All current and potential “Friends of the Ballard Institute” are invited to a meeting at the Depot Campus on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m., to talk about new activities at the Ballard Institute and how volunteers can help the Institute operate its museum, maintain its collection, and take part in special events promoting the knowledge of puppetry.
Bell says the Nov. 17 meeting will let interested community members know what new collections and programs are being planned for the Ballard Institute, and will explain how area volunteers can help.
“The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry has been created, developed, and maintained by dedicated volunteers from all over Connecticut,” Bell says.
“We want to invite current and prospective volunteers to help us spread the word about puppets to local, national, and international audiences.”
The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry is the home of thousands of puppets from around the world.
Its collection includes works by great American puppeteers, including Frank Ballard, Rufus and Margo Rose, Bil Baird, Tony Sarg, Marjorie Batchelder, Jero Magon, Charles Ludlam, and Bart Roccoberton.
The Institute’s current exhibit, Shadow and Substance, includes shadow puppets from Indonesia, China, Thailand, India, and France, as well as historical and contemporary shadow figures from this country.
“People all across the United States, in Europe, Latin America, and Asia know about the Ballard Institute and UConn’s Puppet Arts Program,” says John Bell, director of the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry.
“Ironically, many people in the central Connecticut area don’t know much about us at all, and we would like to change that by raising our profile.”
Volunteers may take part in the following activities:
- Museum guides: greet and guide visitors to the Ballard Museum;
- Ballard Institute archives: identify and help catalogue puppets, documents, and other historical objects in the Institute collection.
- Museum store: help organize and maintain the popular museum store.
- Exhibitions: help organize, research, design, and build puppet exhibitions.
- Hands-on development: get your hands dirty and help build, schlep, paint, and otherwise keep up with the many physical tasks the Institute requires.
- Special events – help design and create performances, lectures, meetings, receptions, and other special events at the Ballard Institute.
- Fund raising: help organize fund-raising events and strategies to support the Institute’s work.