Launch of the International Initiative 2023 Prize!

By creating, in 2021, an International Award for Initiative in the field of puppetry, the Member Cities of the AVIAMA wanted to reward on an international scale those who, by an innovative action, contribute to highlight the puppetry arts, to defend their development and to encourage their recognition by a large public.

An international recognition

This Prize comes to reward those who encourage the puppet arts under all its aspects and in all its dimensions. AVIAMA wishes to draw the attention of the public, professionals and local governments to innovative and fruitful initiatives, which encourage dialogue, respect and the moral values of humanity, beyond differences and cultures.

The jury of the Prize for this second edition will be chaired by the city of Chuncheon, and composed of the cities of Saguenay and Plzen, as well as two representatives associated for their expertise, Mr Dadi Pudumjee, Honorary President of UNIMA and Mr Luk de Bruycker, founder of the company Theater Taptoe.


The AVIAMA International Award for the 2023 initiative will be awarded this year to an association (a company, a structure…) or an individual (artist, researcher, author, puppet lover…). Applications may be submitted up to and including Thursday 13 April 2023.

The Jury’s choice will be announced on June 28, 2023.

The rules of the Prize

To download the complete rules of the Prize.

The City of Lights project in Tolosa (Spain) by Teatr Lalek Guliwer, 2022 Puppetry and Mobility Fellow

In 2022, the Polish company Teatr Lalek Guliwer received one of the AVIAMA Puppets and Mobility grants, to finance the mobility costs necessary for the development of their show “City of Lights” in Tolosa (Spain).

The genesis of an international project

“The City of Lights” is an international project that started in Poland. Created by the Chilean-Spanish puppeteer David Zuazola, its characteristic is that it can be developed in very different places around the world. The first show in the project was a co-production between Teatr Lalek Guliwer and Unia Teatr Niemozliwy, whose scenario was inspired by the life of the inhabitants of Warsaw, the Polish capital.

The first stage of creation took place in workshops open to the inhabitants: their ideas helped shape the performance.

“City of Lights” in Warsaw inspired Teatr Lalek Guliwer to create a similar project in Spain, in Tolosa.

A creative and participatory performance

The entire Spanish project ran from 18 October to 28 November 2022. The first stage of the project was a month-long series of workshops called “City of Lights Tolosa” with the residents of Tolosa, led by David Zuazola.

During the creative workshops, over 15 participants told stories about their city. Sharing their vision in a creative and visual way, they worked together to create the story and the scenography and “build” their dream city.

At the end of the workshops, the creative team of participants and David Zuazola were joined by Pawel Jaroszewicz, an actor from Teatr Guliwer. David Zuazola and Pawel Jaroszewicz then designed the sets and scenery, organised two rehearsals and gave seven performances, each with 40-60 spectators, including school children and their teachers.

A video to highlight the puppets of Francisco Peralta in Segovia!

Watch this video about Master Francisco Peralta’s puppet collection!

Designed to promote the knowledge of the Master’s work and its dissemination, this project was supported by AVIAMA in 2016/2017.

The puppet collection of the Master Francisco Peralta, installed in the Gate of Santiago in Segovia, presents pieces created throughout his career and which the Master donated to the city of Segovia. Peralta is considered one of the best puppeteers in Spain: in 1990 he was awarded the Silver Medal of Merit for Fine Arts.

Find out more:

The NAMA Company: 2022 Puppet and Mobility Fellowship

In 2022, the NAMA Company (Mali) received one of the AVIAMA Puppetry and Mobility Grants: it supported the travel and meals of 16 young women from Mali and West Africa (including the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Guinea Conakry and Togo) having completed an initial training cycle and an insertion tour.

A commitment to professionalization

The NAMA Company and its director, Yacouba Magassouba have decided to take up the challenge of feminizing puppetry by organizing a professional training course over two years, intended for young women, with a networking of the final production by a tour in different countries of ‘West Africa.

In 2021 and 2022, the trainees explored the whole process of creating a show through different workshops: construction, acting, manipulation, writing, designing a show to present in front of an audience (explorations of acting, manipulation, scenography, staging and dramaturgy…).

At the same time, they intervened with an audience of young people and children by training them in construction and manipulation. Nothing like transmitting to learn better!

A successful networking

Between October 31 and November 10, the show NIGELENI was presented for 8 performances in Bamako, in different places and outdoors… Then 5 performances were given in Segou and Sigasso (Mali), and in Ouagadougou and Bobo Dioulasso (Burkina Faso) between November 26 and December 12, 2022.

