Ramshackle Enterprises

Press and Praise

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Stories Bigger and Smaller than Our Own Bones: An Interview with Beth Nixon, Puppetry International
Five acts 'amidst piñatas': Duo keeps changing, getting better, Portland Press-Herald
About my piñata installation and night of puppetry and collaborative clown acts at The Space Gallery, Portland, Me. WorkNot Exhibit, January 2006
Outer SPACE, The Portland Phoenix
Also about WorkNot, January 2006
Festival puppeteers take art to new level, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
About The Black Sheep Puppet Festival and my involvement in it, October 2005.
Protests target trustees, Concord Journal
About an endangered wilderness area in Concord, Massachusetts, and a student demonstration for its preservation that featured a puppet I built as Thoreau.
In Troy, they love a parade, Troy Missoulian

Articles about my work with Spiral Q:

On Working with Beth Nixon

I am so amazed that cardboard and paper bags can make something so great! I am so thankful [my sons] were able to help with all the different stages of the project. I believe they are more open-minded to new ideas because of working with you.
-Lynette Rebo, Parent and Participant, Troy/Yaak Community Time-Line Spectacle, 5/02
Beth arrived in our isolated valley in Northwest Montana with incredible enthusiasm and drive. During her five weeks, she devoted herself to a twenty-four hour, seven day a week schedule. She worked tirelessly, initiating ideas from each classroom and grade level to put together a timeline of life in our community. Her ultimate goal was to celebrate the diversity and history of the area through a monumental coordination of over 400 students, faculty and volunteers. She accomplished this in a phenomenal parade down the main street and beautifully choreographed program of puppet and music held on our school football field. Her efforts received rave reviews from the community and local and regional press. I was inspired by Beth's leadership, ability in organizing her workspace, foresight in time management, and natural teaching skills when working with all abilities and age groups. Young and old appreciated Beth's creative energy and obvious artistic skill in puppetry. It was a memorable experience for all who were involved.
-Carol Parsons, 2nd grade teacher, Morrison Elementary School, 5/02
Beth Nixon was our energetic leader. She set a tone of openness, mutual respect, serious cooperative and creative work and fun. She knew how to bring out the best in us both humanly and artistically. Her love for what she was about was contagious, her leadership competent and inspiring, and her appreciation of our people affirming.
-Sister Margaret McKenna, Director, New Jerusalem Now Addiction Recovery Center, Peoplehood Participant, 2/03
Beth is clearly a kind, generous and thoughtful professional. She demonstrated a knowledge and skill that truly left me in awe. While I have had significant interaction with teens of that age, I still learned valuable lessons at seeing Beth handle the group with patience and precise authority. Her commitment is also clearly without question. She extended the scheduled days and hours to complete the assignment and to make sure that the participants had their day in the spotlight. Her generous donation of time and support resulted in a very entertaining and informative assembly program and the group was proud as a peacock.
-Ollie Nasir, Juvenile Justice Leader, Northern Homes Truancy & Prevention Dept., Strawberry Mansion Middle School, 8/03
Beth Nixon, who became the point person for the project once it began (though she had not been in on the planning of it) made it fully and beautifully her own and was in the end the primary person responsible for the residency's great success. She and the company as a whole were remarkable for their flexibility, their creativity, their delivery of a wonderful finished product, and their "heart."
-Susan Shifrin, Project Director and Curator, "Picturing Women: Historical Works and Contemporary Responses", 5/04
You did a remarkable job teaching us and working with us to create our projects. You deserve big congratulations for putting artistically inexperienced people and basic materials together and turning out an amazing creation in a relatively short period of time. Your efficiency and skill combined with your laid back attitude made you wonderful to work with. Not only did we enjoy your company and the time we spent working together in the Spiral Q studio, we were proud of our finished project and learned a new set of skills that we can put to use in the future.
- The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger staff, 6/04
The three humongous puppets that you helped the children create, are among the finest projects we've completed in my six years at The Community Arts Center. Most impressive was the level of skill, intelligence, humor, and creativity you brought to the process. You arrived on the first day well prepared and energized, and immediately engaged the children in brainstorming and imagining the puppets-to-be. You worked hard to keep all ages, from 4-12 years old, engaged during all phases of construction. The work was organized to involve each student as both an individual and a group member throughout. Thank you for the extra hours you spent after the students had gone to keep the work on schedule in the limited time we had. Although the students did not know each other before they arrived at camp, you quickly created a collaborative and cooperative atmosphere. I was happy that you were also able to include interns to take part in the building of puppets. It was great to bring folks from many backgrounds together to create a group work of art. As we prepared to parade the finished work around the grounds for friends and family to enjoy, I appreciated how you worked with the other teachers to orchestrate the pageant. The many details of coordinating with the music teacher and accommodating the various age groups proved challenging. You handled all of this with calm, good humor and common sense. Your focus was always on the integrity of the students' experience and their ownership of the project… You certainly helped us reach our goal for the session, to create a shared artistic experience for children from diverse backgrounds and experiences. The children were eager to begin work each morning and I think felt safe and happy here. They were proud of what they were able to accomplish.
- Suzanne Hayward, Program Director, Wallingford Community Art Center, 7/04
Beth Nixon led the students wonderfully during all stages. She helped our students learn how to make the best props they could for the Youth Anti-Violence Rally. She helped them figure out what would best fit our needs and taught them how to make the puppets. The students were so amazed at what they could make out of some cardboard, paint, and material. With her leadership, the students made a wonderful banner that clearly stated our message.
- Cathie Berrey, History Teacher, Freire Charter High School, 9/04
I didn't think I could make a bird like my drawing but then you showed me that I could. Now I think I can make anything. Even a scissor monster. My uncle will bring me home his cardboard from his job. Thanks Ms. Beth, you are nice.
- Jacob Brown, Age 9, 1/05
I enjoyed working with you. You took on a big job in a short time. Your coordination of so much ideas and efforts and puppets inspired me to put in more when I could.
- Christopher Blinn, Peoplehood Pageant Participant, 10/05
Volunteering with you was by far one of the best things I've done since coming to Philly. It has been a pleasure getting to know you and working to bring such a rockin project to life. Hell yeah!
- Molly Tsongas, Peoplehood Pageant Participant, 10/05

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