The Center for Puppetry Arts is today’s guest on the Around Atlanta edition of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio! Marketing Director Daniel Summers, Jr. and Exhibitions Director Kelsey Fritz are on hand to discuss this arts center, which is dedicated to the ancient global art form of puppetry.
The center offers two performance spaces, including a main theater that seats more than 300 guests. It also offers education programs for student’s preschool age through master’s level in the form of workshops, lectures, classes and films.
In addition to offering performances and educational opportunities, the Center for Puppetry Arts also houses the world’s most comprehensive puppetry museum. The center is currently in the process of building a new museum, and it will feature two new galleries: the Jim Henson Collection and a global collections gallery. The Jim Henson gallery will house more than 100 puppets from his career, including Big Bird, Miss Piggy, Kermit the Frog, Oscar the Grouch and characters from Fraggle Rock. The new global collection will feature items from puppetry traditions in major cultures from around the world, including Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.
Other expansions and renovations designed to enhance to experience that are underway at the Center for Puppetry Arts include renovations of the ticket office and atrium area, upgrades to the paint and carpet, and the installation of a library and a an elevator, which will make the theater more ADA accessible. The full extent of the renovations and expansion are slated to be complete in fall 2015.
As the world’s largest nonprofit dedicated to puppetry, the center operates off of donations and contributions. Its largest fundraising event is the String Fling Gala, which typically raises more than $200,000. This allows the center to partially or fully fund more than 70,000 visits as part of the field trip sponsorship program! This year’s event will include both silent and live auctions, puppet appearances and more. To be held Sept. 12, 2015 at the Buckhead Hyatt, the event is a fun, ticketed, black tie-optional affair that is considered one of the most fun charity galas of the year!
When asked what was his favorite part about working at the Center for Puppetry Arts, Daniel stated that he loves the constant laughter and watching young children light up as they are exposed to and discover something completely unique and different.
Upcoming shows at the center include Rainforest Adventures, an original production that has become one of the center’s most popular plays. It has minimal dialogue and highlights a day in the rainforest at one particular watering hole. Coming in February and geared for teens and adults is Anne Frank: Within and Without, a tabletop-style play that tells the young girl’s remarkable story.
Daniel cautions that anyone planning to attend a performance should be sure to purchase their tickets well in advance, as shows typically sell out. Those who attend performances regularly or love to visit the museum may want to consider the center’s various membership opportunities that are available.
For more information on the Center for Puppetry Arts, listen to the full podcast above and then visit www.puppet.org.
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