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As part of the continuing celebration of World Circus Week, Red Noses Palestine will present a program of clowning entertainment beginning at 5:30 p.m.Tuesday April 23 at SHINE, First Presbyterian Church, 7 Poncha Blvd. in Salida.

Red Noses Palestine performs at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the First Presbyterian Church in Salida. Courtesy Photo

Red Noses Palestine is a troupe of clown doctors who visit sick and suffering Palestinian people in hospitals, schools and refugee camps throughout the West Bank. The Salida Circus Outreach Foundation received a travel grant from CEC Artslink, a New York-based foundation to underwrite their travel, so they could bring their unique brand of clowning to the Chaffee County community.

The visit to Salida of Red Noses Palestine has been made possible because the Salida Circus Outreach foundation raised $2,000 in funds to underwrite their visit to Salida. It took 18 months of work to overcome a variety of hurtles, including visas, to allow the group to travel.

“This project has been a year and a half in the making because it is not easy for Palestinians to travel,” said Salida Circus founder and CEO and Development Director Jennifer Dempsey. “All the pieces came together at the last minute. All the donations received go directly to fund these free workshops and performances here in Chaffee County at our local elementary, middle and high schools, Salida Circus receives nothing itself.”

The collaboration between Red Noses Palestine and Salida Circus, Colorado seeks to dispel myths, stereotypes and misconceptions of a culture that is increasingly alienated from the western world perspective,” read the CEC Artslink grant award. “Red Noses Palestine’s workshop called “The Clown in You” has been brought to local schools and community centers, offering Colorado’s youth and adults a unique opportunity to work and creatively play with a group of Palestinian artists who live in a very different context, but employ the same social justice tools of art and laughter.”