This networking is particularly successful and has enabled these 16 young women to establish professional contacts that they can use to perfect their professional experience and work in the coming years as puppeteers!

This project has received the support of STICHTING DOEN, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the International Organization of La Francophonie, the French Institute, Founoufounou, and the KYA Cultural Networks and the African Network of Art Festivals in Space audience.

Call for applications – AVIAMA grants 2023 – Puppets and Mobility

The International Association of Puppet Friendly Cities (AVIAMA) brings together cities and local governments around the world around puppetry, convinced of the importance of culture in their development. AVIAMA represents a real network of cooperation and exchanges.

For the 5th consecutive year, AVIAMA is launching a mobility aid scheme for projects in the field of puppetry. The deadline for sending applications is Tuesday, January 31, 2023 midnight. The results will be communicated from Friday, April 14, 2023.

Sending the complete file by email to

Objectives of the scholarships

They are intended for any person or company having a project involving: Training, Creation, Innovation and Research in order to promote the development of the art of puppetry and the theater of objects, its innovation in the broadest sense of the term, while by protecting heritage through research.

They make it possible to contribute to the mobility necessary for the projects (travel and/or accommodation on site), the costs of which are often an obstacle to the realization of the projects.

The project must be developed, in priority, in one of the member cities, however in exceptional cases, other cities will be accepted.

No age condition is required, but the Jury will be particularly sensitive to requests from students or young professionals.

Presentation of the application – documents to be provided

  • A detailed and reasoned presentation of the project (3000 characters) in French and in English
  • A detailed timetable for the progress of the project.
  • A provisional budget, detailing all the costs and the assistance expected (personal contribution, other scholarships, support in kind, etc.) by the candidate.
  • A detailed CV, recalling the links of the candidate, in particular, with the world of puppetry.
  • A personal letter of motivation, in French and in English, explaining, in detail, why this request is made, what are the expected achievements, and how these could be shared or contribute to the sector.
  • A letter of support from one of the AVIAMA Member Cities.
  • Any other letter of support that the candidate deems useful to attach to his application.

No application will be validated without the documentation indicated above.

AVIAMA reserves the right to request other information and additional documents that it deems useful. AVIAMA reserves the right to reject any incomplete application.

If you encounter any problems or have any questions, you can write to

Rules of the AVIAMA Stock Exchange

The complete rules of the AVIAMA 2022 Grants – Puppets and Mobilities are available here:

A new place for puppetry in Dives-sur-Mer

The town of Dives-sur-Mer, which joined the AVIAMA in 2021, has been hosting the Festival RéciDives since 1986. The merger of the CréAM (former association organizing the festival) and the Jean Vilar Theater in Ifs has allowed the creation of the Sablier, National Center of Puppetry in preparation. In 2023, the Sablier will occupy the first floor of the Beffroi, a former industrial factory and an emblematic figure of the city’s working class history, as a place of cultural life.

The Beffroi project is part of a territory contract signed between the community of communes Normandie Cabourg Pays d’Auge and the Region of Normandy. The city of Dives-sur-Mer plays an important role in the site’s redevelopment process. The Rouen agency ACAU is in charge of the rehabilitation project in 2019; the team of architects proposes a layout that respects the existing building and adds a contemporary part for the auditorium that has a capacity of 125 seats.

The Beffroi, listed in the supplementary inventory of historical monuments since 2007, bears witness to the city’s working-class history. It will host two cultural structures, the Sablier and the intercommunal music school. The Beffroi is thus part of a cultural continuity that will allow the city and the intermunicipality to develop a central cultural pole.

Le Sablier will occupy the first floor with a fabrication workshop in the window visible to all. The two floors will be dedicated to the music school, which will consist of an auditorium and classrooms. The project aims to enhance and make available the Culture, while creating a close link with Port Guillaume, a final step to complete the reconversion of Dives-sur-Mer. Located in the belfry of the former Terfimétaux factory, the premises will have a rehearsal room / black box with an equipped stage, a retractable bleacher of 120 seats, a construction workshop, a dressing room, offices, a kitchen shared with the music school and a hall which should be able to accommodate exhibitions.

The strength of these two structures will allow important actions of promotion and mediation, around the art of the puppet. The city also plans to invest the premises in order to preserve the archives of the history of the factory and its workers. In addition, a memorial trail will trace the industrial and human adventure of the city. It will start from the Belfry and cross the cities. Totems and explanatory panels will be installed.

