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.

“Access to Puppetry for Native, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color” Forum with Chamindika Wanduragala on 5/13 at 7 p.m. ET

For its final online installment of the 2021 Spring Puppet Forum Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will host “Access to Puppetry for Native, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color,” with Chamindika Wanduragala on Thursday, May 13 at 7 p.m. ET. This forum will take place on Facebook Live ( and will be available afterwards on Facebook and the Ballard Institute YouTube Channel ( 
Puppetry in the United States has often not been able to reach out to wider communities of performers and audiences, especially in terms of training new puppeteers. But Chamindika Wanduragala, a Sri Lankan American puppeteer, filmmaker, and DJ, has created and directs Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to support Native, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color puppeteers to develop the creative and technical means to tell new stories through puppetry. Join us for this fascinating discussion with Wanduragala about Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop, how it creates access to puppetry, and its processes for doing so. This forum is co-sponsored by the UConn Asian American Cultural Center.
Chamindika Wanduragala is a Sri Lankan American puppet artist/stop motion filmmaker with a visual arts background, and a DJ (DJ Chamun). She loves transporting people to another world through puppetry and music. Chamindika is the founder and Executive/Artistic Director of Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop, which supports Native, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in developing creative and technical skills in contemporary puppetry.  Chamindika’s work has been supported by the Henson Foundation, Jerome Foundation, the Twin Cities Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, and Minnesota State Arts Board; and her last puppet theater production was presented by Pillsbury House Theatre. You can see her work (and hear some playlists!) at
For more information and to learn about other online programming, visit or email 

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