From 23rd to 27th august, 40 international artists and cultural managers from seven countries, who are part of the ClowNexus project, met in Vienna, Austria, for the official Kick-off meeting.

After several postponements due to the Covid-19 situation, we finally found a time spot to meet safely, taking care of all strict Covid-regulations.

This is the first time all the international project members of all eight clown organisations came together – a remarkable step for the project.

Especially for the artists, meeting live and in person is an essential part, to form to a team and to start working together. Sensitivity, authenticity, empathy and co-creation processes are anyhow daily practice of clowns and very important skills for this project, which they started sharing together.

Therefore, the focus of the week lied on diving deep into intuition and emotions, enhancing empathy. Exercises, reflexions and sharing insights were guiding methods in this process.

Clowns live in the moment. Their mindset is one of curiosity, openness, reciprocity, empathy and complete authenticity. These incredible qualities infused this whole kick-off week where a group of committed artists and project managers gathered to connect, establish common purpose and set their sights on the journey ahead. I am so excited to see what emerges.

Lisa Baxter, Facilitator of the kick-off meeting and Founder of The Experience Business

A very inspiring part of the kick-off event were also the discussions with social and cultural workers from Austria, Sweden and Lithuania, who shared their experience working with children with ASD and elderly with dementia, the two target groups of our project. These talks took place via zoom and even live. The shared experience was a valuable addition to the participant’s knowledge.

In the next future, our artists will meet in smaller international teams again in the scheduled Artistic Laboratories, which will take place in all participating countries within the three years project period.

The Clownexus Kick-off Meeting was organised by RED NOSES International.