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School of Fine ArtsBallard Institute and Museum of Puppetry
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The University of Connecticut (UConn) is a public research university in the U.S. state of Connecticut. UConn was founded in 1881 and is a Land Grant and Sea Grant college & member of the Space Grant Consortium. The university serves more than 30,000 students on its six campuses, including more than 8,000 graduate students in multiple programs.

Free Museum Tours for CT Open House Day on 6/10!

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The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will participate in the 13th Annual Connecticut Open House Day – a unified celebration of the state’s fascinating world of art, history, and tourism – on June 10, 2017. During this one-day event, the Ballard Institute will offer free tours at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. of its current exhibitions: The World of Puppetry: From the Collections of the Ballard Institute and Banners and Cranks: Paintings and Scrolls in Performance.

On Connecticut Open House Day, more than 200 other organizations and attractions throughout the state will open their doors and offer special incentives to visitors. This exciting statewide event, sponsored by the Connecticut Office of Tourism (COT), is designed to broaden awareness among residents of Connecticut’s exceptional cultural and tourism assets and encourage them to become ambassadors who share their newfound discoveries with visiting family and friends.

The Ballard Institute’s free tours at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. will feature these current exhibitions:

  • The World of Puppetry: From the Collections of the Ballard Institute showcases an array of different puppets carefully selected from the Ballard Institute collections to reflect the amazing richness of global puppet traditions and contemporary innovations in puppetry. The exhibition includes an array of hand puppets, marionettes, rod puppets, toy theaters, and shadow figures from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, with particular attention to twentieth-century United States puppetry.
  • Banners and Cranks: Paintings and Scrolls in Performance (Closing on June 11!): Cantastorias and crankies are forms of sung picture story-telling that trace their origins to sixth-century India. These paintings mounted on sticks, flipped over and revealed, or unfurled on scrolls and moved by means of a crank are performing object precursors to the popular puppet traditions of many countries. Despite the prominence of new technologies in popular culture, an innovative dynamic engagement with the simple mechanical cranky and cantastoria has blossomed among young puppet theater companies, activist educators, folk musicians, visual artists, playwrights, and students who infuse this old form with diverse new content and bold variations in technique.

To qualify for any Open House Day special, at least one person in each visiting group must show a valid Connecticut driver’s license. Connecticut Open House Day also includes opportunities to become a Connecticut Ambassador as part of COT’s Ambassador Program, an ongoing initiative designed to cultivate pride among residents in the state’s many diverse historic, arts, tourism and entertainment treasures. For more information about Connecticut Open House Day, visit www.CTvisit.com or call 1-888-CTvisit.

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry is open Tuesday-Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Visitors can park in the Storrs Center Garage located at 33 Royce Circle. Parking in the Storrs Center Garage is free for the first two hours and $1 per hour thereafter, with a daily maximum charge of $8. For more information about museum exhibitions or programming, visit bimp.uconn.edu or call 860.486.8580.

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