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 Two-Day AntU Toy Theater Workshop, 10/5-10/6

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The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut, in conjunction with UConn’s Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History, will offer a free two-day community puppet workshop on Oct. 5 and 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to design and build short toy theater shows about army ants and their associated species (their “guests”). The toy theaters created will be included in the new exhibition Army Ants and their Guests: Works Inspired by the Carl and Marian Rettenmeyer Collection, opening at the Ballard Institute on Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m. Participants will be invited to perform their toy theaters at the exhibition opening.

This workshop and the Army Ants and their Guests exhibit are part of AntU, a UConn endeavor designed to involve a variety of academic disciplines to engage a broad audience in the wonders of the complex biological systems of army ants and their hundreds of associated “guests”. The idea was borne out of an award from the National Science Foundation to UConn’s Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, in partnership with the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History to preserve and curate the Carl W. and Marian E. Rettenmeyer Army Ant Guest Collection. This world-class collection of over two million army ants and their guests is the result of 50 years of careful, detailed fieldwork in Central and South America by the Rettenmeyers. To learn more about AntU, visit web.uconn.edu/mnh/antu.

No experience is necessary to participate in this free community workshop, and all ages are invited. Participants must attend both days of the workshop from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A lunch break will be included; participants should provide their own lunch.

Participants will build toy theaters with students and faculty from UConn’s Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology in groups of three to four people. The toy theaters will be exhibited in the Army Ants and their Guests exhibition opening at the Ballard Institute on Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m. Some toy theater productions may be performed as part of the opening events.

Registration is required and is limited to 30 people. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. To register for the workshop, or if you require accommodation to participate, contact the Ballard Institute at bimp@uconn.edu or 860-486-8580.

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