More info (in french):

Reportage – France 3 – 3 juin 2021

The 2022 General Assembly of AVIAMA in Chuncheon!

Official website of the General Assembly :

The 2022 General Assembly of AVIAMA will be held on August 26 and 27 in Chuncheon, South Korea, during the Chuncheon Puppet Festival.

A program of activities and discovery of the city will be offered to the delegations present from August 24 to August 29..

The member cities that could not make the trip will be connected remotely.

The General Assembly will be the occasion to celebrate the 10 years of the association, to reaffirm the orientations of the AVIAMA concerning the mobility of the artists and the international cooperation of the local decision-makers around the puppetry arts.

Thanks to the city of Chuncheon for its hospitality!

Detailed programme:

AVIAMA and its member cities express their solidarity with the Ukrainian people

On February 24, 2022, President Putin invaded Ukraine.

Since then, the international community has been mobilizing for the restoration of the diplomatic way, especially the world of culture.

In an open letter, more than a thousand writers from all countries expressed their solidarity with Ukraine and called for an end to the invasion. “We are united in condemning a senseless war caused by President Putin’s refusal to accept the right of the Ukrainian people to debate their future direction and history without interference from Moscow,” they wrote.

And in Russia, men and women are protesting, resigning, risking arrest. Singers, journalists, chess players, footballers… have condemned the war.

The situation threatens millions of lives and the balance of the world. There are already more than 2 000 000 refugees in the countries bordering Ukraine. We can only hope that the war will end as soon as possible…

AVIAMA and its member cities express their solidarity with the Ukrainian people and call for the restoration of peace. The AVIAMA also calls for all possible solidarity actions to support Ukraine and its neighbouring countries, which are in the front line of refugee reception.

To download the release:

Presentation of the International Initiative Award Trophy by Quebec artist Mylène LeBoeuf-Gagné

In 2022 AVIAMA launches the International Award of the Initiative. The objective: to reward innovative and remarkable actions that contribute to the enhancement of the puppetry arts. Every two years a city around the world will be honored with a trophy representing the values of AVIAMA. This trophy, which is a true work of art, was designed by the artist Mylène LeBoeuf-Gagné, scenographer and puppeteer, from the city of Saguenay.

A call for projects launched by the city of Saguenay to design the award

In 2021, during the implementation of the Initiative Award, AVIAMA commissioned the city of Saguenay to design the Trophy.

The city of Saguenay launched a call for applications from artists in its region to design the trophy. The final choice fell on the artist Mylène LeBoeuf-Gagné, scenographer and puppeteer, who knew how to emphasize both the energy that the artist gives to the object so that it becomes a puppet and the mission of the AVIAMA, to create links between the member cities, the artists and the public.

Mylène LeBoeuf – Gagné presents her proposal in the video below:

The three elements of the trophy: the hand, the sphere and the strings

The hand is the image of the art of manipulation, of the power of “movement”, of the power to give life. It is the bridge of the meeting with the other: to stretch out the hand towards the other, to give the hand. It is also a symbol of claim: to claim its presence, to defend it. It is a parallel between the art of puppetry, the social role and the integration mission of AVIAMA.

Strings are an important tool in the making and manipulation of characters. They are presented in the work as vectors of communication, bridges that seek to unite, that create paths, that weave links, that stimulate exchanges. They are also the links between the fingers and the sphere, the relationship of the artists with the world, the public which enriches the meetings thus making the puppet so alive, to see magic.

The sphere represents the Earth, the universality, the endless, the limitless. It personifies the unity and diversity of the creators who work on this planet who, like the strings, take their own path and approach, meet, feed and inspire each other and thus transform their path. It evokes the infinity of associations and the limitlessness of creations.

A proposal unanimously approved by the AVIAMA member cities.

The City of Saguenay presented the Trophy to the member cities at the EGA held by videoconference on January 22, 2022. It was unanimously validated with enthusiasm! Thanks to the City of Saguenay teams and to the artist Mylène LeBoeuf-Gagné for this achievement! The bronze production of the Trophy can now begin. It will be presented to the winner of the lnitiative Award at the next AVIAMA General Assembly scheduled for August 2022 at Chuncheon, Korea.

Learn more about the AVIAMA International Initiative Award:

An international award in the field of puppetry

By creating the International Prize AVIAMA of the Initiative, the 21 member cities of the International Association of Puppet Friendly Cities, are proud to be able to reward on an international scale those who by a remarkable, innovative, and exemplary action, contribute to emphasize the arts of the puppet, to defend their development and to encourage their recognition by a wide public.

