clowns invite audience members to do the same (a process called Mirroring!). By accessing laughter in the midst of difficulty, we reveal the part of ourselves that is strongest and most resilient, and we can begin a journey of processing and healing.

Laughter is shown to...
  • Release endorphins
  • Create a positive shift in self-concept
  • Create a sense of human connection — it’s contagious!
  • Stabilize blood pressure, improve circulation & restore homeostasis in the body
  • And do a whole lot more!

Clown giving kid a piggy back

Play Is a Human Right

Did you know that Article 24 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the Right to Play? Yes — play is a right. Just like food, shelter, and free speech.

As clowns, we defend that right!

Children learn through play, and their play reflects what they see. Shouldn’t kids in a migrant camp or refugee center have just as much opportunity for positive, uplifting play as any other child?

At CWB, we see our role as “lifting up the child.” And by doing so, we help uplift communities, too.

Clown looking amazed
Clown splashing another clown with water
Clown with kids and a saxophone
Kids with face paint smiling

Meet Mohammad from Myanmar

Thank you for remembering that we are displaced.

Mohammad, a father in Northern Myanmar Read Mohammad's Story

Say Hi to Farah from Iraqi-Kurdistan

When I grow up, I want to be like you. I will be a clown too.

Farah, 10 years old Read Farah's Story

Meet Anya in Poland

I am so happy. I don’t remember the last time I was this happy.

Anya, 8 years old Read Anya's Story

Say Hola to Diego in Ecuador

Come, join us! Laughter is for everyone.

Arturo Gaskins, CWB artist Read Diego's Story