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Community Puppet-Building Workshop & Puppet Pageant

Women's Suffrage Puppet Pageant

The show begins shortly after the 7:00 minute mark

One of the more unique traditions of the Celebrate Mansfield Festival is our Community Puppet-Building Workshop & Puppet Pageant. Everyone is welcome to participate in the free workshops and pageant!

In 2020, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry offered free online toy theater workshops to design and build scenes for a new Women’s Suffrage Puppet Pageant that was streamed on Saturday, September 26 at 4:00 PM on the Ballard Institute’s Facebook Live.

Participants in these free theater workshops built puppets and theaters and then learned to perform. They shared their work with other participants as part of the workshop.


The workshop participants then performed their short toy theater shows during the community Women’s Suffrage Puppet Pageant on Saturday, September 26 on the Ballard Institute's Facebook Live. You can view the complete show above!

bimp workshop 2020.jpeg

The theme for the 2020 Ballard Institute's Community Puppet Pageant for the Celebrate Mansfield Festival was a celebration of the women’s suffrage movement. The year 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment in the United States, which guarantees and protects women’s constitutional right to vote.


The Ballard Institute saw this anniversary as an opportunity to acknowledge the complex history of the women’s suffrage movement and leadership of women of color, Native women, working-class women, and immigrant women in the struggle for suffrage; as well as the movement’s intersections with abolitionism and other movements.


To honor this milestone the Ballard Institute celebrated women’s suffrage heroes and achievements around the world, including Ida B. Wells, Mabel Ping-Hua Lee, Jovita Idar, Zitkala-Sa, Isabella Beecher Hooker, Susan B. Anthony and others, noting the successes of the movement, and also its challenges in the face of racism and the strong forces opposed to suffrage.

This community puppet project is sponsored by the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut and the Mansfield Downtown Partnership, Inc.