Inlandia and Riverside Art Museum present Around the World First Sundays

Photo Inlandia Institute: Nicole Cloeren and Karen Rae Kraut will present a dynamic mix of interactive storytelling and puppetry.
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Inlandia Institute and the Riverside Art Museum are pleased to announce a delightful new First Sundays storytelling and puppetry series from Around the World with Karen & Nicole. Our “Wintering into Spring” schedule began January 3 and continues through May 2.

Master puppeteer Nicole Cloeren joins beloved storyteller Karen Rae Kraut for a powerful mix of interactive storytelling and puppetry. Karen’s stories and Nicole’s puppets will open your eyes to new ways of interpreting the world – and open your hearts to a powerful form of play.

Our Sunday, January 3, event, “Look Back and See,” is now available for viewing on the Inlandia Institute YouTube channel: In this folktale from Tanzania, Karen and Nicole invite the audience into a village that has always been in darkness – and really needs some light! Messengers are sent to buy some dawn, but the results are disappointing until help arrives unexpectedly.

Our upcoming Sunday, February 2, offering is a tale from Japan called “Hats for the Jizos.” In this heartwarming traditional kamishibai (paper theatre) story, an old man has an act of generosity mysteriously and richly rewarded. Kamishibai is a form of street theater that was beloved in Japan during the Great Depression of the 1930s and after World War II. Its popularity faded as television took its place. RSVP:

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Sunday, March 7, brings “Heart Full of Turquoise” from the Pueblo People of the American Southwest. In this story, a medicine woman must protect her people from starvation when a giant tries to rob them of all the food they have carefully harvested for the winter. RSVP:

Join us on Sunday, April 4, for another tale from Japan, “Tasty Baby Belly Buttons.” Discover how the Watermelon Princess, a little girl born from a watermelon, along with her animal companions, helps babies keep their belly buttons when the dreaded Oni try to steal them. RSVP:

And finally, on Sunday, May 2, our Wintering into Spring lineup concludes with “The Fifth Sun” an Aztec creation story from Mexico. For four consecutive tries, the Aztec gods have failed to put the sun and moon up in the sky. Will they succeed with the fifth sun? RSVP:

Karen Rae Kraut has been blending story, song and creative movement in schools, libraries, museums, and theaters from California to East Tennessee since 1990. She has toured for the Smithsonian and was commissioned by the McCallum Theatre to create a storyteller’s version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Karen’s CD, Cooler Water Cora and Other Stories, is the winner of an iParenting Media Award for Audio Excellence and a National Parenting Publications Honors Award. She has performed for Riverside’s First Sundays program since its inception in 1997.

Nicole Cloeren is the founder of Puppets a la Carte, where she uses puppets and techniques of improvisation to create a space of surprise and wonder in which we can all learn from one another. She is a resident artist at Riverside Studios, has performed with puppets at numerous indoor, outdoor, and online events around Southern California, and loves partnering with other artists.

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