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Social Circus Foundation hosting ‘Peace and Prayer Gathering’ healing event with Lakota Sioux leader

Paul Miller, founder of Circus Mojo in Ludlow, is inviting the public to a ‘Peace and Prayer Gathering in the Heyoka/Sacred Clown Tradition’ as a healing event in the wake of the Covington Catholic High School incident in Washington D.C. involving a student and a Native American.

Miller is also a graduate of Covington Catholic. He is a former clown in the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and has built a circus-training program in Ludlow. He has also created ‘Bircus beer’ and an entertainment venue in the historic Ludlow Theater.

The event will feature a ‘talking circle,’ a round dance, potluck and a concert. It will run Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight at the Ludlow Theater, 332 Elm St., Ludlow.

The Social Circus Foundation INC and the Ludlow Theatre will present William Underbaggage (translated: carrying a heavy burden) a Lakota Sioux Tribal Leader, who will lead Greater Cincinnati spiritual, educational and government leaders and the general public to join in a “Community Talking Circle” sharing thoughts, words and prayers to demonstrate tolerance in an attempt to gain understanding and begin our healing process.

A Ceremonial Peace Pipe and Healing Round Dance will close the ceremony.

Community talkbacks led by William and community leaders will take place informally throughout the day on the balcony of the Ludlow Theatre.

Live Music by Lagniappe from 5-8 p.m., Beast of Joy 8-11 p.m.

CincyAcro will be on hand as will Circus Mojo. BIRCUS beers will be flowing, and there will be dancing until midnight!

William Underbaggage is traveling to Ludlow from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He travels all over the country to teach and participate in Indigenous and cultural organizations on a variety of issues.

Among his many issues is Indigenous peoples’ concern for the enforcement of the United Nations’ Declaration of Indigenous Rights.

Fluent in several languages and passionately committed to Indigenous culture preservation and protection, he is an effective advocate in both the National and Global arenas.

Underbaggage was the opening speaker at the 2013 Global Alliance for Arts and Health’s 24th Annual International Conference in Washington, D.C. He opened the conference saying,” I shake your hand with a glad heart.”

William Underbaggage (carrying a heavy burden), a Lakota Sioux Tribal Leader. (Photo provided)

This sentiment rang true with Circus Mojo’s founder, Paul Miller, who attended this conference. Miller first learned of the tradition of Heyoka from his instructor at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, Larry Pisoni, founder of the Pickle Family Circus. Underbaggage and another Native American closed the conference with a raucous Round Dance of healing at The National Museum of the American Indian – Smithsonian Institution.

In indigenous Lakota culture, ‘Heyoka’ means ‘a contrary’ or ‘a sacred clown.’ Similar to clowns, a Heyoka can play an important role in healing people and society. As a contrary, a person can present opposing viewpoints from the norms of society. When people laugh at a joke, the Heyoka cries; when people mourn, the Heyoka laughs. This will be Underbaggage’s second trip to the Ludlow Theatre. Five years ago he offered a lecture at the Ludlow Theatre discussing the healing power of the Heyoka.

“It was a great honor to meet Willy in Washington D.C. at the Arts and Health Conference,” said Miller.

“Twenty-five years ago I graduated from CovCath and my peers voted me ‘Best and Worst Dressed’ and ‘Best Dancer.’ If it weren’t for the Work Study Program and the significant educational opportunities CovCath provided I would not be here today.

“Please join us in building upon ‘The Spirit That Will Not Die’ as we juggle and dance our way to build a better future.”

Paul Miller, Covington Catholic High School 1993, is the Founder of Circus Mojo / Social Circus Foundation, Chief Goof-Officer of BIRCUS Brewing Co. and co-owner of the Ludlow Theatre.

This day-long celebration will begin “profoundly in earnest and will transform via the tradition of the sacred clown.”

Join the event to exchange cultures, bring a potluck to share, and offer a prayer for healing for the caring community of Greater Cincinnati, indigenous peoples, and anyone and everyone who was also offended.

RSVP here

Social Circus Foundation

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