Clowning around in Mt Magnet
A Small Grant for Rural Communities grant of $4,000, funded by the McCusker Charitable Foundation, was used by the WA Centre for Rural Health (WACRH) to invite their local community to come together and become clowns (but only for a few days).
The WACRH saw an opportunity for the low socio-economic and remote community of Mt Magnet in WA to benefit from a three-day cultural event that would engage the whole community in clowning and circus related activities.
The Carnival of Clowns aimed to provide the local town with a fun event where community members could actively contribute to the planning process, as well as try to bring the community together to participate in some light hearted fun.
After a whole-town effort to plan the Carnival of Clowns, involving the hiring of two professional clowns to hold circus workshops for a variety of community groups and the local school, a community performance was held in July showcasing the new tricks and talents of all participants.
The WACRH was very fortunate to find support from multiple health science students who had a rural experience placement in Mt Magnet during the planning phase of the Carnival of Clowns, who enthusiastically supported the school students in their circus skills development.
The event was very well received by the wider-community. It gave the town something to look forward to and the opportunity to actively participate in the planning process. Furthermore, each of the performances had an underlying theme of teaching life skills, such as coming together and supporting your fellow neighbour.
“It brought the community together so the community could laugh and have fun together.” Mt Magnet Shire Councillor
The carnival was such a hit, that it is hoped to become an ongoing annual event!