Puppet Place – A Collaborative Hub?

It’s exciting times in Puppet Place at the moment.

We’ve just held our first international residency with Dafa Puppet Theatre (based in Jordan and The Czech Republic), we are starting to work as producers with Wattle & Daub on their production “The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare The Freak” and our big development project for the year, “Puppet Place – A Collaborative Hub?” kicked off in March.

Our organisation is becoming more outward looking.  We still champion our resident and associate artists, but we know there is huge potential in the sector as well as major challenges around resources (time, financial, skills, etc).

Our “Collaborative Hub” research recognises that our sector is characterised by individual practitioners and small creative companies who achieve brilliant things on limited resources. We want to bring people together to fulfil that potential and answer the challenges.  We think it’s time for a game-change. To achieve this, we’ve devised a process that asks a group of diverse practitioners to spend some time with us to think about the issues and what it is that Puppet Place can and should bring. We’re calling them The Creative Group. We are also looking at other sectors and reflecting on what we can learn from them to achieve this game-change.

However, we want input from the wider sector and public, so we will be holding public meetings about particular issues and making all the documentation from meetings available on our website for comment and feedback (and we promise to keep the minutes succinct and reasonably entertaining!)

We held our first meeting with The Creative Group a couple of weeks ago. We started by thinking about clusters and collaborative working.  Using Bristol and the aerospace industry as a springboard example, led us to ponder on some really interesting questions:

  • How do we use the language and concepts of “business” to unlock creative and artistic practice?
  • Does the conversation in the arts between finance and creativity always have to be a battle?
  • What are the interventions that Puppet Place should make to create a game-change for the sector?

This first session was a truly wonderful conversation which resulted in a great list of issues.  We don’t pretend to have any of the answers…Yet!

If you would like to read the minutes and give us your thoughts, please do go to www.puppetplace.org/hub


Rachel McNally
Puppet Place Executive Producer

Puppet Place is the hub for all things animated on stage and film in the UK. We are dedicated to sharing our passion for puppetry and animation with the wider public and supporting artists and professionals working with these artforms. Our building, on Bristol’s Harbourside, is home to a community of resident companies and artists working in puppetry, animation and the creative sector more widely. We support the greater puppetry and creative sector through residencies, networking and training.  To find out more about our organisation, our resident artists and associate artist scheme, in addition to our resources for hire, visit the Puppet Place website: www.puppetplace.org.

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