Tompkins County Public Library

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ithaca Waldorf School Puppetry Exhibit Opens in Avenue of the Friends

TCPL is pleased to announce the opening of the Ithaca Waldorf School's Holiday Puppetry Exhibit in the Avenue of the Friends featuring many beautifully crafted marionettes and other puppets.

Rudolf Steiner, philosopher, educator, and founder of Waldorf education said "We must do everything in our power to help the children to develop fantasy.”  As a result Waldorf Schools around the world employ puppetry in their classrooms, to enrich and to enliven learning, particularly for their most impressionable students ages two to seven.

As young children experience the world through their senses, puppetry is a natural medium.  For their classroom “productions,” teachers bring narratives with archetypes of human beings, of fantastical creatures such as gnomes, of personifications of nature and animals, who exhibit qualities they wish to explore. Among them are courage, compassion, and perseverance in the face of adversity.  Puppet shows allow the young child to absorb the lessons being taught, from an unthreatening vantage point, as a play’s action unfolds.

Waldorf teachers have found that students’ awareness of and sympathy for others, for animals, for the natural world, and for themselves are bolstered through the use of puppetry in the classroom.  At the same time listening, observation, comprehension, and vocabulary skills are being developed.

These puppets were created by Ithaca Waldorf School teachers and others of its community. Most were created for pre-school and kindergarten programs, are handmade from felted wool and other natural materials, and tell magical folk tales in their puppet theater. 

Join Ithaca Waldorf School on December 17 in the Thaler/Howell Program Room when they present a puppet theater program of mystical folk tales.

The Ithaca Waldorf School is located at 20 Nelson Road, Ithaca, NY 14850.  For more information on Waldorf education and the Ithaca Waldorf school please contact Erin Fitzgerald, Director of School Administration, by telephone at 256-2020, by email at, or by visiting

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Behind the Lens: A Snapshot of Propaganda at the Turn of the 20th Century Opens November 8, 2013

TCPL presents a new exhibit in the Avenue of the Friends sponsored by The History Center and Ithaca Motion Picture Project with support from the Tompkins County Tourism Program, HiWay HiFi, Moving Box Studios, and Cayuga Radio Group. 

The exhibit Behind the Lens A Snapshot of Propaganda at the Turn of the 20th Century is a free-form installation illustrating the use of propaganda during the silent film era.

At the turn of the 20th century, radio, movies, and the printed page were the tools used to propagandize war, politics, religion, and eventually, The corporate program in America.  These tools of psychological warfare were colorful, dramatic, and often outrageous in scope and statement.  With the advent of film, mental manipulation became subtler, and thus even more insidious in nature.  In any form propaganda targets emotions more than intellect.  Nothing illustrates this better than what Americans were fed at the brink of World War I.  Whether national, or right here in Ithaca, politically correct or not, the message was always loud and clear.  Local filmmakers Theodore and Leopold Wharton wove pro-American rhetoric throughout their later films and audiences were insatiable.

Tompkins County Public Library is pleased to partner with The History Center and The Ithaca Motion Picture Project, in presenting this exhibit to the community.