Event Details

  • When: Sunday, 17 July 2022
  • Friday, 22 July 2022


    Starts 18:15 on first day - Finishes 14.00 on last day

    Tuition fee: £410*

    Deposit: £180 non-returnable deposit secures your place.

    *For prices for on-campus accomodation options and delicious biodynamic meals click the 'BOOK STAY' link below.



    Booking your place on this course and your stay at Emerson are two separate steps and payments:


    (Click to pay the deposit and book your place)


     (Click here to book your stay and meals at Emerson College)


    For more information visit: 

SHORT COURSE: What Sustains Us

SHORT COURSE: What Sustains Us

Exploring through Courage and Play with Penny Williamson and Vivian Gladwell.

Nothing is too small. Nothing is too ordinary or insignificant.

'Those are the things that make up the measure of our days, and they’re the things that sustain us.'~ Rita Dove  

'The courageous heart is the one that is unafraid to open to the world'.~ Jack Kornfield

This workshop will explore the question of what sustains us in our lives when what we seek goes awry. We are living through an unprecedented time. In such times how can we stay connected with heart, curiosity and compassion?    

We will work with the theme of What Sustains Us using The Nose to Nose approach and the Circle of Trust work of Parker Palmer, both rooted in the belief that each of us has our own inner teacher to discern our way in the world.  We invite the wisdom of our inner knowing to emerge through interweaving the vulnerable playfulness of clowning with time for reflection, deep listening,  and sharing in a trustworthy community.


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Vivian Gladwell

Vivian is the founder and director of Nose to Nose and has given hundreds of workshops around the world. He lives both in the UK and France where he started clowning in 1978. He speaks French and English fluently.

Vivian began teaching in 1988 as part of the Lifeways Festival at Emerson College – UK. He trained as a facilitator with the Bataclown in 1990 and joined their team in 1991 also working as a modern day Court Jester (Clownanalyst).

He created Nose to Nose UK in 1990, Nose to Nose of North America in 2006, Nose to Nose Germanyin 2008, NTN Italy in 2016 and Fool View, the Social Clowning group and has trained facilitators in the UK, the USA, Germany and Italy – view history.
He continues his role as ambassador for the work by researching the applications of clowning in the context of teacher training, medicine, conflict management, ecology and intercultural work in many countries (South Africa, USA, Senegal, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, Italy, Germany, Norway…)

He holds clowning as a social playground for exploring our humanity.



Penny Williamson

Penny R. Williamson, ScD is an internationally recognized facilitator, educator and coach for leaders and organizations in health care. She is a founding facilitator and mentor for the national Center for Courage and Renewal and Associate Professor of Medicine, Part Time, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. From 1998-2016 Penny led Courage to Lead, a leadership development and personal renewal program for leaders in healthcare and other serving professions, based on the work of Parker Palmer and the Circle of Trust © approach.  She currently leads Courage retreats in the United States and other countries. Diverse themes include: life transitions, living wholeheartedly, leading with integrity and heart, and re-imagining boundaries. Over the past several years, Penny has incorporated into her work practices of “Social Presencing Theater”, exploring how alignment of mind and body add to individual discernment and collective wisdom. She is partnering with teachers of Nose to Nose Clowning, combining playful, transparent ways to explore joys, vulnerabilities and fears in combination with the reflective practices of Courage work.

Philosophy and approaches: Dr. Williamson brings to her work an ecological worldview; belief in and attention to the inner life; expertise in the disciplines of Appreciative Inquiry, World Café, Open Space and Skilled Dialogue; and incorporation in the work of powerful creative modalities including poetry, movement, clowning, music and art. Above all she brings a belief in the capacity of individuals, groups and organizations to contribute to creating a better world.