In February and March 2018, we were invited to lead a two-week giant puppet workshop in Santa Barbara, California. With the support of the Squire Foundation, Santa Barbara Community Arts Workshop and Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration, we worked with a dozen local artist to make 2 new giant puppets which are now owned by that community. We worked from design to build and took them into performance for a puppet festival parade.
As this community was still recovering from wild fires and flash floods which occurred a few months before the workshop, the group decided to make a phoenix puppet and a Fire Rescue service dog.
Since the workshops, the puppets have been in the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade (performed by actual Fire Rescue volunteers) and the Ojai Forth of July Parade where they won first prize!
After our workshop, a few of the artists used the same techniques they learned and made an ensemble of dinosaur giant puppets for the Summer Solstice Parade:
“We could not have realized this wackadoodle vision without your workshop. I’ve wanted to put dinosaurs in the parade as long as I’ve been involved and John had been wanting to move away from big hulking floats and try more puppets. It was just perfect. Connecting with the crowd was beyond amazing for everyone involved…. Much love and thanks to you and Kathy for your skill and inspiration!” Claire, workshop participant