International acknowledgement

In 2019, AVIAMA launched the Puppet and Mobility Grant to support artists, researchers, professionals and amateurs in projects related to puppetry. In total, about forty beneficiaries have already been supported to create exchanges between different countries and continents.

The AVIAMA International Award for Initiative, launched in 2021, will reward those who promote the puppet arts in all its aspects and dimensions. The network wishes to draw the attention of the public, professionals and local governments to innovative and successful puppet initiatives that promote dialogue, respect and the moral values of humanity, beyond differences and cultures.

The jury of the Prize for the first two years will be chaired by the city of Chuncheon, and composed of the cities of Saguenay and Liberec, as well as two representatives associated because of their expertise, Mr Dadi Pudumjee, honorary president of UNIMA and Mr Luk de Bruycker, founder of the company Theater Taptoe.

Who is it for?

The AVIAMA International Award will be awarded every second year to a local government or official structure, such as a city or a museum. The following year it will be awarded to an association or individual(s). Applications will be submitted and supported by one of the cities in the AVIAMA network. The initiatives to be considered for the award of the Prize must be free of partisan thinking and in line with the values promoted by the Association.


In 2022, the AVIAMA Initiative Award will go to a local government or official body. Nominations may be submitted up to and including Tuesday 3 May 2022. The Award will be officially presented to Chuncheon in September 2022 at the AVIAMA General Assembly.

September 2022 will also be the launch time for the 2023 call for nominations, for an association or individual(s) (artist, researcher, author…). This award will be presented in August 2023 during the AVIAMA General Assembly in Saguenay, Quebec, Canada.

The City of Saguenay is also the project manager for the production of the award. The City Council launched a call for applications from artists in its territory for the creation of the trophy. The artist was chosen in October. At the next meeting of member cities in January 2022, the city of Saguenay will present a video of the artist explaining her artistic approach and presenting the trophy in 3D.

The Prize Rules

To download the complete rules of the prize

Metamorphosis, Poetry in motion – Worlds of Puppets, Bernd Ogrodnik

4 creations 4 continents, an international project for youth …

… and at the center of the issues of training and professionalization of young puppeteers.

The Titirijaï Festival, in Tolosa, will host on November 22, 2021, as part of its 39th edition, the 4 creations – 4 continents. This project, mixing training, pedagogy, meetings, professionalization for young European, American, Asian and African puppeteers began in 2019 and was noticed for its exemplary nature, and supported by various partners around the world, including UNESCO and AVIAMA.


  • To cross cultures through artistic puppetry and to contribute to intercultural dialogue by associating artists from different countries,
  • To carry the values of friendship, openness and cooperation, defended by UNIMA since its creation in 1929,
  • To allow young puppeteers to participate in an international adventure, with workshop cycles in different countries and a diffusion of their artistic form, while being accompanied by recognized professionals.

A project supported by many structures around the world:

The project suffered the full force of the health crisis. However, it was able to bounce back and come to fruition thanks to the important investment of the structures that accompanied it: the UNIMA Internationale, the Tas de Sable Che Panses Verte, Centre national de la Marionnette en préparation in Amiens (France), on TOPIC at Tolosa (Spain), the Synkoino Cooperative in Veria (Greece), the Theater der Nacht in Northeim (Germany) the Djarama culture center in Dakar (Senegal), the Académie Ivoire Marionnette in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), the Maison des Arts de la Marionnette, in Outremont, Montreal, Quebec (Canada), the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in Connecticut (United States), the Shanghai Theatre Academy, the Asia-Pacific, America, Africa, Europe, and UNIMA International Festivals commissions.

In total, about fifty young people have benefited from the project. They come from South Africa, Benin, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, Belgium, Portugal, Ireland, France, England, Spain, Italy, the United States, Chile, Mexico, Canada and China.

More information about the project here

An exemplary project, supported by AVIAMA and UNESCO

AVIAMA supported the residency fees of young European artists in Germany, Greece and Tolosa. The jury of the Puppet and Mobility Scholarships 2019 had been seduced by the multiculturality of the project and by the issues, around the questions of training and professionalization of young puppeteers, raised by this ambitious project. UNESCO also supported the African part of the project.

Presented at two International festivals, FMTM and Titirijaï

At the World Festival of Puppet Theaters 2021, in Charleville-Mézières, the project was able to be presented, with the European creative team on set and the American and African creative teams connected remotely. The two European and American teams now have the opportunity to meet in real life at the Titirijaï2021 festival in Tolosa!

