Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry

Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry
Museum of Puppetry Storrs Center
UConn Museum of Puppetry
Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry Theater
Storrs, CT

The Ballard Institute, one of only a handful of puppetry museums in the United States, had been housed in a small, hard to find section of UConn's Depot Campus. Moving it to Storrs Center allows for the Institute to properly display portions of its extensive collection of artifacts. The space consists of a Lobby, two galleries, and supporting offices. The Lobby has a research area open to the public, allowing access to one of the largest collections of both physical and digital media regarding puppetry in the world. State of the art LED and fiber optic lighting, temperature and humidity controls in the galleries and the closed display cases allow the Institute to display portions of their extensive collection of artifacts. This will also allow them to curate traveling and loaned exhibits from other museums and collectors from around the world. The space is 3000 square feet.

Originally conceived as a simple shared "performance space" for book readings, poetry slams and small puppet shows, the space quickly developed into a fully featured "black box" theater. Special flooring, an LED lighting system that surpasses those of many Broadway theaters, a powerful sound system, and complete integration among the systems to monitors throughout the museum spaces have been combined to make the space able to host not only the originally intended uses, but also will let traveling shows from around the world stage performances. The theater is 1000 square feet.