The Ballard Institute To Offer Free Tours As Part Of Statewide CT Open House Day Today

The Ballard Institute To Offer Free Tours As Part Of Statewide CT Open House Day TodayThe Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will participate in the 14th Annual Connecticut Open House Day - a unified celebration of the state's fascinating world of art, history, and tourism - on June 9, 2018. During this one-day event, the Ballard Institute will offer free tours at 1 and 3 p.m. of its current exhibitions: The World of Puppetry: From the Collections of the Ballard Institute and American Puppet Modernism: The Early 20th Century, which features rare performance sculptures by famed Connecticut artist Alexander Calder.

On Connecticut Open House Day, more than 200 other organizations and attractions throughout the state will open their doors and offer special incentives to visitors. This exciting statewide event, sponsored by the Connecticut Office of Tourism (COT), is designed to broaden awareness among residents of Connecticut's exceptional cultural and tourism assets and encourage them to become ambassadors who share their newfound discoveries with visiting family and friends.

The Ballard Institute's free tours at 1 and 3 p.m. will feature these current exhibitions:

  • The World of Puppetry: From the Collections of the Ballard Institute showcases an array of different puppets carefully selected from the Ballard Institute collections to reflect the amazing richness of global puppet traditions and contemporary innovations in puppetry. The exhibition includes an array of hand puppets, marionettes, rod puppets, toy theaters, and shadow figures from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, with particular attention to twentieth-century United States puppetry.
  • American Puppet Modernism: The Early 20th Century (Closing on July 1!) celebrates the puppet revival that developed across the United States in 1920s and 30s. Inspired by the European avant-garde; Asian, African, and Latin American performance; the vibrant culture of American cities; and the possibilities of such new technologies as film; puppeteers, artists, and writers decided that puppetry was an ideal medium for representing modern life. From cross-country touring shows to giant inflatable street puppets, avant-garde operas, and other ground-breaking innovations, Americans rediscovered and redefined puppetry in ways that still guide the form today. American Puppet Modernism: The Early 20th Century, curated by Ballard Institute Director John Bell, includes Alexander Calder's famous moving sculptures for his 1936 production of Socrate at Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum, as well as works by Tony Sarg, Margo and Rufus Rose, Ralph Chessé, Marjorie Batchelder, Martin and Olga Stevens, Bil Baird, Frank and Elizabeth Haines, Modicut Puppet Theater, the Yale Puppeteers, Irving and Minna Reizes, and Hazelle Rollins.


To qualify for any Open House Day special, at least one person in each visiting group must show a valid Connecticut driver's license. Connecticut Open House Day also includes opportunities to become a Connecticut Ambassador as part of COT's Ambassador Program, an ongoing initiative designed to cultivate pride among residents in the state's many diverse historic, arts, tourism and entertainment treasures. For more information about Connecticut Open House Day, visit www.CTvisit.com or call 1-888-CTvisit.

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry is open Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visitors can park in the Storrs Center Garage located at 33 Royce Circle. Parking in the Storrs Center Garage is free for the first two hours and $1 per hour thereafter, with a daily maximum charge of $8. For more information about museum exhibitions or programming, visit bimp.uconn.edu or call 860-486-8580. If you require an accommodation to participate in this event, please contact Ballard Institute staff at 860-486-8580 or bimp@uconn.edu by June 4.

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