Recently, I was mesmerized by a clown at PINC. His whimsical interlude, juxtaposed against the weighty discourse of childhood trauma, became an emotional reminder of the power of play in the realm of creativity.

Meet Ash Perrin, the visionary behind The Flying Seagull Project.
What does he do?
Let me show you.




Ash and his team have delivered 6,684 play sessions across 24 countries, contributing to 320,316 smiles among underprivileged children in asylum shelters, transition centers, refugee camps, and homeless youth programs. "Bash the Clown" gives these kiddos a childhood, proof that kindness does change the world.

This sentiment is fresh. I just learned about the power of play through the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading's When You Wonder, You're Learning Book Circle Project. Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood. — Mister Rogers

Ash's presentation wove a philanthropic tapestry, leading me to The Patterson Foundation's impact, prompting a string of connections in the Foundation's approach via The Five Cs, Cope, Adapt, Innovate, and Change Happens; its values; and current initiatives, specifically Center for Disaster Philanthropy and Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

This year, PINC focused on embracing new perspectives, ideas, and approaches to tackle the challenges our community has confronted and aspired for its guests to leave with "more open-mindedness, imagination, and a ruthless drive to make this world a better place."

It succeeded.

I was almost ready to run off with a clown and live in a refugee camp, making children laugh for all the days ;)

I found myself looking at the intersection of art and advocacy with a shifted lens, revealing more layers in philanthropy and leaving me spellbound and thankful. My gratitude extended to The Patterson Foundation's work culture, grounded in care and a standard of excellence aligned with its mission of strengthening people, organizations, and communities.

Thank you, DreamLarge and Ringling College of Art and Design, for raising awareness, encouraging us to create magic, and reminding us that creativity is the child of play.

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