Open Call – AVIAMA 2022 GRANTS – Puppets and Mobility

For the 4th consecutive year, the International Association of Puppet Friendly Cities launches a mobility aid scheme for projects in the field of puppetry arts. The deadline for sending applications is 14 January 2022. The results will be communicated on 15 April 2022.

Objectives of the grants

AVIAMA, which helps to create links between different countries, is particularly sensitive to the issue of mobility (travel and/or reception on site), the costs of which are often an obstacle to the realisation of projects.
The nature of the project(s) supported must concern the field of puppetry under different aspects (research, learning, discovery, participation in an event…) and take place in priority in one of the member cities, without excluding, however, other cities.

No age requirement but the Jury will be particularly attentive to requests from students or young professionals.

Application form

To apply for the AVIAMA 2022 Grant, please complete the form:

The complete application must be submitted by 14 January 2022. The results will be communicated on 15 April 2022

The documents to be attached to the form are :

  • Detailed CV(s) outlining the applicant’s links to the world of puppetry
  • a covering letter in English and French, explaining in detail why the application is being made, what is expected to be gained and how this could be shared with or contribute to the sector
  • a detailed timetable for the progress of the project
  • a provisional budget detailing all costs and expected support (personal contribution, other aid, support in kind) for the project
  • a letter of support from one of the AVIAMA member cities
  • any other letters of support and documents that the applicant considers useful to attach to the application.

No application will be validated without the above documentation.

If you have any problems filling in the form or if you have any questions, you can write to

Rules of the AVIAMA Grant

The complete rules of the AVIAMA 2022 – Puppets and Mobility grant are available here :

A general assembly within the framework of the 21st World Festival of Puppet Theaters 2021

Launch of an Initiative Award, mobility grant, new member cities… the Association of Puppet Friendly Cities (AVIAMA), which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2022, continues to strengthen its support for the puppetry arts worldwide.

President’s Moral Report

This year, the World Festival of Puppet Theaters, celebrated its 60th anniversary! It is in this spirit of celebration and reunion, after a global crisis that unfortunately did not spare the cultural sector that the member cities of AVIAMA were able to meet for their general assembly, on September 19. Welcomed in the premises of the City Hall of Charleville-Mézières by Nathalie Robcis, deputy mayor delegated to Culture, and under the presidency of Claudine Ledoux, representatives of the cities of Bialystok, Ghent, Saguenay, Liberec, Pilsen, Tournai were able to make the trip. Mrs. Olatz Peon Ormazabal, mayor of Tolosa, Mrs. Josée Néron, mayor of Saguenay, Mr. Jae-Soo Lee, mayor of Chuncheon, Mr. Takeshi Sato, mayor of Iida as well as representatives of the cities of Segovia, Seville, Outremont and Tournefeuille joined them by videoconference. The moral report of the president is available here :

Japanese Room – Charleville-Mézières City Hall – 19/09/2021

AVIAMA shows solidarity through the Puppet and Mobility Grant

During this GA, AVIAMA renewed for the 4th consecutive year the Puppet and Mobility grant, which will allow to help 5 projects with a global envelope of 10000 euros. The president, Mrs. Claudine Ledoux, in the name of the Board of Directors, proposed from now on to reserve one of the grants to an Afghan artist in 2022.

The AVIAMA International Initiative Award

The AVIAMA International Award for Initiative was launched during the FMTM 2021. By creating an Initiative Award in the field of puppetry, AVIAMA wants to reward on an international scale those who by an innovative action contribute to highlight the puppetry arts, to defend their development and to encourage their recognition by a large audience.

Every other year it will be for a local government or official structure. The following year it will be awarded to an association or individual(s). Candidates for both awards are presented and supported by one of the cities in the AVIAMA network.

The city of Saguenay has launched a call for applications from artists in its territory for the realization of the trophy. The first prize will be awarded to a local government or an official structure, during the General Assembly of AVIAMA 2022 in Chuncheon.

The jury of the International AVIAMA Award for the first two years will be chaired by the city of Chuncheon, and composed of the cities of Saguenay and Liberec, as well as two representatives associated for their expertise, Mr. Dadi Pudumjee, Honorary President of UNIMA and Mr. Luk de Bruycker, founder of the company Theater Taptoe.

