Our Team
The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry is one of America’s hidden treasures—a superb collection of over 2,500 puppets from all over the world; an archive of books, manuscripts, posters, drawings, audio-visual materials and photographs all covering the history of puppetry. It is also the new home of the Puppeteers of America’s Audio-Visual Collection: the largest collection of videotapes, films, and other media about puppetry in the United States. The Ballard Institute curates and produces exhibitions of puppetry, both at the Ballard Museum and for touring across the United States. The Institute also offers workshops, museum tours, artists’ forums, film showings, performances, and other events and programs that promote the art of puppetry as a twenty-first-century art form with deep historic and global roots.

Dr. John Bell is a theater historian and puppeteer. He is the Director of the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry and an Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts, both at the University of Connecticut.

Dr. Paulette Richards is an Atlanta-based teaching artist. She holds a Ph.D. in French Civilization from the University of Virginia and currently serves as a docent at the Center for Puppetry Arts’ Worlds of Puppetry Museum.

Advisory Committee
Nehprii Amenii, Artistic Director, Khunum Productions, New York City
Dr. Schroeder Cherry, Puppeteer, Washington, D.C.
Dr. Gabrielle Civil, MFA Creative Writing Faculty, California Institute of the Arts, Santa Clarita
Dr. Frank Mitchell, Executive Director, Amistad Center for Art & Culture, Hartford
Valeska Populoh, Fiber Department, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore
Kelly Walters, Assistant Professor of Communication Design, Parsons School of Design, The New School, New York City

Partners and Sponsors 
The Zachs Family Foundation, Inc. and Judy Zachs
Department of Digital Media & Design, University of Connecticut
Dr. Clarissa Ceglio, Department of Digital Media and Design, University of Connecticut
University of Connecticut Humanities Institute
UConn Library

Special Acknowledgments

Dr. Anne D’Alleva, Dean, School of Fine Arts, University of Connecticut
Emily Wicks, Manager of Operations and Collections, Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry
Kalob Martinez, Programming and Education Assistant, Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry
Doug Neary, and Tony Malloy, UConn Library Information Technology Services
Marisol Ramos, Humanities and Social Sciences Librarian, UConn Libraries
Kristin Eshelman, Archives and Special Collections, UConn Libraries
Richard Termine, Richard Termine Photography
Dr. Willena Kimpson Price, Director, H. Fred Simons African American Cultural Center, University of Connecticut
Dr. Melina Pappademos, Interim Director, Africana Studies Institute
Dr. Fiona Vernal, Interim Associate Director, Africana Studies Institute
Bart. P. Roccoberton, Jr., Director, Puppet Arts Program, University of Connecticut
Paul Spirito, Puppet Arts Program Technical Supervisor
Abby Bosley, Ballard Institute Graduate Assistant
Katherine Folker, Ballard Institute Undergraduate Assistant
Brianna McNish, Ballard Institute Intern
Zakiyah Roach, Ballard Institute Intern
Student Workers of Ballard Institute: Emily Werner, Melanie Klimjack, Gaby Vital,
Hanaisha Lewis, Jacob Miller, Christa Kiedaisch, Margaux Ancel
Students of the UConn Puppet Arts Program: Robert Cutler, Matt Sorensen, Noel Williams, Kim Daniels, Maggie Flanagan,
Tracy Becker
Students of the UConn Digital Media and Design Department: Max Nonken, Shay Albert