WE NEED YOUR HELP to bring our unique creative residencies to as many as 1000 children in 4 schools in socially and economically deprived areas. Every £25 will fund one child; £5000 will fund a whole week at a new school with 200+ children! £1000 funds an additional 2-day residency exploring the imagination and guiding children towards creating and delivering their own 'imagination workshops.'
YOUR DONATION will enable children to experience these transformative creative adventures. By way of thanks you can pick from our assortment of art adoption Rewards (see below). OR if you love what we do and would like to consider a monthly donation, check out our Patreon Page (and see more rewards!)
So, who are we? - Creation Myth Puppets is a charity that inspires children to animate world stories, realise their creative/collective potential and produce their own puppet-theatre productions. We take children on unique learning journeys, engaging with world cultures through their iconic stories. Each child makes a puppet character from the chosen story, then all the children devise, rehearse and perform their show to the school community. The quality of these shows is truly breathtaking.
Rehearsing meerkats in an African creation Myth, 'Nyame and The Sky Gods'
"It's an epic experience, bigger than a puppet show, there is more going on! It created a golden memory for the children. There was unadulterated happiness." - Teacher , Bradley Barton Primary, Devon
“It was better than Christmas” - Child from Bradley Barton Primary
By expanding our portfolio of schools we will be able to make 'The Imagination Laboratory' happen, and:
- Train new artists to deliver life-changing workshops
- Provide new resources, for schools and artists
- Employ a fundraiser
- Secure our future to benefit more children
- Create an exciting book of our wide ranging puppets and the world myths we use.
'The Imagination Laboratory" - our all-embracing project for 2017-18 - is all about children advocating the importance of using our imaginations. This Laboratory will expand the impact of our residencies, enabling children to find expression to the question "What is imagination and why is it important?"
The Imagination Laboratory will create:
- A secure online forum for children to discuss The Imagination and express themselves.
- Workshops devised and run by children.
- New stories written and performed by children
- Research, archiving and curation by children
- Questions posed by children
- Material for the final 'Our Imagination" Festival which will be created and run by children.
If we reach our primary target of £12,000 we will be able to deliver two new shows to two new schools plus two Imagination Laboratory residencies. But we do not need to stop there! With your help we could double this and bring unique creative residencies and Imagination Laboratories to nearly a thousand children at four disadvantaged schools.
"Culture is where we live our shared mental lives. We need a way of understanding this habitat, of treating it with the respect and care it deserves" - Brian Eno.
"Creativity is national income" - Joseph Beuys
Below is a video of a whole show made by 200 children aged 7 - 11 in a week:
"The children remember what they have achieved and imagine greater possibilities. There is an emotional investment from the whole school. Magic happens. " - Headteacher, Lakenham Primary School Norwich
Our Story and Vision
Creation Myth Puppets (Charity No 1157652), led by Artistic Director Tony Gee, is built upon 30 years of providing over 40,000 children with the means to make spectacular shows while exploring stories from diverse cultures. Here’s how it happened:
About thirty years ago Tony had a peculiar daydream. It went something like this. He imagined half a dozen puppeteers running simultaneous workshops to set the world record for the Biggest Puppet Show on Earth. And so, over 200 people of all ages in 7 coordinated workshops created a show called The Guests of Chance, performed on the same day to another 200 people. It was magnificent. So magnificent that Tony started to dream about how this format could be transferred to schools….
So it happened that before long a school asked Tony if he could make a big show with 150 children that was based on an African story of his choice. Tony chose a West African Creation Myth: the story of Nyame the sky god who loved to create; of the sky spirits who lived in his tummy; and the reason why each child is different, beautiful and unique. As the children created and performed their show across a week, they transformed into visible shining orbs, so happy with what they had done. There was deep magic at play and Tony set out to try and understand that magic and harness it.
The years passed. Many shows, many schools, many stories. Many interactions with different cultures and ways of knowing, from artist gatherings to tipi meetings of native Americans, to International Congresses, to the Royal College of Arts. And Tony began to wonder: how could this particular magic be best sustained beyond his own working life? Twenty years after that first appearance of Nyame in Tony’s world, another group in a Richmond school created and performed the story anew to their parents. The parents were so moved that they donated money for other schools to have the same experience. And with this impetus, Creation Myth Puppets Charity began with a simple vision: to spread the magic of imaginative hands-on creativity to more children, so that they also can exceed their expectations and make quality pieces of theatre – theatre that is authentically theirs.
It is to achieve this that we need to increase our capacity as an organization. The demand is there but we need to train more artists and work with more schools. And vitally, we are going to create a project that facilitates the children we work with to research what imagination means to them. We will create a safe online forum, run special workshops and facilitate some children to create their own workshops. Then their work will be showcased in a Festival of Imagination.
With your help, the Imagination Laboratory will take us on our way to achieving this vision.
With puppets anything is possible” - Alex, Age 8.
£5 - THANK YOU! Your kind donation will oil the wheels of creativity - we will give you a personal shout of thanks on on our social media pages.
£15 - ADOPT A PUPPET! Now we're really talking! We will send you a beautiful adoption certificate specially designed for your favourite animal puppet chosen from our list - one of the wonderful stars of our shows!
£25 - ADOPT A GOD! Your donation has given a child a creative journey! To say thank you, we will send you a beautiful adoption certificate specially designed for the deity of your chosen creation myth. These beings are the creative force behind the stories we teach children, the makers of the worlds and characters we explore.
£50 - ADOPT A SHOW! We will send you a beautiful adoption certificate that encompasses the themes and characters of your chosen show. You will also receive a special original illustration print inspired by the show of your choice. Thank you! These shows will be made possible through your generous donation.
£100 - ADOPT A CONTINENT! Your super generous donation makes it possible for our work to reach many children, and gives us a real chance of taking the charity forward in the coming year. For £100 or more, we will send you a beautiful framed adoption certificate featuring the themes and characters that feature in our creation myths from the continent of your choice, plus a beautiful original illustration print based on that continent.
£250 - ADOPT THE WORLD!! Quite simply, you change lives by making our work possible. Your generosity will bring unique creative experiences to 100 children. For £250 or more we will send you a beautifully illustrated adoption certificate that encompasses all we do. Additionally choose between 3 limited edition prints based on 3 different continents of our shows OR a personal hand-made puppet of your choice from our extensive portfolio.
"Original thought and respect for originality of others must surely lie at the heart, not just of creativity, but also individuality - our only chance of twenty-first century escape from zombie-ness." - Prof. Susan Greenfield