RNB By-Laws

Adopted June 20, 1994

Revised April 2001

Revised June 26, 2006

Reprinted May 15, 2008 for review

Retyped February 2011 for revisions

Article 1 – Name

This organization is called the Red Nose Brigade. It is also known as RNB.

Article 2 – Mission

In our volunteerism and service we will honor, respect, and practice established standards of character and appearance knowing as individuals we represent and reflect upon the entire clown world.

Article 3 – Membership

Membership in the Red Nose Brigade shall be open to anyone interested in the honorable art of clowning and showing dedication toward its advancement. Attendance of 3 monthly meetings of the RNB is required before making application for preliminary membership.

Section 1. Preliminary Membership

All prospective members shall be allowed a minimum of six (6) months to fulfill the following requirements:

A.    Must pay membership dues for the current fiscal club year. Dues will be prorated if preliminary member joins mid-year.

B.    Must attend at least three (3) monthly club general meetings.

C.    Support and comply with the RNB Make-up, Costume Standards Policy, and RNB Ethics Policy.

D.    Attend or show proof of previous completion of an approved Introduction to Clownology or, demonstrate abilities through the help and training of a designated RNB mentor.

E.     If all other requirements of preliminary membership are met, a petition by an active member, for active membership status, may be approved or denied by a simple majority of the active membership.

F.     Must participate in at least three (3) club events.

G.    Must submit and pass a Washington State Patrol Background Check.

The first year of membership, members are considered “First of May” clowns.  Preliminary and “First of May” members may not vote or hold office until fulfilling the foregoing requirements.  Preliminary and “First of May” members are expected to use their first year to learn and obtain education and training from senior alley members and the RNB education program.  During the first year a preliminary and/or “First of May” Clown will not represent themselves as an RNB clown when soliciting fees as a private business.


Section 2. Active Membership

An active member is entitled to all rights and privileges of the RNB. They may vote, hold office and chair events. To retain active status, the following requirements must be met annually.:

A.    Be current on membership dues.

B.    Support and comply with the RNB Make-up, Costume Standards Policy, and with the RNB ethics policy.

C.    Participation in at least 5 RNB events and 6 meetings.

D.    Two optional events are equal to one RNB event. Verification of attendance may be requested.

By vote of the membership, any long time member may be designated an Active Life Member. Such member has all the privileges of any other active member but is not required to pay dues nor participate in the usual required number of meetings and activities. Such designation is reserved for extremely special circumstances as determined by the membership.

Section 3. Supporting Clowns and Variety Arts Membership

Supporting members are those members who are unable to fulfill the participation requirements for active membership. Supporting members must:

A.    Be current on membership dues.

B.    Support and comply with the RNB Make-Up, Costume Standards Policy, and comply with the RNB Ethics Policy.

C.    May not vote, hold office, or chair events.

D.    May participate in all RNB events.

Section 4. Honorary Membership

An active member may nominate a candidate for honorary membership.

Approval is to be made by the active membership. Honorary membership will be granted and reviewed yearly by the active membership. Honorary members do not have voting privileges nor do they pay dues.

Section 5. Junior Joeys

A child under the age of 18 may become a member of RNB as a “Junior Joey.”

A.    A Junior Joey must be sponsored by an existing adult Active Member.

B.    The sponsor is responsible to see that the Junior Joey receive education in RNB make up and costume standards, RNB Ethics, and the types of clowns described in the By-Laws. The sponsor along with the Junior Joey is responsible to see that these rules are followed by the Junior Joey.

C.    The dues for a Junior Joey are $5.00 per year plus a first year Badge Fee for an official RNB Badge. Any additional dues may be set by the membership in accordance with Article 4.

D.    The Badge will be the standard RNB Badge that all members wear with an additional line identifying the wearer as a Junior Joey.

E.     Junior Joeys may participate in all RNB regular events and optional events.

F.     Junior Joeys may participate in all RNB meetings and voice opinions, but may not formally vote. They may make an informal advisory, non-binding vote. They are not counted as part of a quorum for transacting business.