Two new French cities have joined the network

Mr. Pierre Mouraret, mayor of Dives-sur-Mer, located in Normandy, accompanied by Mrs. Danièle Garnier, deputy to the culture, made the trip to Charleville-Mézières to present the candidature of their city, which counts about 6000 inhabitants. Since 1986, the city has hosted a festival of puppets and animated forms, the Festival Récidives, whose professional and institutional recognition has helped spur the creation of a National Puppet Center (CNMa label), Le Sablier, bringing together the Festival of Dives-sur-Mer and the Jean Vilar Theater of Ifs near Caen.

Mrs. Monique Le Miniez, deputy for culture of the city of Mirepoix, in Occitania, with 3300 inhabitants, also presented the candidature of Mirepoix. This medieval city, located in Ariège, hosts every year in August since 1988, the international festival of puppetry arts Mima, organized by the association Filentrope. Throughout the year, the Mima team also develops actions to support contemporary creation and awareness-raising actions for the territory’s audiences.

The members voted unanimously to include the two French cities in their network.

Presentation of the Cité des Arts de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mézières

The new director of the FMTM, Mr. Pierre-Yves Charlois passed during the meeting to introduce himself to the members of the AVIAMA. Mrs. Carole Marquet-Morelle, director of the Museum of the Ardenne, also presented the project of the City of the Arts of the Puppet which was launched during this edition of the festival.

Upcoming events

In 2022, AVIAMA will celebrate its 10th anniversary. The city of Chuncheon will host the General Assembly.

In 2023, AVIAMA member cities will meet in Saguenay, Quebec as part of the FIAMS in July. As a reminder, the GA in 2021 was supposed to be in Saguenay. This trip was postponed because of the health crisis.

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The MATEŘINKA festival took place from 15 to 19 June 2021!

Materinka festival 21

The 26th year of International Festival of Professional Puppet Theatres- MATEŘINKA 21– focused on productions for preschool children took place in Liberec from June 15 to 19, 2021 as the second professional Czech Theatre event after Covid19.

During the festival, taking place under the specific conditions related to anti-pandemic measures, the audience was able to see almost 50 theatrical productions performed by 18 ensembles, 4 of which were from abroad (Portugal, Slovakia and Spain). The festival was attended by observers and guests from Belarus, France, Spain, Portugal, Slovakia and the Czech.

The performances took place in various venues throughout Liberec. All of them were sold out and the festival performances were watched by a total of more than 5,000 theatre-goers. Really big success!

A rich accompanying program offered the evening performances for adult audience, concerts, animated film screenings , a round table about puppetry traditions, puppet workshops or a festive parade. There was also an attraction in the form of a giant elephant airship Elefantelin again, located in front of the Liberec City Hall.

The closing ceremony of the 26th International Festival Mateřinka 21 took place on Saturday 19 June 2021 afternoon in the Naive Theatre Liberec in the presence of representatives of the Statutory City of Liberec -Deputy Mayor for Culture, Education, Social Affairs and Tourism, Mr. Ivan Langr) and the Liberec Region (member of the Regional Council, Councillor of Culture, Mrs. Květa Vinklátová).

Based on the decision of expert jury, ten prizes were awarded for individual performances in the most successful productions. Two of them went to the Cabinet of Miracles or Orbis pictus, prepared by Naive Theatre Liberec.

Next issue of MATEŘINKA will take place in June 2023. You are welcomed!

3rd Mobility Grant: AVIAMA supports 5 new projects

France, Belgium, Germany, Quebec, West Africa, United States, Germany, Chile, Mexico… The five winning companies of the 3rd AVIAMA Puppets and Mobilities grant on April 15, 2021 will be able to continue to stretch their strings across borders.

In spite of the constraints on culture and mobility, AVIAMA is affirming its support for artists more than ever by maintaining its mobility grant. For this third selection, it has even increased its overall budget to 10,000 euros. Five new companies (2,000 euros each) and sixteen artists will continue their collaboration, research, residency and touring projects throughout the world during the coming months.

Chaired by the city of Charleville-Mézières (France), the jury of the Puppets and Mobilities 2021 grants, made up of the cities of Iida (Japan), Pilsen (Czech Republic), Tolosa (Spain) and Tournai (Belgium), is offering a grant of 2,000 euros to each of the following companies :

CréatureS compagnie (France)

Grant for a collaboration on the Petits Pains Oubliés project with various partners in Quebec.

More infos :

Compagnie El Caracol (Belgium – France)

Grant for a tour of the show The life of Alceste in West Africa in partnership with the Centre Ivoire Marionnette and ACMUR in Burkina Faso.

