Homeless clowns take to the streets

Clowning is a noble pursuit, a nearly ego-free endeavor (after all, your identity’s hidden by paint) to brighten the planet. But, pity the poor Health Adventure Clown Troupe, which was recently cast out, so to speak.

Don’t worry, be happy: Despite funding cuts, members of the Health Adventure Clown Troupe are putting on their happy faces. contributed photo

The troupe began in 1989 as an effort to provide fun for families at the Health Adventure in Pack Place. The original plan was to include a couple of volunteer clowns as meet-and-greeters. But the idea caught fire, and soon the volunteers invited retired Ringling Brothers clowns who were WNC residents to help them learn the ropes. Clown workshops ensued. Since then, more than 700 people have attended these classes, according to Morgana Morgaine (aka Kabookee the Clown), who managed the group for the past seven years.

However, recent budget cuts caused the Health Adventure to eliminate funding, and the clowns are now homeless.

“We are seeking a new sponsor to support us,” Morgaine says—the kind that would provide a home for clown shows, clown classes and, she hopes, “storage place for all the props and toys that clowns need to do their very ‘serious’ work.”

Despite having to find new digs, these clowns are still finding ways to turn frowns upside down, Morgaine says. “This troupe has been a vital part of the community for all these years, providing laughs and entertainment for countless people. … We would like to be celebrated for that and let people know that although we are not at the Health Adventure, we are continuing our clowning.”

Now known as Kabookee’s Klowns, the troupe’s next performance is this Saturday, July 7, at Biltmore Lake, where they’ll join in a patriotic parade and picnic that starts at 1 p.m. E-mail morganam@netzero.net for more information.

About Cecil Bothwell
A writer for Mountain Xpress since three years before there WAS an MX--back in the days of GreenLine. Former managing editor of the paper, founding editor of the Warren Wilson College environmental journal, Heartstone, member of the national editorial board of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, publisher of Brave Ulysses Books, radio host of "Blows Against the Empire" on WPVM-LP 103.5 FM, co-author of the best selling guide Finding your way in Asheville. Lives with three cats, macs and cacti. His other car is a canoe. Paints, plays music and for the past five years has been researching and soon to publish a critical biography--Billy Graham: Prince of War:

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