Talk to the hand: Teen docents from the Ogden Museum put on artistic puppet show

NEW ORLEANS -- There are no strings attached when it comes to this puppet show.

At the Children's Resource Center on Napoleon Avenue, we watched as local teens performed educational skits with specially made puppets.

It was a free show for anyone in the community who ventured to their nearest public library.

It's all a part of a special program from the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

Each year, the museum takes on 8 to 10 New Orleans area public school students with the goal of increasing their exposure to the arts.

They're called "teen docents," and they learn how to give tours, become camp counselors, and they even make their own puppets and story lines to reflect different exhibitions.

"So much of southern art is narrative, and we like to share the stories of the south with as many people as we possibly can. It's a really amazing, creative process for them to come up, not only with designing the puppets themselves, but also writing these shows," says Ellen Balkin, the education manager at Ogden.

During the show, each story line contained an antagonist which allowed the viewers to be involved in the skits.

"There are people, and they have to find ways out of situations. The first way may not always work, but you just have to keep trying," says teen docent, Jadah Scott.

"With puppet shows like this, kids get inspired for their dreams and what they want to do," says teen docent, Henry Johnson.

So, whatever your vision is for art, be inspired to come up with your own narrative.

For more information on the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, or to learn more about the teen docent program, click here.