More info :

Compagnie Infra (Belgium)

Poussière/Cie Infra

Grant awarded for artistic residencies of the show Dust (creation planned in 2022) at the Tas de Sable – Che Panses Vertes in Amiens (France) and at the Maison de la Marionnette in Tournai (Belgium).

More info :

Design by Ombline De Benque

Compagnie Yôkaï (France)

Grant for research and experimentation stages by videoconference and in physics with a meeting planned in Los Angeles around the creation Invisible Awakening, in partnership with the JIM HENSON’S CREATURE SHOP film studio.

More info :

Rafi Martin (Germany)

Grant for a tour of the shows Wax-en and /Not/ in my name in Chile and Mexico in partnership with the Goethe Institute, and the SACO Biennial of Contemporary Art in Chile.

More info :

The jury’s selection criteria included: the professionalization of young companies; links with Aviama’s member cities; relevant, high-quality artistic files and artistic projects at different stages of creation (research, residency periods, tours, etc.); high visibility for AVIAMA thanks to the trust placed in the projects of these companies on their territory and internationally; interesting and well-argued files.

The next call for applications for the Puppet and Mobility 2022 grants will be available in October 2021. A new jury will be appointed for a period of 3 years at the next AVIAMA General Assembly in September 2021. Do not hesitate to spread this call and to follow us on social networks for more information.

Photo illustation of the article : Rafi Martin (credit : Shiran Eliaserov)

March 21, a World Puppet Day widely celebrated by the member cities of AVIAMA

Imagine by UNIMA since 2003, the World Puppet Day allows to federate the actors of the puppet throughout the world. It shows a community of artists and puppet lovers united and committed to the values of education, human rights, cohesion, transmission, mixing tradition and modernity. For the 2nd consecutive year, the world crisis unfortunately did not allow to hold all the planned events. However, the vitality of the puppetry arts was widely visible on social networks, with a large number of posts relaying the hashtag #WPD2021. The member cities of AVIAMA also joined this action to highlight their places and their artists.

A message that connect us

The cities of Charleville-Mézières, Liberec, Pilsen, Tolosa, Tournefeuille, Sevilla, Segovia, Saguenay, and the borough of Outremont (Montreal – Quebec) among others have relayed the message written by Audrey Azoulay, director of UNESCO, which marked this year its support to the World Puppetry Day.

The [World Puppetry] Day is an opportunity to pay tribute to this millennial art of exceptional richness that are the puppets. Subtle skill of gesture, play of movement and illusion, of shadow and light; mastery of costume, form and sculpture; art of staging, of schematism and symbolism; technical virtuosity and poetry, the art of puppetry is a universal art, a total art. (…). Invaluable heritage, they are also always, that they evolve in the solemnity of a ritual or in contemporary settings, an art of today. (…)

To read the complete message :

A few examples of celebrations that show the diversity of puppetry practices: through digital open houses, puppet collections, and artists’ testimonies.

In Pilsen, the Divadlo Alfa Theatre joined forces with UNIMA Czech Republic to present a moment full of poetry.

UNIMA République Tchèque – JMM 2021

In front of Saguenay‘s city hall, FIAMS co-director Dany Lefrançois paid tribute to the puppeteers and their faithful audience.

March 21, 2021 – Message from Dany Lefrançois, co-artistic director of the Festival International des Arts de la Marionnette in Saguenay, Quebec

In Charleville-Mézières, the International Puppet Institute has opened its doors digitally for the first time.

March 20, 2021 – Digital Open House – Presentation by Director Philippe Sidre

A Tournai et à Ségovie, the museums of the cities presented in video their fabulous collections of puppets.

Presentation of the Maison de la Marionnette museum in Tournai, video by Nicolas Watrin, all rights reserved
Francisco Peralta Puppet Collection – Turismo en Segovia

The AQM in Outremont, Montreal, invited women puppeteers from various backgrounds to tell in a few words their love for their art. To read their testimonies it is here:

Let’s meet again in one year for a new World Puppetry Day, this time celebrated without restrictions!

And for more information:

Tournefeuille new member of AVIAMA

On January 22, 2021, the French town of Tournefeuille, near Toulouse, made its entry into the Association of puppet friendly towns. Unanimous adoption of the others members.

A thirty-year-old festival, recognized professional training, two specialized puppet classes at the School of Artistic Education … Puppetry culture is deeply rooted in Tournefeuille, a city in the Toulouse metropolitan area. On January 22, 2021, AVIAMA members voted unanimously to join their network.

