Clowns Without Borders

705 Rockcreek Rd , Charlottesville, VA 22903

Clowns Without Borders was founded in Barcelona in July 1993. The idea began when Tortell Poltrona, a professional clown in Spain, was invited to perform in a refugee camp in Croatia. This performance unexpectedly attracted audiences of more than 700 children, proving to Poltrona that there is a great need for clowns and entertainment in crisis situations.  He founded Clowns Without Borders to offer humor as a means of psychological support to communities that have suffered trauma.

Clowns Without Borders offers laughter to relieve the suffering of all persons, especially children, who live in areas of crisis including refugee camps, conflict zones and territories in situations of emergency. We bring levity, contemporary clown/circus oriented performances and workshops into communities so that they can celebrate together and forget for a moment the tensions that darken their daily lives.  We also seek to raise our society’s awareness of affected populations and to promote a spirit of solidarity.

CWB recognizes that our work is made up of small moments. Although small and purely emotional, these moments build upon each other staying with children as they grow and support their incredible resilience. CWB works with relief organizations addressing psycho-social needs of those who suffer from traumatic situations. We are not doctors, psychologists or social-workers, but together with these professionals and community participation we create joyful experiences from which children and their communities thrive.