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  June 23, 2003

Ballard Institute Designated As State Puppetry Museum

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at UConn has been officially designated by the state legislature as Connecticut's state museum of puppetry.

The museum exists as a result of the work of Frank Ballard, professor emeritus of dramatic arts, as well as support from the School of Fine Arts and volunteers.

The collection started with puppets built by students under the direction of Ballard, for performances at UConn. Puppet theater productions of The Mikado, The Magic Flute, Peer Gynt, Kismet, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court are some of the works presented at UConn since 1968.

Over the years, the collections have grown exponentially through the donations of world-famous puppeteers and friends of Ballard. The museum now holds a valuable collection of puppets from around the world, many of which have historical significance.

The museum's new status is expected to increase its visibility and give it access to external grants and funding, opportunities shared by the The William Benton Museum of Art and the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History at UConn.