The annual Honey for the Heart puppet-making workshop will allow locals and students to connect by making crafts to brighten Court Street on the night of the Halloween Block Party.

For the past several years, Creative Abundance Group has brought a creative communal event to Athens through its puppet-making workshops. The hundreds of larger-than-life creations, made by Athens residents and students of all academic disciplines at the workshop, then march down the street during the earliest hours of the Halloween Block Party each October.

This year, the puppets will follow the theme “Things with Wings.”

If you go:

What: Honey for the Heart puppet-making workshop

When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Mon.-Fri. through October 27

Where: Oct. 10-20: Trisolini Gallery, Baker 405

Oct. 23-27: 29 E. Carpenter St.

“It’s basically the idea of taking flight,” Patty Mitchell, Creative Abundance Group's CEO, said. “That beautiful feeling of lightness and that joy of freedom.”

The Honey for the Heart team chose the theme in part as a way to repurpose parts of last year’s parade, which followed a bird theme. The puppets are made of mostly upcycled materials, so some of the pieces and the knowledge the group learned last year will be reused in this year’s production.

Mitchell said the Halloween puppet parade has expanded the special phenomena of Halloween in Athens into something even better.

“What I believe Honey for the Heart has done has created visual evidence of our local spirit and the collaboration between our Athens community and university community,” she said. “It is something that everyone in Athens and beyond can point to and say, ‘When I say I love Athens, here’s an example of what I’m talking about.’ ”

One of the main sponsors of the Honey for the Heart puppet workshop is the Ohio University learning community program. Wendy Merb-Brown, the assistant dean of University College operations and learning community programs, said first-year students who are members of learning communities get to take a break from their usual classroom grind to do something hands-on and creative when they visit the puppet workshop.

“Students get to do something that’s not their usual day in their work,” she said. “What a wonderful outlet to go do something creative.”

Additionally, Merb-Brown said, learning community students get to connect with members of the Athens locale beyond the university.

“I don’t want to say it’s a service because you’re not doing a service to the Athens community, but you’re participating in the Athens community,” she said. “I think that helps you get a better sense as students to our place and how you connect to this place as Ohio University within the bigger Athens community.”

Nicole Dinan, a sophomore studying visual communication design, participated in the puppet workshop with her learning community last fall.

Dinan said she helped assemble some of the puppets and worked on sewing and drawing details on some of the other projects. Her work was somewhat related to her major, but she said more than that, her learning community was just happy to help out.

“It was a fun experience,” she said. “It was cool to see all of the stuff they were making before it actually was finished and see how they actually make the puppets.”


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