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Connecting through Performing Arts

Virtual ExchangeVirtual Exchange | Co-investigation Clusters Multicountry


Oral storytelling traditions are prevalent in many different societies. These societies, including those that call Africa home, use storytelling as a mode of expression, as well as a means to pass down knowledge and histories. Historically, storytelling has proven to be an effective tool for preserving cultural linkages and establishing connections across generations and communities. Puppetry is an intriguing art form through which to explore the power of African storytelling in both a fun and impactful manner.

During the first session, participants are invited to investigate the historical significance of oral storytelling traditions and discuss storytelling and puppetry as an art form and mode of communication, while participating in a puppet-making workshop. They will also be divided into groups and given scripts of different genres to prepare and perform using their newly made puppets in the following session.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this cluster, participants should be able to:

  1. Understand the history of particular art forms in select African countries
  2. Identify the capacity of the arts to enable connection in our current age of disconnect
  3. Share performing arts traditions in their home contexts with contributors and peers

Virtual Inclusions

  • Discussion on oral traditions
  • Tactile puppet-making workshop
  • Student puppet show performance


  • Short test on the history of art forms in select African contexts
  • Puppet show peer review and reflection

Eligibility Requirements

  • Open to participants of any discipline or background
  • Must have access to reliable, high-speed internet connection and device from which to connect
  • Willingness to collaborate synchronously (in real time)
  • Good command of English language
  • Ability to demonstrate sensitivity to different accents and ways of speaking in English
  • Own sourcing of workshop materials to create puppets (list of materials needed to be provided)

Time investment:

3 Synchronous Engagement Hours (2 sessions of 1.5h each)

Min/Max Pax

15-30 participants

Program Cost

$1450 for 15-30 participants.

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