Thank you, Fulton County Board of Commissioners and Fulton Arts and Culture!

Logo for Fulton County Arts and Culture with a tree image

Piccadilly Puppets is very grateful to the Fulton County Board of Commissioners for their support in 2020 through the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council!

Like the FCAC, we believe the arts are essential to the quality of life of our citizens and to the economic and social health of our communities – even during a pandemic.  The mission of the Fulton County Department of Arts and Culture is to insure all citizens’ access to the arts.  By supporting us financially, they are helping us bring our educational entertainment to every district of the county. We were able to do some small outdoor shows this summer for a very low fee, subsidized by our Contract for Arts Services funding, and we are continuing to find ways to reach the children of our county!

For more information on Fulton County Arts and Culture, including many virtual events, exhibits, classes, please visit their website: http://www.fultonarts.org/

Piccadilly Puppets celebrates Arts in Education Week!

A group of Kindergarten students holing shadow puppets they made in a workshop
Kindergarten students in a shadow puppet workshop

Whether you are a student, educator, parent, or principal, you can find a way to celebrate the arts in education during National Arts in Education Week.

The arts are an essential part of a complete education, no matter if it happens in the home, school, or community. Students of all ages benefit from artistic learning, innovative thinking, and creativity. Celebrating National Arts in Education Week is a way to recognize this impact and share the message with friends, family, and communities.

Right now, many schools are virtual or limited in how they hold classes, and it might be easier to put off arts education “until things get better”. Schools need to spend money on masks and cleaning and maybe running more busses, and money for the arts just might not seem as important, but for some children, the arts are everything!

We salute artists that are stretching themselves creatively to find new ways to give performances for young audiences. We salute teachers who are spending twice as much time developing lessons to give virtually. We encourage schools and other organizations to be open to new ideas for bringing the arts to all of your students.

  • Arts education promotes academic achievement: A 2020 study of over 112,000 students showed that “highly engaged instrumental music students were, on average, academically over one year ahead of their peers.”
  • Arts education advances social and emotional development.
  • Arts education reduces disciplinary infractions: A recent study showed that arts education experiences reduce the proportion of students in school receiving disciplinary infractions by 3.6%.
  • Stay enrolled and graduate: Low-income students who are highly engaged in the arts are twice as likely to graduate college as their peers with no arts education.

Every school day needs arts education!

The puppet van is no longer available, but we are still performing outdoors, indoors and virtually!

Unfortunately, we had an accident in the puppet van. No puppets or puppeteers were harmed, but due to its age and high mileage, our insurance company declared the van a total loss. We’re sorry to say that we cannot offer shows from the back of the van for the near future. We do offer almost all of our shows outdoors, though, and Atlanta weather in the fall is usually great, so bring us to your birthday party, childcare, etc! We can also do virtual shows or lessons for schools and religious groups even if you are not meeting in person.

Shows are happening, outdoors & in!

We are doing live shows for small groups! We can set up one of our regular puppet shows from our Shows page, or just perform our Pop-up Puppets variety show right out of the Puppet Van. We are also doing shows inside for daycares. We are offering special COVID-19 pricing throughout the summer and possibly into the fall.

We have two shows available online now, also! You can arrange for your group or your family to watch Butterfly Ballad or Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors.

Keep watch on our Facebook page for upcoming free short videos. We will be offering Fabulous Fable Fridays every week in August at 10:00 am!

See our previous post for additional ideas and information.

Virtual Offerings Coming Soon!

We are working on our virtual offerings, while still hoping to be providing some in-person appearances soon! If you have ideas of something you’d like to see Piccadilly Puppets doing, use the Contact form to let us know!

Some things in the works:

Recorded shows: We are choosing a few of our shows, the ones that don’t rely heavily on live audience participation or reaction, to put online. Butterfly Ballad is already on Youtube, unlisted. Your organization can pay for the link to share with your students, campers, library families, etc. Fees are negotiable at the moment. We have not yet set a cost for individuals to view but we can make that happen.

