Madison Children's Museum Blog

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STRUT! on the Square

By Corinne Burgermeister
Communication Coordinator

Giant-Puppet-Workshop-Madison-Children's-MuseumMadison Children’s Museum, the UW-Madison Arts Institute and the UW Design Studies Department are collaborating to bring a day of art, music and community to the Capitol Square through STRUT!.

On Saturday, May 2, STRUT!, a parade showcasing artistic expressions and community collaborations, will unite over thirty of Madison’s creative and cultural groups through stilt-walking, dancing, music-making, puppetry and more.

This event is the culmination of UW Artist in Residence, Laura Anderson Barbata’s spring course, Community Arts Practice.madison-childrens-museum-strut-schedule

Much of Barbata’s work aims to bring together communities through art, music and dance –and this project is no different. Special guests will include Bently Spang, a Northern Cheyenne multidisciplinary artist and writer, and the Brookyln Jumbies, a group specializing in stilt-walking, fire-breathing and traditional African dance and drumming.

All are welcome to join in the STRUT! parade, whether it be as an individual or with a community group. Following the parade, participants are invited to the Funkyard for a a lively celebration and dance party.

Deb Gilpin, president of the museum, says “STRUT! is right in line with our mission. We make space to nurture creativity and play, in a central place where kids and families from all communities can celebrate together—and strut their stuff! The new Funkyard  behind the museum was made for this. And we are honored to display Laura’s beautiful work in our museum.”

Upcoming Workshops

In the final weeks leading up to the STRUT! celebration, Madison Children’s Museum will hold several workshops where participants can meet to design unique costumes and pieces for the parade.

Art with Jennika
Wednesdays, April 15, 22 & 29
Work alongside our resident artist, Jennika, to create giant puppets and banners out of recycled materials.

Fiber Fun 
Thursdays, April 16, 23 & 30
Work alongside museum staff to create giant puppets and banners, with a focus on the recycled materials used.

Adult Swim: Word Freaks
Friday, April 17
Enjoy an evening at Adult Swim climbing, playing and gerbil-wheeling. Plus, create print posters and Cartoneras in the Art Studio.

Giant Puppet Workshop 
Sunday, April 19
Learn how to make a giant puppet using recycled materials and simple construction techniques. Hands-on demonstrations, instructional materials and some supplies will be provided.

STRUT! Workshop with Laura Anderson Barbata
Sunday, April 26
Meet UW-Madison interdisciplinary artist in residence, Laura Anderson Barbata, and learn how to make costumes and masks out of recycled materials.

STRUT! is sponsored by UW-Madison Arts Institute, UW-Madison School of Human Ecology and Madison Children’s Museum. For additional information, including costume tutorials and more ways to get involved, visit


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