Center For Puppetry Arts Will Reopen The Worlds Of Puppetry Museum
While theaters and workshops remain closed, the Center for Puppetry Arts is delighted to announce the re-opening of its Worlds of Puppetry Museum galleries on July 10, welcoming visitors back to The Jim Henson Collection Gallery and the Global Collection Gallery. On exhibit in the Jim Henson Gallery are some of the most iconic figures in puppetry and pop culture in the world including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and Big Bird. The Center's Global Collection is home to one of the largest collections of international puppets in the U.S. The re-opening will kick off with two exclusive Member-only preview days on July 8 and 9.
The facility is being equipped to meet the highest standards for public safety as outlined by the CDC and the Georgia Department of Public Health. New ticketing and cleaning procedures are being carried out to ensure that guests can safely visit the Center. In addition to frequent deep cleanings and an abundance of hand sanitizing stations, the Center is implementing ticketless entry and timed ticketing to ensure low density for safe distancing. All interactive elements in the Museum will be inaccessible to eliminate any potential exposure and guests will be required to wear masks for their safety and the safety of others.
While live puppet performances at the Center, in-person workshops and the Museum Store will remain closed for health and safety, the Center will continue to present a variety of online programs in addition to opening the Museum. Since its closure in March, the Center has produced more than 90 unique puppet shows, workshops, museum tours and other events reaching more than 200,000 people in 88 countries around world via Facebook and Zoom.
Building on this success, the Center will open its Digital Summer Season with Jack and the Beanstalk. This is the first in a series of live online puppet shows by David Stephens who will be a Guest Artist in residence throughout the fall. Stephen's company, All Hands Productions, is based in Atlanta. He has been performing his unique, humorous interpretations of classic fairy tales for more than 20 years around the metro-area and across the country. Stephens will be performing six live shows online from now until September. Individuals and groups are invited to purchase tickets and attend via the Zoom.
To accompany these online productions, the Center is offering online interactive Create-A-Puppet Workshops for children ages 4 & up. Each workshop is an opportunity to build a puppet based on the style of puppetry performed in the productions. The Create-A-Puppet Workshop designs are unique and customized to accompany each individual performance. Participants become puppet makers and puppeteers as they create and decorate a puppet and learn the basics of puppetry. Puppet kits are available from the Center's Etsy shop. Educational workshops in international puppetry, puppetry manipulation, and puppetry as theatre art are also available, as are workshops for preschoolers, private lessons and customized corporate experiences.
"We are excited to launch our summer programming with a mixture of virtual live performances, museum and educational events while we reopen the museum doors to our patrons. It is the passion of people that truly brings puppetry to life and we look forward to sharing our collections again," say Beth Schiavo, Executive Director of the Center for Puppetry Arts.
The Center is also thrilled to announce a new offerings from the Digital Learning department: Stories of Color: Music, Song, and Stories from the African Diaspora. This biweekly program will be led by Center Puppeteer and Teaching Artist Brian Harrison.
The Digital Learning department at the Center offers an array of curriculum-based workshops and puppet shows for groups year-round. This award-winning team has been a pioneer in the field of distance learning integrating puppets and puppetry into online workshops. The use of movement, interactive instruction, and puppet-building enhance instruction and retention of the subject matter. "It's one thing to be taught about butterflies, it's another thing to build a butterfly puppet based on the science you are learning," says Digital Learning Director, Sara Burmenko. "We believe children learn by doing and experiencing."