G.    They may not hold office except if a separate office for Junior Joeys is created.

H.    Junior Joeys are expected to participate in at least one event per year, and come to one meeting per year.

I.       Junior Joeys must present themselves in costume to the active membership at a regular meeting except that in the first year of this section’s approval in the By-Laws, a Junior Joey who is known by the membership and has previously performed with RNB may have this requirement waived.

J.      Make up and Costume standards are to grow with the child, that is, the younger the child, the less stringent the standards, but the Sponsor is always responsible for general appearance.

K.    Upon reaching 18, a Junior Joey may apply for Active Membership or Supporting Membership and a modified list of Preliminary Requirements shall be drawn up taking into consideration what events, make up, costume and ethics history the Junior Joey has already complied with.

L.     Background checks are required for Junior Joeys who have not been known by members or are new to the area.

Section 6. RNB Support Personnel

Persons may join RNB as Support Personnel. These might be seamstresses, prop makers, float drivers, or others as determined by vote of the active membership on a yearly basis.  Such persons are not active performers in any class, but are essential to the smooth operation of the alley.

A.    They pay dues as decided by the active membership.  If paying full dues, they may vote on other issues not including the items included in this section.

B.    They may not preside over meetings, nor be treasurer (Koin Klinker), but can support the alley as secretary (Pencil Pusher), or as an event chair.

C.    As non performers they do not wear costumes nor make up but must abide by the Alley standards of cleanliness and presentable wear at any events attended.

D.    They must abide by the RNB ethics policy as it pertains to non performers such as items 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, and 12.

Section 7. Termination of Membership

A member of RNB may have his or her membership terminated for any of the following reasons:

  • Failure to pay dues within 90 days of the due date.
  • Failure to conform to the RNB Make-up, Costume Standards Policy, and the RNB Ethics Policy.

If a member is in violation, the following procedure will be followed, which, may result in membership termination.

First occurrence of offense:

A.    The offending member is given verbal notification of the infraction.

B.    The infraction is to be discussed discretely between the offending member and at least two members of the Ethics and Standards committee.

C.    Written documentation of the offense and resolution will be put on file.

Second occurrence of offense: The offending member is given written notice of probationary status for 1 year.

Third occurrence of offense: The offending member is given written notice of termination. This notice will be done within 7 days of verification of offense.

Any member issued a warning or a letter of dismissal has the right to challenge the charges in front of the general membership.

Section 8. Probationary Membership

A probationary member is one who has been placed on probation as the result of having two violations of either the RNB Ethics Policy or the RNB Make-up and Costume Standards Policy. A probationary member must:

A.    Support and comply with the RNB Make-up, Costume Standards Policy, and with the RNB Ethics Policy.

B.    Probationary members do not have voting privileges and may not hold office for 1 year after suspension.

C.    Return to active status requires review and approval of the Ethics and Standards Committee.

Section 9. Leave of Absence

It is recognized that there may be times when an active member is unable to participate for a period of time.  To preserve their active member status, a member may apply for a leave of absence.  This is done in writing to the Membership Chair Clown.

A.    Be current on membership dues.

B.    Support and comply with the RNB Make-up, Costume Standards Policy, and with the RNB Ethics Policy.

C.    May not vote; hold office, or chair events.

D.    May participate in all RNB events.


Article 4 – Dues

The amount of dues shall be set by the active membership and approved by a majority vote.  The RNB fiscal year runs January 1 through December 31.  Dues must be paid for the current club year by March 31st.  (See Article 3 Section 5).  New members will pay prorated dues when appropriate (i.e., joins in August; prorated through December).


Article 5 – Elected Director and Agent

An election of a Director for our non-profit status will be nominated and elected by active membership annually.  The Volunteer position of the Treasurer will also act as the agent.  The combined responsibility of these two offices will be to maintain our non-profit status with the state of Washington.  The Treasurer will handle all financial matters (See Article 6; Section 4).

