From:  The Dean
TO:  First Year NECI Attendees

We want to welcome you to the 2018 edition of the Northeast Clown Institute, sometimes called "Clown College".  We know there a many options for your introduction to the art of clowning.  We are glad you joined us for the best one.  It starts at Noon on Friday, January 19th and will conclude about noon on Sunday, January 21nd.  Please plan your arrival and departure accordingly. 

Upon your arrival you will observe two unique things.  There are several guys and gals wearing different styles of purple shirts.  They are the members of the board that oversees the Institute.  They are experienced clowns with a great love of the art form.  While they are not necessarily instructors, they are clowns who want to insure that you get a good start in the art of clowning.  And, they want to make sure that you take full of advantage of the opportunities attending the Institute gives you.  If you have any questions, issues or concerns, know that you can approach a person wearing a purple shirt.

You will also notice guys in the funny red hats that look like upside down flower pots with a long black tassel.  Those guys are Shriners.  They are members of a fraternal organization that got its start in New York City back in 1870, 146 years ago.  There are approximately 350,000 of them across North America and around the world.  They support a network of 22 Children's Hospitals and Clinics.  Patients who are treated by these medical facilities receive expert medical care for their ailments at no cost to their families.  The Shriners and the Northeast Clown Institute share a history dating back to the Institute's founding.  Many Shriners are clowns and those clowns are some of the best in the world.  The Shrine Clowns support an effort called "The Sneaker Fund".  You will notice a large red sneaker at the hotel registration desk.  Feel free to drop some of your spare change in the sneaker.  Similar sneakers can be found across Canada, Mexico and the USA.  Funds collected are used to support Burns Research within the Shriners' Hospital System.

What do you want to bring with you to the Institute?  Warm comfortable clothing.  Plymouth can be quite chilly during January, just like the rest of the Northeast.  The fact that it is right on the water can keep a chill in the air even when the sun is shining brightly.  You want to bring paper and a couple of pens or pencils.  You will be taking notes, lots of notes!  If you have a camera, be sure to bring it along.  A picture can say 1000 words.  Bring your smile and a learning attitude.  Yes, you are attending school, a clown school recognized across the country as one of the best.  From the start of the weekend at Noon on Friday to the Institute's conclusion about noon on Sunday, you will be receiving approximately 15 hours of formal classroom instruction, plus jam sessions and critique opportunities.  Getting the most from it is dependent on your attitude and approach to learning.  On the clown side of things, bring your make-up kit, your mirror, your wig, your costume and your funny.  While you will be learning the traditional basics of the clown arts, make-up application and public performance, you will also have an opportunity to strut your funny as well as being exposed to balloon sculpture and face painting.  You may also want to bring with you an old tee shirt to put over your clothes during our make-up clinics.  If you don't have your own make-up, brushes, sponges and the like, they will be available in the vendors' room, as will costumes, wigs, hats, and shoes. 

The Northeast Clown Institute brings together some of the best clown vendors in the Northeast and around the country.  These vendors sell everything a clown could need for his or her performance. Make-up, noses, glue, costumes, shoes, name tags, comical magic supplies, props, as well as many other items associated with the art of clowning around.  Bring some money, your check book and/or your credit card.  Even the most miserly/conservative among us spends dollars in the vendors market place.

While your registration fee covers your educational costs, your meals while you attend the Institute are "on your own". To keep the cost of the Institute as manageable as possible, the Institute is conducted during the off season.  The hotel's restaurant is not always available.  There are several eating establishments close to the hotel.  You should plan on having enough money to cover the cost of eating on the town for three days. 

Take note...On Sunday morning we host an auction who's proceeds benefit the Sneaker Fund.  Items auctioned off often include costumes, supplies, clown gear, clown collectibles and clown memorabilia, as well as many other desirable items.  You will want to have some dollars in your pocket so you can participate and maybe get that one particular piece you didn't know you always wanted. 

Again, welcome!  We look forward to your participation!!