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Scholarship Program
Since 1982 UNIMA-USA has offered over 40 scholarships to underwrite professional puppetry training abroad for American members of UNIMA-USA. Studying in different countries and experiencing different cultures encourages building bridges for international understanding between puppeteers from around the world, a major aim of all UNIMA Centers.


The UNIMA Commission for Professional Training (International chapter) grant:
The applicants should choose one of the workshops or courses on the list and apply on UNIMA.org.

The UNIMA-USA scholarship:
Applicants should propose a workshop of their choice which takes place in a different country than the USA.

Kat Pleviak

Read an Essay by Kat Pleviak
the 2015 Scholarship Grant Recipient

All candidates for scholarships must:

• Be citizens or permanent residents of the United States
• Be a member of UNIMA-USA
• Be over the age of 18
• Have some experience in puppetry or/and a university degree showing an interest in puppetry
• Applying for aid to study with a recognized puppetry professional or professional program outside of the   United States, or to attend an international puppetry festival.

IMPORTANT: Requests for scholarships will not be processed unless you meet all of the eligibility requirements.
Due date for the next round: December 1st.

Click here to download the application (pdf) to fill out and print from your computer using Adobe Reader®

Once completed, email Scholarship Chair Irina Niculescu requesting an address for where to mail the form and attachments.
For additional scholarship information contact:
Irina Niculescu-

As the Scholarship Fund grows, UNIMA-USA will be able to offer increased aid to more recipients. Donations of any amount are most gratefully accepted.
Janaki Ranpura was one of two recipients of a UNIMA-USA scholarship to study abroad in 2010. Janaki defines herself as "a working puppeteer in Minneapolis, MN". She builds public projects that unite technology with the traditional stagecraft of puppet theater.

Czech Puppetry :: Hooked
I've been a puppeteer for fifteen years and I am sick of it. It's an ever-receding goal; you get comfortable with shadow puppets and discover hand puppets, you learn hand puppets and someone hands you a modified bunraku-style puppet. You learn to perform and eventually figure out you have to write, too, because there aren't that many scripts made for puppets, and why do a show someone else has done, anyway? Puppeteers are control freaks. They are awkward, shy people who get a handle on a daunting world by placing objects between them and it. I find it a good strategy. But what kind of profession is that, anyway? My parents are still hoping I'll grow up and become a doctor. The best I seem to be able to do is hide behind an operating table onstage. In January, I visited the Czech Republic on a scholarship from the international puppetry organization, UNIMA, to learn about puppets for film. The Czech Republic! It is a wonderland of serious makers. I'll stay in the ken, darn it, while I explore what I discovered there. [READ JANAKI'S FULL ARTICLE]
The UNIMA-USA scholarship program is intended to help cover tuition fees for American puppeteers who wish to study puppetry outside the U.S. Applicants should be puppeteers who have some professional experience, who have a university degree in puppetry, or who can otherwise demonstrate a serious commitment to the art form.

Over the past several years, UNIMA has also given scholarships for study in an ever-widening number of places, including the Institut Internationale de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mezieres, France; the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, England; the International Summer Academy in Stuttgart, Germany; and Puppets in Prague. The working knowledge of another language might be necessary to fully participate in some programs.

Candidates may use their scholarship at any time of the year, depending on when the courses are being offered. Puppetry training may be undertaken with either a recognized puppetry professional or a professional program outside the U.S. In some cases, an international puppet festival may be considered as a professional program.

Currently UNIMA-USA's scholarship is $1,000.

Candidates should be aware that they are responsible for the remaining costs (airfare, lodging, meals, etc.) If a candidate is accepted, the scholarship aid will be sent directly to the school or program at the beginning of the course.

The UNIMA-USA scholarship committee accepts applications once a year. The deadline for applications is December 1st for study to take place in the following calendar year. The committee will review applications in early December, and will notify candidates of their decision by December 30th.
Here is an extensive international list of Schools for Puppetry Training.

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