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Fall Puppet Forum: “The Renaissance of African American Object Performance”

For its second online installment of the 2020 Fall Puppet Forum Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will host “The Renaissance of African American Object Performance” with noted puppeteers, artists, scholars Edna Bland, Paulette Richards, Schroeder Cherry, and Anwar Floyd-Pruitt on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. ET. This forum will take place on Facebook Live (facebook.com/BallardInstitute/) and will be available afterwards on Facebook and the Ballard Institute YouTube Channel (youtube.com/channel/UC3VSthEDnYS6ZjOwzT1DnTg).

African American puppetry and object performance is in a state of rapid and profound change. As the organizers of this Puppet Forum describe it, African American puppeteers are “part of a movement rediscovering the art of puppetry,” while at the same time the world of puppetry is discovering African American puppeteers. The Ballard Institute’s “Renaissance of African American Object Performance” Puppet Forum will bring together four prominent figures of the African American puppet revival to discuss how they are working to change the nature of puppetry in the U.S., and how American puppetry is beginning to recognize the work of Black puppeteers. The forum will also mark the release of the Ballard Institute’s “Living Objects: African American Puppetry” online catalogue of images, artist biographies, video documentation, and over twenty new essays, scripts, and interviews about African American puppetry, based on the Ballard Institute’s 2018-2019 exhibition, symposium, and festival of the same name. Moderated by educator, teaching artist and puppeteer Edna Bland, this forum is co-sponsored by the UConn Department of Art and Art History (art.uconn.edu/).

For more information and to learn about other online programming, visit bimp.uconn.edu or email bimp@uconn.edu.

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