Article 6 – Volunteer Positions

1.     Meeting Host/ Hostess (Rotated Quarterly)

2.     Education Coordinator

3.     Newsletter Editor (Pencil Pusher Secretary)

4.     Koin Klinker (Treasurer)

5.     Membership Coordinator

6.     Events Coordinator

a.     Events Chairclown

7.     Clown-at-Arms/Timer (Parliamentary Procedure)

8.     Librarian/ Historian

9.     Parade Chairclown

10.  Clown Week Coordinator

11.  Ethics and Standard Committee

12.  Volunteerism Committee (See paragraph below)


Failure to perform duties of an office can result in termination.  To be eligible for office a candidate must satisfy the requirements of active membership.  During the last calendar quarter before the club fiscal year ends, the Volunteerism Committee will be responsible for obtaining individuals for volunteering.  All volunteer positions are renewable yearly except the meeting Host/ Hostess, which will be rotated quarterly among the membership.  Members may partner all volunteer positions if desired.  All active members are expected to participate in the meeting Host/ Hostess role.

Section 1.  Meeting Host/ Hostess

The Meeting Host/ Hostess shall preside over general meetings and perform other duties in the best interest of the club.  The Meeting Host/ Hostess shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.  The Meeting Host/ Hostess is a rotating quarterly position.  General membership shall determine how to rotate this position.

Section 2. Education Coordinator

Establish yearly education plan.  Secure experienced clowns to chair each educational segment.

Section 3, Newsletter Editor

The editor or the editor’s appointee is responsible for:

A.    Recording the minutes of the General meetings, handling all club correspondence, and maintaining club records and files.

B.    Register attendance at meetings.

C.    Compiling materials and articles for inclusion in the newsletter.

D.    Printing and distribution of the newsletter on a monthly basis.

E.     The newsletter editor or the editor’s appointee will maintain an active updated computer disk of RNB’s current by-laws as required or needed.


Section 4, Koin Klinker (Treasurer)

A.    The Treasurer shall receive and deposit all funds in the name of the club, including collection of membership dues.

B.    The Treasurer provides the Membership Coordinator with membership information to update roster.

C.    The Treasurer shall maintain precise accounting of all club income and expenditures and execute contracts as directed by the membership.

D.    At General meetings, the Treasurer’s report will be noted in the meeting agenda and listed in the newsletter.

E.     The Treasurer will also act as agent for the club.


Section 5, Membership Coordinator

The membership Chairclown shall:

A.    Provide club materials to new members

B.    Reviews the membership packet with the new member and the Ethics Chairclown

C.    Arrange mentor review (critique).

D.    The Membership Chairclown is also responsible for maintaining participation records for preliminary members

E.     Maintaining the club roster

F.     Issuing membership cards and badges as needed.

Section 6, Events Coordinator

Events Coordinator will:

A.    Provide each member with a timely summary sheet, with detailed annual event information (update as necessary).

B.    Select a chair clown for each event.

C.    Make sure Newsletter Editor receives information for newsletter and any updates as necessary.

Section 6A, Events Chairclown

Events’ Chairclown will:

A.    Be responsible for detailed sign-up sheet for 2 months before events at the general meetings.  (February meeting would provide sheet for March and April events.)

B.    Will call all members signed up for that event for confirmation of attendance.

C.    After the event, the event chair provides an article on the event to the Newsletter Editor for publication, which will include a list of event participants.

D.    Also provide the Membership Chair with a list of participants for determining on-going member status.


Section 7, Clown-at-Arms/ Parliamentarian

Responsibilities of the Clown-at-Arms include:

A.    Ensure members speak one at a time.

B.    When possible or able encourage members to stand to speak.

C.    Will keep order in the meeting by a method to get members silent (horn, bell, noise maker).

Responsibilities of the Parliamentarian include:

Ensure that club business complies with these written by-laws, policy statements and the Robert’s Rules of Order.

Section 8, Librarian/ Historian

Responsibilities of the Librarian/ Historian include:

A.    Keep a record of all the alley items checked in and out.

B.    Store all alley library material.

C.    Collect and maintain historical items for the alley.


Section 9, Parade Chairclown

Responsibilities of the Parade Chairclown include:

A.    Forms a parade committee

B.    Coordination of all parades for the upcoming year.

C.    Notify members of themes, restrictions, requirements or any other pertinent information

D.    Notify the Newsletter Editor of al upcoming parades for publication.


Section 10, Clown Week Coordinator

It is the responsibility of the coordinator to set up clown week activities from August 1st through August 7th per COAI guidelines.


Section 11, Ethics and Standards Committee

This committee is inactive unless needed.  It’s a 3-member committee (See Article 10, Section 1).


