Learn the art of puppetry Monday

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By Kirsten Laskey

The Los Alamos County Library System’s summer reading program kicks off with theatrical flair.

On Monday, members of Wise Fool Puppets will bring their performances and knowledge of puppetry to Mesa Public Library and White Rock Branch Library.

The show begins at 4 p.m. in White Rock and at 7 p.m. at Mesa Public Library.

Amy Christian, co-artistic director of Wise Fool, said they will talk about how the puppets are created, allow children to climb into their life-size puppets and perform little skits throughout the program.

Puppetry, Christian said, is an art form everyone can embrace. If they are willingly to step outside the box, she said, puppets can take people to a magical place.

Angie Manfredi, head of youth services for the library system, said this is the first time Wise Fool has worked their magic at the local libraries, but she saw them perform at another library in Raton.

“It’s a really amazing, one-of-a-kind show,” Manfredi said. “It really is appealing to all ages.”

Wise Fool also compliments the theme for the summer reading program, which is “Be Creative.”

Creativity does seem to be the name of the game for Wise Fool. “The main goal is just to ignite people’s imaginations and remind people to step outside the box and build a community’s experience in the arts,” Christian said.

Wise Fool is a nonprofit theater and circus company that is staffed by women. The organization is based on a social justice background. Members strive to give participants a voice, a chance to experience the arts and the opportunity to share the experience with their families.  

“We love to do performances,” Christian said, “(it’s) just kind of outreach to the community … (so they can see) how fun it is to make puppets.”

Wise Fool originally began in 1998 in San Francisco. The organization started going to Santa Fe and in 2000, the Santa Fe-based organization was founded.

There is also a branch in Penasco.

Wise Fool’s performance in Los Alamos is part of the Monday Family Nights program.

The program offers informative, fun and engaging programs for the whole family.

The program will continue June 22 with an “Evening of Crafts” with Samara Graham.

New to the program this year, Manfredi said, is offering a few Monday Family Nights in White Rock. She added the library staff is excited to offer this program in White Rock because of its popularity.

Monday Family Nights is part of the library system’s summer reading program, which Manfredi describes as “fabulous.”

This year, she said, there are more activities and programs offered than in the past. There is something for every age, from infancy to age 18.

For more information, visit the library or call 662-8258.