10th Annual Kalevala Puppet Pageant

FREE Community Street Theatre Performances!

10th Annual Kalevala Puppet Pageant

The Cultural Center in New York Mills announces its 10th annual Kalevala Puppet Pageant large-scale street theater performances on Friday August 17 at 7 p.m. in NYM and Saturday August 18 at 3 p.m. in Perham.

The Puppet Pageant workshops began on August 6th and since then, more than 25 community members have been working to build large-scale puppets and props to prepare for the 10th annual Puppet Pageant performances. Dance, music, acting, costume design, performance skills, and stilt walking have been taught by Anne Sawyer, Creative Director and Puppeteer from Minneapolis, who has worked with In the Heart of the Beast, Artstart, Chicks on Sticks, and Lifeworks, along with Assistant Director Lisa Winter of Wadena.

Each year, an original play is written by Sawyer based on characters and tales from the Kalevala, the Finnish book of legends. This year’s performance tells “The Tale of Ukko the Thunder God.”

In old Finland, Ukko the Thunder God and All-Father values hospitality and kindness. One day he goes in disguise as a beggar to the halls of the Witch of Pohjola. He asks for food and shelter for his family. Despite her magic and her wealth, the Witch refuses him. So the Thunder God decides to teach her a lesson she won’t forget.

Audience members have two opportunities to see the Pageant this year: first in New York Mills (following the NYM Civic & Commerce Corn Feed) at the NYM VFW Post 3289 on Friday, August 17th at 7:00 p.m., and the second in Perham (during Pioneer Days) at the Pioneer Grounds on Saturday, August 18th at 3:00 p.m. Both performances are free to attend, very family friendly, and open to all.

The Cultural Center would like to thank the many business and individual donors and volunteers for their essential contributions to the Puppet Pageant, especially major event sponsors including New York Mills Civic & Commerce Association, Goose Gang, Perham Rotary, Grieger Dental, and LRAC—“This activitiy is made possible, in part, by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Lake Region Arts Council (LRAC), thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage fund.”

Call the Cultural Center at 218-385-3339 with questions, to volunteer, or to donate. All contributions are appreciated and necessary to bring this vibrant community project to life!

The Cultural Center in New York Mills is a rural hub for creativity, community vitality, and lifelong learning in the arts. We offer visitors intimate opportunities to encounter art and artists in our 80-seat concert listening room, two galleries in a historic building, a gift store featuring local artists, an artist residency program, a sculpture park, and a variety of opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive. Since our incorporation in 1990, we have been passionate about connecting people to artists and rich cultural experiences in rural Minnesota, celebrating the local and being a window to the world.

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