Maïté Agopian

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Puppetry is intrinsically diverse, open to the world and to others, bridging cultures, languages and traditions as well as generations. After over 15 years of experience as an educator and outreach specialist in cultural and scientific settings, I’m focusing on using the power of puppetry and visual storytelling to open new dreams and possibilities, create more synergies and bridges between people, and enhance learning environments.

Born and raised in Switzerland, I always found puppetry in its multiple forms fascinating growing up. After exploring various art form I found in the arts of puppetry the tools to my eclectic taste and love for never ending possibilities of exploration. The passion keeps growing with every opportunity I get to learn, make, create, collaborate, and share.

I am continuously using my experience in informal education settings working with a wide range of audiences to better inform and develop my current practice. Telling stories visually and musically, giving a voice and movement to objects, as well as a hands-on approach to learning, are at the center of my interests and educational philosophy.

CHAK - Puppetry is the link between Switzerland where I grew up and Alaska, which has been my home since 2005, and includes all the places I immersed myself for longer period of time along the way (between Europe, Asia, and Far-East Russia); CHAK is the combination of very different frameworks that helped build my identity and inform my path as an artist. 

 

I am looking forward to share my passion for education and the arts of puppetry with you, either by constructing a new puppet to fit your performance needs, by helping you discovering and exploring that field during a workshop, a camp, or a school residency, or by exploring together new possibilities of community projects. See which project fits most your needs. And don't hesitate to contact me!

CHAK - Puppetry is here to help bring more puppetry into our community. 

An old lady marionnette
PUPPET WORKSHOPS
  • Making Manual Cinema, with Manual Cinema, O'Neill National Puppetry Conference (online, June 6-11, 2021)

  • Puppet Mastery Academy, with Bernd Ogrodnik (year long online course, 2021)

  • A crush course in Mime, with Les Bubb, London International Mime Festival (online, January 11-15, 2021)

  • The Language of Material and Objects: Movement and Experimental Puppetry with Alice Gottschalk, O'Neill National Puppetry Conference (online, June 8-12, 2020)

  • Rod Puppet Building Workshop, with Ines Zeller Bass, Sandglass Theater (online, July13-18, 2020)

  • Large Puppet Handling workshop, under the direction of Michel Villée, using Natasha Belova puppets (Brussels, Belgium, July 1-5, 2019) 

  • Shadow theater and light exploration, under the direction of Norbert Götz (Bamberg, Germany, July 29 - August 8, 2019) 

  • Residency in a puppet theater "la Turlutaine" with Catherine De Torrente (La Chaux-de-Fond, Switzerland, August 12-16, 2019) 

  • String Marionette carving workshop, with Miroslav Trejtnar (Prague, July 1-26, 2017)

UNIVERSITY CLASSES
  • Advanced Hand Puppet Theater Class, with Fergus Walsh (online, DRAM 5610, Spring semester 2019, UCONN)

  • Advanced Shadow Theater Class, with Penny Benson (online, DRAM 5613, Fall semester, 2018, UCONN)

  • Beginning Native Art Studio, (Art F268, Fall Semester, 2015, UAF)

  • Beginning Ceramic, (ART F201, Spring Semester, 2010, UAF)

  • Master in Social Science, Geography and Cultural Anthropology, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland (2004)

GRANTS, AWARD AND SCOLARSHIP
  • Individual Artist Award, Rasmuson Foundation 2021

  • Alumni Scholarship, O'Neill National Puppetry Conference 2021

  • Adaptation and Innovation Grant, Alaska Council of the Arts 2021

  • "In a Time of Change, the Boreal Forest", ITOC project, an Art, Humanities and Science Collaboration, University of Alaska Fairbanks (2020-2022)

  • Ralph E. Cheese Minority Scholarship, O'Neill National Puppetry Conference, 2020

PERFORMANCES & SHORT VIDEO CLIPS
EDUCATION PROJECTS

Follow me on Instagram to see my latests puppets and projects!