We are a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and providing (affordable) fine arts opportunities for youth and families in the community. We offer after school and evening classes in art, youth choir, theater, drawing, puppetry, and photography. We also offer a variety of community activities including: theater productions, puppet story time for preschoolers, periodic concerts, a Puppet Museum with special family activity times, puppetry workshops in the schools, monthly Open Mike nights and great recital space for piano and music teachers.
World of Puppetry Museum
2:00 to 5:00 pm
(and by appointment)
The World of Puppetry Museum was opened in 2000 and has continued to grow with new exhibits on the art and history of puppetry. People have been making puppets since we have had written history, notes Susan Neidert, Fine Arts Center director. In a world where most people were not literate, puppets were used to convey religious and public messages as well as to entertain. In China puppets preceded live theater, so later actors wore elaborate masks to appear as puppets. Shadow puppets may have been among the first example of puppets. The World of Puppetry Museum has a variety of puppets, old and new, domestic and foreign. Different kinds of puppets are made all over the world, and examples of puppets and marionettes from Indonesia, Burma, Africa, India, Czechoslovakia, Nepal and a Chinese silk hand puppet join the familiar Kermit and Lamb Chop in the museum. A 1930s marionette and a 1940-50 Howdy Doody puppet set are found in the show cases, along with variations on the old Punch and Judy shows popular in England. Both adults and children alike will recognize characters from The Sound of Music and fairy tales.
Puppets are great story tellers. They can also tell us alot about ourselves, how we feel, or entertain us with music and dance. Hands on exhibits at the World of Puppetry Museum include a barrel full of loveable hand puppets and a large mirror to perform in front of, a few boxes of marionettes where you can pull the strings, and a shadow stage complete with instructions on hand shaped shadows and a couple sets of stories like the three bears or the three little pigs. Or you can try your hand at making your own puppet craft. All activities are free, but donations are welcome.