2019 Clowns of America International Convention Recap

Updated: Jul 3, 2019

I just returned from the 2019 COAI (Clowns of America International) convention in Las Vegas. I was fortunate enough to be accompanied by my daughter and my mom.

Why such a retinue? I was receiving their 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award along with two other very deserving members: Marie Beck and Judy Quest.

I am humbled and frankly, a little embarrassed. I really didn’t think I was that old! LOL! But time goes quickly.

I have been blessed to live a life dedicated to clowning since 1982. Thank you to Judy Quest for the nomination, and the kind folks who wrote letters of recommendation.

I feel so honored and fortunate.

A surprising climate change in the clown community

Though small in attendance this year’s COAI convention was high in energy and fun. Clowns always have fun, right? An interesting question popped up at the general membership meeting:

“Would the COAI membership be interested in exploring the idea of doing some kind joint convention with World Clown Association?”

They put it to a non-binding vote 99.9% were for the idea. Wow! That is a huge shift in thinking since the last time the idea was floated! We all need to be part of the solution.

What we need are new ideas

With two great organizations struggling for

membership, we should be able to meet on common ground to support each other and the art form we love so much. It isn’t that we are just losing members due to lack of interest. We have been under attack! All forms of media have used the image of the clown for its favorite punching bag over the past few decades. Social media and the internet have been scorching the clown performance landscape like a California forest fire.

The Clown Summit will play a role

I was very encouraged to learn that minds in the clown community are willing to look at things differently. Mooseburger Camp hopes to be a part of the solution with ideas coming from the Clown Summit this summer. But we need you!

When I received my award at the convention, I said I am much more comfortable giving awards than receiving them. So let me give you something you can get excited about: I am willing to offer a limited number of discounts on new registrations for anyone interested in coming to be a part of the Clown Summit to work on ideas to help preserve, promote, and protect the art of clowning. Keep reading for details.

Bear with me as I write a….

…25-second commercial for Mooseburger Camp

It will not be all work and no play! Play is an important part of the equation! Two hours a day will be dedicated to brainstorming, percolating ideas, deciding viability, and implementing strategies for the organizations (like COAI, WCA, ISCA, etc.) as well as the clown community at large.  The rest of the day will be participating in all the fun workshops, activities, rehearsals and so much more. Besides — who wouldn’t want to spend time with Ron Severini, former Dean of Ringing Bros. Barnum and Bailey Clown College and performing clown with the Greatest Show on Earth? That’s right, Ron not only will be at camp this year offering a special presentation for all the campers, but will also be a part of the Clown Summit! Along with Randy Christensen, and more amazing dedicated clowns like you!

— okay, commercial over!

The launching of the Red Nose Reader program at Mooseburger Camp is just one idea coming to fruition because of the Clown Summit. I am looking for a few dedicated clowns who do not want to sit on the sidelines and let someone else come up with a plan. You can be the start of something big!

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