FREE Celebrate Mansfield Puppet-Building Workshops on 9/18 and 9/19!


The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry will once again offer fall community puppet-building workshops to design and build life-size and over-life-size puppets for a new Beetles, Bittersweet, and Butterflies Species Change Pageant to be performed at the Celebrate Mansfield Festival in Downtown Storrs. These free workshops will take place Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 18 and 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day at the Ballard Institute, located at 1 Royce Circle in Downtown Storrs.

In collaboration with Joshua’s Trust, the theme for this year's Ballard Institute community pageant for the Celebrate Mansfield Festival is CLIMATE CHANGE – it’s not just about us humans! Climate change is affecting many plant and animal species – including here in Connecticut. Working together, workshop participants will create over-life-sized masks and puppets representing insects, trees, birds, and other species that are being affected by the changing climate in Connecticut, and think about how we can help counteract this change as a community. These puppets and masks will then be part of the Beetles, Bittersweet, and Butterflies Species Change Pageant, to be performed in Betsy Paterson Square at the Celebrate Mansfield Festival on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 3 p.m.

No experience is necessary to participate in these free community puppet-building workshops. Registration is required and space is limited, so participants must register in advance. To comply with UConn safety guidelines, masks are required for all attendees and staff ages two and up at all times. Social distancing will be encouraged and materials will be sanitized between time slots. Participants are encouraged to be vaccinated, monitor their health, perform hand hygiene, and maintain 6 feet distancing if unvaccinated.

Participants can come for one or both days, but must register for the 10 a.m. to 1p.m. or/and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. time slot(s). Minors must be accompanied by an adult. To register for the workshop, visit If you require accommodation to participate, contact the Ballard Institute at or 860-486-8580. 

This community puppet project is sponsored by the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut, Joshua’s Trust, and the Mansfield Downtown Partnership, Inc. For more information about the 18th Annual Celebrate Mansfield Festival, visit

The Mansfield Downtown Partnership is an independent, non-profit organization comprised of the Town of Mansfield, the University of Connecticut, and individual business members and residents. The Partnership seeks to foster the continued development, management, and promotion of Downtown Storrs. For more information about the Partnership, visit

Joshua’s Trust is a nonprofit and largely volunteer conservation organization that protects more than 4,500 acres in Northeastern Connecticut. For more information, visit


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