I recieved this message from our regional director:

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE encourage folks to go to the national fest in MN this summer! It is gonna be AMAZING! Read below for recent updates and do check out the full deal at the fest website: www.puppetfest2005.org
Only 1 month away, but it’s still possible for you and your Guild/Regional members to get schedules and travel plans arranged, etc. It *is* worth it! It’s not an option NOT to go to these fests–learning, growing, networking, celebrating, ensuring the future of puppetry.
They (the fest staff) are just under their minimum number of registrants needed to break even and deserve to have people there to enjoy the fest that they have worked for YEARS on. Know that festivals are in danger of being a thing of the past if this one does not work–REALLY. I mean that. They (festivals) are a service provided to P of A members by an amazingly dedicated group of VOLUNTEERS–and if the membership does not take advantage of this “service” than this service will no longer be offered. It’s not negative or punitive, it’s realistic. DO YOUR PART. ACT NOW. GET THEE TO MINNESOTA!
This “state of affairs” CAN be remedied! Please forward this to your Guild, your Region and to ANY puppet folk who are considering going. They need your “nudge” to make it happen.
All the best,
Aretta Baumgartner
Great Lakes Region
Scholarship & Youth Services
Puppeteers of America, Inc.
—– Original Message —–

Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2005 10:58 PM
Subject: Puppet Fest 2005 – registrations
…What would assist the bottom line the most at this point is more registrations. If you know of anyone who has been considering attending the festival, please do some encouraging. Other than the budget wrestling, the festival plans are in great shape. It is going to be an incredible week. We’ve had a couple of recent additions to the festival schedule. Heather Henson will be presenting a mini film festival of short puppet films at the festival. They are all recent works that Heather assembled for a film festival in California. She graciously offered to cover all the costs of showing the films at the festival. Eileen Blumenthal, the author of “Julie Taymor: Playing with Fire” and the soon to be published “Puppetry: A World History” will be speaking at the festival and doing a book signing of her new book. It looks like this will be a landmark book and the fest will be your first chance to see it. (Fortunately, the publisher was able to assist with her travel costs.)
…Anything you can do to help generate registrations for the festival would be greatly appreciated.
I guess that there are MANY rich puppet people who can take a week off and have a great time in MN. Sure, if I were single, did not have a baby, had a high paying job, and didn’t owe people money…I’d go. I wonder how PoA expects poor puppet people to attend these events?