ICHOF Names Greg DeSanto Executive Director
Baraboo, WI (January 18, 2010) – A bright addition to Baraboo’s unique circus heritage was revealed today as The International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center announced the opening of its new headquarters in America’s Circus City.
Internationally renowned for its research and involvement in the art, craft and history of clowning, the ICHOF boasts the world’s most wide-ranging collection of clown artifacts and memorabilia, including wardrobe and props from many of the most famous names in clowning history.
“We are delighted to send in the clowns – and send them to Baraboo, back home where they belong,” said Greg DeSanto, recently named the ICHOF’s Executive Director. Himself a celebrated clown and circus historian, DeSanto, a Baraboo resident, performed at the Circus World Museum for over seven years. He’s also been featured in Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, the Big Apple Circus and other major shows around the world.
As we expand our presence in Baraboo, we hope that scholars and historians and the public at large will experience our fascinating exhibits and extensive archives,” DeSanto says.
Founded in Delevan, WI in 1986, the ICHOF was created as a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization, honoring and supporting the international art of clowning. The first and only group of its kind, it provides both rich research opportunities and educational outreach, along with the world’s largest collection of artifacts and collections concerning the art of clowning.
In 1988, the ICHOF began enshrining international artists who have enhanced and advanced the art of the clown. Since then, sixty-one performers have been inducted into the Hall, including Red Skelton, Lou Jacobs, Emmett Kelly, Otto Griebling, Felix Adler, Barry Lubin, Bobby Kaye, Jimmy Williams, Frosty Little, Steve Smith, Grock, Charlie Chaplin and Bill Irwin. The prestigious Lifetime of Laughter achievement award is also presented annually.
Fulfilling its commitment to community outreach, the Hall’s Caring Clown program provides therapeutic humor for children and their families at the Milwaukee’s Children’s Hospital. With Long Term Laughter Care, the ICHOF brings fun and comfort to residents at skilled nursing facilities and assisted living centers.
“We are honored to join the Circus World Museum and the Al Ringling Theater as key spokes in Barboo’s celebrated wheel of circus history,” adds DeSanto. “We welcome residents and visitors alike to join us in our ongoing efforts to promote and preserve the grand and glorious history of hilarity.”