Article 7 – Meetings

General meetings are held once a month.  A majority of voting members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at general meetings.

Special meetings may be called when necessary to keep alley on focus.

Article 8 – Fiscal Policy

Routine business expenses permitted without membership approval. (Newsletter costs, etc.)

Any other expenditure, over $50.00, to be voted on by the membership for approval.


Article 9 – Club Functions and Activities

A.    To maintain high standards, all new members will be required to present themselves to their mentor or general assembly in costume and makeup before participating in sanctioned club functions and activities.

B.    After approval, new members may participate in club functions.

C.    Club badges may only be worn at RNB club functions and activities.

D.    Working clowns may hand out business cards on request at RNB events.

E.     Tips may be accepted when offered.  However, make sure they know RNB is receiving payment for that event.

F.     No tip can or business cards are to be displayed at RNB events.


Article 10 – Committees

Committees may be formed on an as-needed basis.  Member participation on committees shall be voluntary, except as otherwise noted:

Section 1. Ethics and Standards Committee

Shall be

A.    Composed of three (3) active members appointed by current Meeting Host/ Hostess.

B.    It will be the responsibility of this committee to notify any member and their mentor whose conduct; make-up, and/or costume is not in compliance with RNB policies.

C.    Violations of [unreadable] policy will result in disciplinary action as outlined in Article 3, Section 5 – Termination of Membership.

Section 2, National Clown Week Committee

Shall be composed of the Clown Week Coordinator and at least three (3) active members.  They will organize, publicize and keep records of all activities for the week.

Article 11 – Amendments

A.    Suggested by-law changes shall be submitted, in writing to the Newsletter Editor for publication for member consideration.

B.    A by-law Committee may be formed if required.

C.    The recommendations of this committee shall be circulated to the general membership.

D.    The general membership will vote, by ballot, on the recommended amendments.

E.     Two thirds (2/3) of all returned ballots are required for approval.

F.     A revised set of by-laws and Policy Statements shall be distributed to every member, if changes are approved.


Red Nose Brigade Ethics Policy

A.    I will remember that when people see me in costume and make-up that they are seeing All clowns.

B.    When in or out of make-up and costume, I will conduct myself in a gentleman/ ladylike manner.

C.    I will keep my acts, performance and behavior in good taste while I am in costume and make-up.  I will remember that a good clown entertains others by making fun of himself/ herself and not at the expense or embarrassment of others.

D.    I will always try to remain in character while in make-up and costume as a clown.

E.     I will abstain from alcoholic beverages or smoking before and during participation in any public clown appearance.

F.     I will maintain the highest clown standards of make-up, costuming, properties and comedy as a member of RNB.

G.     I will support my fellow clowns in their clowning endeavors.

H.    I will continue to further my clown education.

I.       I will endeavor to keep my show fresh and current.

J.      I will fulfill all commitments on time.

K.    I will respect all people and their opinions, even when I disagree with that opinion.  I will not make derogatory comments regarding other clowns, individuals or organizations.

L.     Second offense results in probationary status for one (1) year.


Red Nose Brigade Make-Up and Costume Standards Policy

A.    Gloves are an essential part of the clown costume and should be worn during clown activities.  It is recognized that there are circumstance under which wearing gloves could interfere with performance, i.e. face painting, magic, and balloons.  In these cases, when feasible, half gloves are recommended.  In all cases, gloves should be clean, well maintained and appropriate to your clown character.

B.    Shoes should be worn always when clowning.  Shoes should be clean, well maintained and coordinate with your costume.

C.    Accessories worn should compliment the costume and be appropriate for your character.

D.    See Appendix B for RNB descriptions of Clowns and Alternate Classes.

E.     Wig – if a wig is worn, it should be clean, neatly maintained and complimentary to your clown character.

F.     Make-up should be neatly applied, well patted and powdered.  All parts of the face and neck not covered by wig and/or costume should be covered by make-up.

G.    Costumes should be coordinated, clean maintained, and appropriate to your clown character.  Legs and arms should be covered by costume or other appropriate apparel.  Whiteface clowns should be completely covered by their costumes.  Auguste and Hobo clowns should use tasteful discretion in costuming.

H.    Cleanliness – good personal hygiene practice must be observed and followed.