Hannibal youth will present a professionally trained puppet program with proceeds from a Riedel Foundation matching grant to the Juneteenth Coalition.
The Hannibal Juneteenth Coalition is raising donations to match the $1,750 Riedel grant. That money is going toward professional training to put on puppet performances with a message of inclusivity.
“We are a cultural community-based organization with the intent of inclusion and all of us learning together about one another,” said Juneteenth Coalition Chairperson Marsha Mayfield. “I think that the more we learn about other cultures, we will find that we have more things in common than we do differences.”
Hip hop dance also plays a role in the Juneteenth Coalition activities. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the hip hop evolution. “Our kids celebrate positive hip hop dance messages in our performances and through the puppetry,” Mayfield said. “We are the only puppet/dance group in the surrounding area.” About 22 kids participate in the group called We Stand United Puppetry and Dance Group.
More than kids are involved in the puppet and dance program and they practice twice a week. They’ll perform on June 17 as part of Hannibal’s Juneteenth celebration. In the meantime, the Juneteenth Coalition is raising money to meet the challenge grant. Every donation to the coalition will be matched by the Riedel Foundation up to $1,750. If you would like to donate, contact the Hannibal FACT office at 573-221-2285.