No strings attached! It’s puppet fun for all

Free community workshops to build giant puppets for RH bicentennial parade

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Local artists Sophia Michahelles and Alex Kahn will conduct two weeks of free “story-building” workshops to create giant puppets for the Red Hook Bicentennial Community Heritage Day parade on July 14, at historic Montgomery Place.

The workshops are geared toward adults and teenagers, but everyone is welcome. Participants may drop in for as long or as short a time as their creativity, energy and schedules permit over the two weeks, which begin on Sat. June 30.

Michahelles and Kahn are internationally acclaimed puppeteers best known locally as the creative force behind Rhinebeck’s annual Sinterklaas parade of whimsical Christmas-time creatures. They specialize in using processions as a means for communities like Red Hook to reflect upon their unique aspects.

“We want people to lend us their stories as well as their hands,” Michahelles said. “The fun is having lots of people working together to create a story of Red Hook in solid form and color – like an old-fashioned barn raising.”

“Vivid, everyday examples are what make a parade larger than life,” Kahn added.

The workshops will be held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 57 South Broadway, in the village of Red Hook, and are scheduled from noon until 6pm on the weekends of June 30 and July 1 as well as July 7 and 8. During the week, the workshops will run from 2pm until 8pm, Monday, July 2 through Friday, July 6, and Monday, July 9 through July 13.

For further information, contact Carol Wagner, volunteer coordinator, at rhpuppets@gmail.com. Or go to www.redhook200.org.

This project is made possible (in part) through a grant from the Dutchess County Arts Council, administrator of public funds through the New York State Council on the Arts’ Decentralization Program, and is sponsored by the Egbert Benson Historical Society of Red Hook Bicentennial Celebration Committee.

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