Each quarter, GreenStar selects three local not-for-profits to be the recipients of our Bring Your Own Bag, Use It for Good program donations. Our BYOB program encourages shoppers to bring their own bags by providing them with a token worth 5¢ that they can donate to one of the chosen organizations. At the end of the quarter, we make a donation to the groups based on the number of tokens given by our customers. This quarter, our recipients are the Lilypad Puppet Theater, the Free Science Workshop, and Meadowgate Equine Rescue.

Lilypad Puppet Theatre is dedicated to puppet arts. Their mission is to educate the general public in the art of puppetry through performances and workshops and to provide public performances of puppet theater which are accessible to all ages, and income levels, in Central NY. They believe that access to the arts can have a profound effect on the lives of children, which is why the goal for this program is to raise funds for free tickets for families that might otherwise not be able to participate. Lilypad is partnered with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program to help get tickets into the hands of those who need them. They also offer free hands-on workshops for the public and produce a monthly series for families at The Cherry Artspace in Ithaca from September through June.

Each show explores a different style of puppetry – marionettes, hand puppets, shadow puppets, crankies and more. After each show, the audience is invited to see how the magic is made with a peek at the backstage and an opportunity to ask questions. They also offer puppet-making workshops in which particpants make an original puppet to take home after seeing a performance of in that style. Lilypad wants to encourage children to identify as artists, and to experience different ways of expressing themselves.

They also produce an annual show for adults called the Crankie Cabaret. In this variety show, visual artists, puppeteers, storytellers, and musicians are invited to collaborate with Lilypad and with each other to create short scrolling stories, using a unique format – the crankie, a 19th century storytelling art form. Lilypad is excited about the potential that the art of puppetry has for our community.

GreenStar is pleased to be a part of supporting Lilypad Puppet Theater and their mission here in Tompkins County!

Are you involved with a not-for-profit organization that might benefit from our Bring Your Own Bag, Use It for Good program? Apply here.