Live Zoom calls: Included with the fee for your group to watch a prerecorded show will be a live puppetry demonstration so the children can ask questions and interact AND/OR a live workshop to make a puppet using ordinary household materials. You can also have a workshop without the show.

Puppet van Driveway show: We can bring the puppet van to your driveway and perform for a small group of kids from the neighborhood who are staying 6 feet apart. One way to do this would be to put blankets down so the children know where to sit. You can live stream this to other friends for a virtual birthday party. If your kids are spending too much time in front of a screen, the puppets can lead a dance party!

These are just some possibilities we are considering. We are still trying to figure these things out creatively. Give us a call and let us know your needs, and we can talk them through!

Thank you to the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs!

round logo that says Resurgens Atlanta and has a phoenix in the middle

At times like these, grant money can sustain an organization like ours! We received funding through Atlanta’s Contracts for Arts Services program for 2019-20. We will not be able to provide as many shows and workshops in Atlanta as we hoped due to being shut down this spring, but the funds will help keep us running until we can start performing again! These funds help make the arts accessible to Atlanta children by helping us to keep our fees low while still traveling to districts all over the city.

Hammer and Pliers puppets over backdrop
The Hammer & Pliers from Imagination Station at Bright Horizons in Midtown

Puppets at home

The puppet van sits empty and our puppets are quiet in their suitcases, waiting for a chance to perform again. It’s sad to see all of the dates on the calendar marked through with cancellations, but we are working on other things, like website updates, puppet repairs, organizing workshop materials, etc. We are posting on Facebook everyday: spotlighting shows, sharing links to puppet-making and a few of our own video clips. We will be spotlighting our puppeteers, too!

https://www.facebook.com/Piccadilly-Puppets-147488648621832/

Instagram: #piccadillypuppetsatl

We hope we will be performing again by June (dare we hope for May?), so if you’d like to schedule a show for the summer, please give us a call! We won’t require a deposit, so if your event gets cancelled or postponed, you’ll still be fine. (404)636-0022

See you when we can!

World Water Day March 22 and Earth Day April 22

Piccadilly Puppets has environmentally-themed puppet shows for these special days!

Splish, Splash: Water Stories explores our most precious resource in a fun and educational way! Large hand-puppets are used in the Australian folktale of “Tiddalick the Frog” and the Creek legend “Rabbit Plays Tug-of-War,” which demonstrate that water is important to all cultures. The original shadow puppet piece, “The Adventures of Drip and Drop,” shows the water cycle from the point of view of the raindrops. As the closing song says, “Everybody needs a little water!”

Big green Tiddalick the Frog hand a rod puppet and blue Eel rod puppet posing in front of a lake
Splish, Splash: Water Stories

Developed for the opening of the Callaway Gardens Butterfly Center, Butterfly Ballad traces the metamorphosis of Katy and Kevin Caterpillar from egg to caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly. Join them on their fascinating migration to Mexico and marvel as they return to the United States to lay their eggs, beginning the life cycle all over again. The story, narrated by Mother Nature and performed with hand and rod puppets, culminates in a discussion of what each individual can do to maintain the balance of nature. Students learn a few Spanish words along the way; a bilingual version is available on request.

Mother Nature with Katy Butterfly from Butterfly Ballad
Mother Nature with Katy Butterfly from Butterfly Ballad

Remembering former Piccadilly Puppeteer Bobby Box

Bobby Box

Bobby Box was a puppeteer for Piccadilly Puppets for four or five years in the mid-late 1980’s. Originally from Arkansas, he moved to Atlanta after getting his master’s degree from Bowling Green State University and was active in the Atlanta theatre scene as well as in puppetry. He helped develop several of our productions as a puppeteer, most notably Body Shop, which received a Citation of Excellence from UNIMA (an international puppetry organization) in 1986. He also recorded voices for several shows that were performed for many years, and co-wrote ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, which we still perform today!

After leaving Piccadilly Puppets, Bobby worked at the Center for Puppetry Arts as a puppeteer and director for over a decade. He eventually married and moved to Washington state with his husband, Graham Kerr.

Bobby was talented, conscientious, kind, and well-loved by the puppetry community. He died January 21. We miss him.