The 19th member

With this new member, the puppet-friendly towns now have nineteen territories spread over four continents, between France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, the Czech Republic, Poland, Quebec, Mali, Japan, the island of Taiwan and South Korea. A municipality of 27,000 inhabitants and 145 associations, Tournefeuille occupies a leading role in the Toulouse conurbation thanks to reference structures.

The Marionnettissimo festival

« Creative city, participatory and committed to a real cultural policy », it promotes the arts of puppetry throughout the Midi-Pyrénées region through its festival Marionnettissimo. Founded in 1990 by « puppet activists », it brought together nearly 120 partner locations throughout the region. Every November (except in 2020), contemporary, local and international shows are played for 6 days, bringing together a diverse audience.

And… two Puppet classes!

As for the shows, the puppet is present all year round thanks to an annual program. The Marionnettissimo association also offers an important educational component with renowned professional training (Qualiopi certified) or internships.

Since autumn 2019, a partnership between the city and Marionnettissimo has opened up the School of artistic education (EEA) two puppet classes intended for adult and child amateurs. After music, dance, plastic arts and theater, it is now possible to approach the puppet through manipulation and play without forgetting construction, in connection with the discovery of artistic creations

The School of artistic education of the city of Tournefeuille ensures both a teaching mission for all interested amateurs and a mission of cultural awakening and artistic education: in these specialized classes, discovery and sharing for young and old on the program, also in connection with the entire cultural program of the city. The speakers are qualified professionals: artists, actors, visual artists, directors …

At the end of the school year, a show brings together the two age groups. Another innovative choice from this municipal school!

New applications from cities are expected by AVIAMA for the next general assembly to be held in July in Saguenay (Quebec).

CALL FOR GRANTS AVIAMA 2021 Puppets and mobility

The International Association of Puppet-Friendly Cities (AVIAMA) gathers together cities and local governments around the world around puppetry and represents a real network of cooperation and exchange.

Goals of the grants:

The AVIAMA, which helps to forge links amongst the different countries, is particularly sensitive about the matter of mobility (travel and/or reception on site), and the costs of which are often a blockage to the realization of projects. The nature of the supported project (s) must concern the field of the puppetry arts in different aspects (research, learning, discovery, participation in an event …) and take place primarily in one of the Member cities, without excluding, nevertheless, ‘other cities.

No age requirement; but the Jury will be particularly attentive to requests from students or young professionals.

Calendar :

A call is launched each year in october Deadline for sending applications : January, 11, 2021

Send the complete application form to the following email address: A confirmation of receipt will be sent to the candidates

Communication of the project(s) selection and of the allocated amounts: April 15th, 2021

Presentation of the Association and Full settlement here

AVIAMA strengthens its support for puppeteers in 2021

Creation of the Initiative prize, increase in the mobility grant, new applications for the study… Despite the pandemic context, the International Association of Puppet Friendly Cities (AVIAMA) continues to move forward with its projects.

A general assembly held by videoconference

On Saturday September 26, 2020, on the sidelines of the J-365 event of the FMTM Puppet Word festival, 14 member cities of AVIAMA have met in a General Assembly under the chairmanship of Claudine Ledoux. A new format for the meeting: a videoconference, held from the city hall of Charleville-Mézières. 2 pm in France, 7 am in Canada, 11 pm in Japan… Despite the travel difficulties and the time differences, a good trajectory has thus been drawn from Asia to the American continent via Europe.

14 member cities gathered by videoconference
14 member cities gathered by videoconference

New town candidates

Two cities were present to attend the GA and presented their candidacy to join the association: the city of Tournefeuille in Occitania (France) and Faenza in Italy. In this context, applications for new members may exceptionally take place in January 2021 during an extraordinary general meeting.

The increased Puppet and Mobility grant

During this GA, AVIAMA reinforced its support for artists. The mobility grant is renewed for the third consecutive year with an increased ceiling. In 2020 and 2019, four projects were supported for an amount of 2,000 euros each. In 2021, the overall grant envelope has been revised upwards to further support the puppetry arts sector.

Creation of an initiative award

2021 will again see the creation of an Initiative Prize currently in preparation. It will reward a particularly innovative achievement carried by a city, a local government, an association or a person and aiming to promote the puppet theater and its actors. The Prize will be launched in September 2021 during an event planned as part of the next edition of the World Puppet Festival in Charleville-Mézières.

Next general meeting for Aviama members: July 30 and 31, 2021 for FIAMS, the international puppet festival in the city of Saguenay in Quebec – Canada.

Follow the Association on its Facebook page @aviamarionnettes and find the agenda of member cities on its website