Sometimes, clowns get a bad rap. But Jeff Raz is definitely changing that.

The former Cirque du Soleil star, actor, and educator is founder of the Clown Conservatory in San Francisco, as well as the Medical Clown Project, which helps bring a bit of therapeutic relief in the form of brightness and laughter to medical patients.

To Raz, the performance is a way to bring a smile to others, especially when they need it most. Humor has its own power on the path to healing, as we’ve seen here in the aftermath of disaster.

In his new book, “The Snow Clown: Cartwheels on Borders from Alaska to Nebraska,” he explores “how art can connect us across cultural boundaries, and examines the limits of empathy in the face of new and different human experiences.”

He’ll be at the Book Passage in Corte Madera on Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. discuss the book. There will be passage readings, a discussion and a book signing. For more information on the event, click here.

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