Monday, May 4, 2015

Center for Puppetry Arts’ Museum Expansion in Full Force!

Serving as a cultural landmark in Atlanta for more than 35 years, the Center for Puppetry Arts is an inspiration to all ages through the art and traditions of puppetry.  As the highly anticipated expansion and renovation project comes to fruition, the Center is unveiling previously unreleased details on its Global Collection gallery in their new permanent museum exhibition, Worlds of Puppetry.  The gallery will be comprised of more than 170 puppets and artifacts, spanning five continents and showcasing various cultures across the world. Slated to open in fall 2015, the completed Museum will also include the Jim Henson Collection gallery, which will be the nation’s most comprehensive exhibit of Jim Henson’s artifacts.

“In our soon-to-open Global Collection gallery, visitors will be able to connect with their past through cultural and ethnic traditions exemplified,” said Executive Director Vincent Anthony.  “Center patrons will soon have the chance to explore even more puppets of Asia, the Americas, Europe, and Africa, as well as to understand their use in teaching and as tools of communication.”

The Global Collection gallery will be organized by continent, allowing Center guests to absorb a wide array of information offered via the rich and contextual displays.  The gallery will engage creative minds as scenic displays and hands-on interactives provide context and encourage patrons to immerse themselves in puppetry traditions from around the world.

Highlights of the Global Collection include the popular stop-motion clay animated Gumby and Pokey, as well as examples of the iconic European hand puppets Punch and Judy.  Developed as prototypes for the Broadway production of Disney’s The Lion King, Julie Taymor’s Mufasa mask will join the Scar mask as part of the exhibit’s animal collection. The North American section of the Global Collection will also include a marionette from popular 20th century puppeteer Bil Baird.  Of the more than 170 puppets and artifacts to be displayed in the exhibit, two pieces date back to the Pre-Columbian era, making them the oldest pieces in the Center’s collection.  Also included are Bunraku puppets from Japan, water puppets from Vietnam, and shadow puppets from Indonesia.

Finished with the groundbreaking stages of development, the Center is now nearing completion of the steel frame and will soon begin constructing the roof and exterior walls.  Other aspects of the project include an expanded Museum Store, a new library, and a new archival storage space.

The Center for Puppetry Arts will remain open throughout the expansion and renovation process.  Current museum exhibits will close May 25 for construction, but performances and workshops will continue.  The grand opening of the new museum is set for this fall.  Information on supporting the Believe in Make Believe campaign is available online at


The Center for Puppetry Arts is supported in part by: Fulton County Arts Council • City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs • Georgia Council for the Arts • Zeist Foundation • The Wish Foundation Fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta • PNC •  Aetna Foundation • The Coca-Cola Foundation • Regency Suites Hotel • WSB-TV Family 2 Family Project • YP • For a complete list of the Center’s major supporters, visit
Center for Puppetry Arts® is a unique cultural treasure – a magical place where children and adults are educated, enlightened, and entertained. Since 1978, the Center has introduced millions of visitors to the wonder and art of puppetry and has touched the lives of many through enchanting performances, curriculum-based workshops, and the hands-on Museum as well as Distance Learning and Outreach programs. Center for Puppetry Arts is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization and is supported in part by contributions from corporations, foundations, government agencies, and individuals. Major funding is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners and the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. These programs are also supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Center is a member of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre; Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA/USA/ASSITEJ); and International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY).The Center also serves as headquarters of UNIMA-USA, the American branch of Union Internationale de la Marionnette, the international puppetry organization.

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