Annual Community Party & Performance

Another year, another excuse to party!

On Saturday April 18 at Time Grand Plaza Hotel, we had the pleasure of hosting our 2nd Annual Clowns Who Care Xtravaganza Party and performance celebrating the wonderful special needs community. Children of all ages, and their families, from around the U.A.E. attended. It was nice for them to be able to come together from different areas and schools to a beautiful venue to have fun, dance, take part in activities, each a delicious lunch and be entertained for the afternoon.

Many thanks to all the volunteers, performers and artists, activity leaders, Time Hotels, Barakat – Fresh & Easy, Action Care and everyone who helped bring more joy to the community!

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For more photos click HERE

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Hospital Humor Program

Golisano Children’s Hospital: A Day to Remember
By Mina Liccione

After many months of planning, emails, meetings and approvals, I was thrilled to finally start our outreach Hospital Humor Program at Golisano Children’s Hospital. Though I reside in Dubai, I return to New York throughout the year and will make regular visits during each trip.

The day started out with a creative workshop with a group of young inpatients, some parents, and interns, in the colorful communal activity room. I entered the space and introduced myself as “Dr. Mina La-la-lee-lee-lu-lu-shnee-nee-pssst.” I then explained that “some doctors specialize in feet, some in the spine, but I specialize in the funny bone! And today I am going to make sure your funny bones are healthy!”

We then did a series of rhythm and funny face exercises, improv’ comedy games and circus skills. I ended the workshop with a solo physical comedy, song and tap dance performance dedicated to the children. I gave them all big hugs while joyfully saying “the next time I come back to the hospital I don’t want to see you! I’d rather come visit you at your home instead and we’ll play there!”

Then it was time to make clown rounds to the rooms of those who couldn’t come to the workshop. I had the great privilege of meeting, and sharing laughs, with many young patients. My heart was heavy as their smiles grew. In those moments life made sense. The reason why I am a comedian, and an artist, made sense. I felt my higher purpose thrive every time a tiny giggle emerged. We often forget just how much of an impact we can have on others. Something as small as making someone laugh, telling a story with funny character voices, singing a lullaby or putting on clown noses and pretend to sneeze is just what the doctor ordered!

Spirits were raised.

Laughs were shared.

Friendships were made.

It is in moments like this that life makes sense. A moment of clarity, when you are living your higher purpose and helping someone through a painful time. It was an honor to spend this precious time with the patients and their families.

I can’t wait until my next trip to New York!

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Spread some inspiration & thank those who inspired you…

Helllllo everyone!

About a month ago I was invited to “share my story” as part of Philadelphia Cream Cheese’s campaign “Spread some inspiration” in hopes of encouraging more women to to to get involved with or create volunteer initiatives. I later found out that the campaign was actually a contest and considered not doing it however I kept receiving emails and phone calls from people saying I needed to….so I figured if that many people wanted me to do it, I should.

By the grace of God Clowns Who Care Project was chosen as part of the Top 3. 1 woman from Kuwait, 1 from KSA and I am representing the UAE. I am still utterly humbled and stunned! We are now in the last stage where the public cast their votes (www.phillyarabia.com).

If we win, they will support our expansion efforts through a monetary award, marketing and much more. This is such a HUGE dream for me, my husband and the Clowns Who Care Project team. We would be able to expand into a regular program making weekly visits to centers and hospitals around the UAE as well as our outreach programs in Uganda and Palestine. We have done our best over the years to bring joy to as many people we can with compassion, talent and drive as our resources.

Below is our “dream program overview”. This has always been our projected intention for CWC however with minimal resources we haven’t been able to fulfill expansion just yet.  These things take time and support. Inshallah our ‘project’ will become the ‘program’ we strive for this year.

OUR DREAM: BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE….


As we continue to grow our dream is to build solid programs under 3 core branches. We have decided to name each branch in memory of an AMAZING woman who spread joy and love to others throughout their lives and sadly left us too soon. All three of these women were passionate about helping young artists achieve their goals despite any obstacles in their way. Paoli Lacy (The Godmother of Clown Therapy), Caroline Jones (Circus and Arts Management Extraordinaire) and Peggy Ford (One of the first female clowns in the Ringling Bro & Barnum & Bailey Circus’ clown alley, Program Director at the Circus Center). 

Paoli’s Branch: Centers, Hospital and Cancer Care Unit Visits

Caroline’s Branch: Charity and Fundraising Events

Peggy’s Branch: Outreach Program (Uganda, Palestine, all over the UAE)

Though my name is in the Top 3 this is REALLY a team and community effort! You have all helped with Clowns Who Care and are a HUGE part of it ! MABROOK! CONGRATS! BRAVO! And will all this said, whether we win or not, our intention for expansion stays the same. We will get there because our hearts are our guides.

Thank you Peggy, Paoli and Caroline for inspiring me to be a better woman and for believing in me even when I didn’t. May your beautiful souls rest in peace, I’d like to think that all three of you are looking down smiling. I will never forget you guys.

With love and compassion,
Mina

PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO VOTE: http://www.phillyarabia.com/story_details.php?story_id=346

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Turning a sad day into a beautiful day- Playshop at Mawaheb

We all have certain days of the year that remind us of sad things that happened in our lives. Whether it be painful memories of a tragic incident or happy memories spent with a loved one who has passed away. We had wanted to visit Mawaheb studio the first week that they were back to school and we always go on a Tuesday. Upon looking at the calendar we realized that Tuesday was 9/11. 9/11 is indeed a day of remembrance and for some of us a very sad and reflective day. There’s an old saying “the best way to cheer oneself is to cheer another” and that is just what we did. As always, it proved to be a wonderful day of laughter and gratitude. So on those sad days, we encourage you to take a moment to reflect then take the next moment to help someone else. Take your pain and transform it into something joyous….. the rewards are greater than you can ever imagine.

Mawaheb from Beautiful People is an art school for teen and adult artists with special needs. The staff, teachers and students are extremely talented and passionate. Their art is from the heart. If you’d like to check out their studio, purchase art work or learn more about them click here: http://www.facebook.com/Mawahebart

Comedy acting class – the students watch each other present their funny solos

We worked on balancing skills. Here we were teaching the students the flick kick and catch trick.

Time to juggle!

Class clowns 🙂