United States Events
We work in the USA as well. CWB strives to bring laughter to zones of crisis…anywhere! We also provide programs, workshops and masterclasses to share the work we do. We have volunteers around the USA who can facilitate this work, so write to us if we can bring some CWB to your hometown!
Click on this link to learn more about Hurricane Sandy support projects…
Washington DC, Inner City
On May 7th and 8th, 2009, Clowns Without Borders-USA initiated a mini project with Washington DC inner city schools. The project was be led by Gwen, Elisa and Les, reuniting the trio from their last CWB collaboration in the 2008 Egypt Project.
Clowns: Gwen Rooker, Elisa Lane, Les Rivera, Project Manager: Bruce MacPhail, Partner Organization: STEP – Strategies to Elevate People
During the spring and summer of 2007, Clowns Without Borders organized 3 expeditions to areas affected by Hurricane Katrina, in and around New Orleans Louisiana. These expeditions were organized in response to the continuing lack of aid over the past 2 years for low-income families affected by the hurricane. In these communities, public schools are still unopened or overcrowded and understaffed, families are without permanent housing, people are demoralized.
We have finished the last big day of our tour… we played four shows today for about 1,450 adults and kids in Oceanspring, Mississippi. In the Magnolia Park Elementary School 300 of the students lost their homes. Luckily, the two elementary schools here survived to give the students and teachers a sense of normalcy.
The destruction here is massive, buildings turned to rubble, or simply gutted from the storm surge. I have been so surprised that the destruction is so different from that of Louisiana, as well as the recovery effort. Many people who lost their homes were at least land-owners, not renters in Mississippi; so there are many fewer FEMA trailer parks. The community support is quite apparent, but there is still so much to do and so many people that need help.
It is the strangest of situations to say the least, sitting and eating in an upscale Mexican-American restaurant amongst the clatter of dishes and glasses and conversations. What creates the incongruities is that here in Baton Rouge, Louisiana there are also over three hundred shelters operating amongst an army of Red Cross staff and volunteers. Life appears close to normal, stores are open, people are shopping, however the streets are jam packed with traffic as this city of 200 000 has swelled by some estimates to close to 500 000.
We performed numerous shows for small crowds, mostly mothers and their children; we got to hold newly orphaned infants born with drug addictions. We saw the beauty of the Texas skies and the trauma of many reeling or recovering from domestic violence and of the war. The smiles and laughs were universal and plentiful.