“People and Permaculture” and identifying the connecting web that has been cast over Little Artshram’s home-place and our Great Lake State of Michigan is a fitting theme for us, as we celebrate our 20th birthday year.
We are pleased to begin a “forward-back-paddle” and spend a little time sharing tidbits about the connections that have created fertile ground for Little Artshram and ARTSPACE’s birth in Michigan and the people that inspire our projects and work which emerge along with our home-places.
Here’s a little back-paddling:  Little Artshram began in Lansing, Michigan, on Turner Street, as The Greater Lansing ARTSPACE, in 1993.  (We actually began a few years earlier than that and called ourselves North Town Art Center, before taking on our .org/501c3 status.) In this historic district of North Lansing, we had ten years of joyous, creative mayhem taking place in what would become known as Old Town. One of our dearest of dear friends, Robert Busby hosted us in a century old store-front across from his Creole Gallery always supporting and sometimes participating in our family friendly projects and events. This coming weekend, September 15th, sixteen years after this photo of Robert holding a Tree Spirit mask was taken, we’ll be planting trees in Burchard Park around a memorial sculpture an in his honor.
Robert and the Tree Spirit Mask, 1997
In 1998 ARTSPACE closed up shop in Old Town and moved to Northern Michigan, as far as the BIG Lake Michigan lake-shore, first settling in the Leelanau County area.  Shortly afterwards, in 2000 is when The Neahtawanta Center asked for support in building puppets and masks for the annual Earth Day and All-Species Parade, and when we met Bob Russell, Sally Van Vleck and a good crew of Northern Michigan environmentalists. 
Last weekend, our beloved Otter Water Goddess puppet, made by artists and students from the Leelanau School and Glen Lake High School attended the memorial service for Bob Russell honoring our gratefulness and our connections for his life and service.
Otter Water Goddess, 2000
Another remembering and grateful strand in the Little Artshram and ARTSPACE web is that of a fierce and loving mentor, Jayne Walker of The Eco-Learning Center
Our relationship with Jayne continues through the work of Little Artshram and O’k CSA and the LLOOF program with others. Jayne encouraged, approved and supported our growing and learning through a chosen path of permaculture—-although she mentioned a few times that she’d like us to study up in a more formal way on Biodynamics.  She supported and encouraged our endeavors through Little Artshram to expand our experience as cultural creatives and educators, and to work with children, teens and college aged youth learning alongside of them, where our food came from and how to grow food without pillaging the Earth.
Jayne Walker, on her land.

As this forward-back-paddling with Little Artshram and ARTSPACE continues, a little reflection now in this place for our “little” non-profit organization that is so abundantly connected, from Lansing to Traverse City and a few dozen other places we’ve parked our creative, art, community gardening and environmental education cart.

We now, honor this web and many folks with strong, shining spirits, through our support for the collaborative work of The Michigan Permaculture Convergence .

Beginning in December 2012, Little Artshram and an expansive group of permaculture-minded individuals and enthusiasts have been meeting and organizing a state-wide gathering.  The Michigan Permaculture Convergence  will be held at Camp Talahi, in Howell, Michigan, on November 1-3, 2013. This first annual Michigan permaculture event is also the dream seeding of the Great Lakes Bio-Region Permaculture Convergence.

We are remembering and grateful for the continued inspiration that Robert, Jayne and Bob provide and for their nourishment that supported and encouraged Little Artshram and ARTSPACE to keep on keeping on. 



Remembering, Grateful and A Great Fall Gathering…People and PermacultureLittleArtshram.org

Sun and Rock poster image

Little Artshram and

O’k Puppet Theater and the Pretty Good Players


“Sun and Rock: Stories from Byrd Baylor”

TODAY, August 2, 2012  @ 11:00 am, @ the TCFF Kids Fest, Central Grade School, at the corner of Seventh & Wadsworth , Traverse City, Michigan!

Our 2013 summer puppet theater features Byrd Baylor, author of over 30 well-loved children’s books. Our musical story takes place in two wonderful and powerful places: Arizona and Northern Michigan, near our lovely Grand Traverse Bay.  Accompanying Byrd on this journey is a fourth generation Monarch Butterfly,

a Songbird and a Rabbit.


Monarch Butterfly arrives in Arivaca, Arizona en route to Grand Traverse Bay after wintering in Michoacan, Mexico. There he meets the author Byrd Baylor and her friends, Songbird Girl and Rabb-It. The group joins together in reading Byrd’s book, The Way To Start a Day.

“Zuni Melody” Traditional

“Daylight” Adam Levine, etal

“Here Comes the Sun” George Harrison

“House of the Rising Sun” Traditional

“Sunny” Bobby Hebb

In Between: “You are the Sunshine of my Life” Stevie Wonder


Leaving the desert, the group is now in Northern Michigan, at the edge of the Great Lake. Attuned to the power of Nature, the group shares the ten rules of finding a rock, from Byrd’s book, Everybody Needs A Rock.

“A Boy and His Rock” Alaric Jans

“Rock Around the Clock Tonight”

Max C. Freedman and Jimmy DeKnight

Our 2013 O’k and Pretty Good Cast and Crew….

Monarch Butterfly: Mike Nunn

Byrd Coyote Baylor: Kenny Perry

Songbird Girl:  Addie Eldridge

Rebel Rabb-It: Emma Burns

Music Director:  Rokko Jans, on Keyboard

Violin: Kerry Alspaugh

TC Sing(ers):  Heather Kingham, Lee Edwards

O’k Puppet Directress:  Penny Krebiehl

Set design and script, inspired by Byrd Baylor and collectively created by the 2013 O’k and Pretty Good Players.

More puppet workshop and performance info:


or penny@littleartshram.org



August 1st, Musical Puppet Show, 11:00 am, TCFF Kids FestLittleArtshram.org

MB and the RabbIT & Songbird


EVERYbody sings right???

This is the third year that Little Artshram has partnered with O’k Puppet Theater and the Pretty Good Players giving an original, musical puppet show to the TCFF organization for their Kids Fest.

It’s always kind of awesome, if we do say so ourselves, and this year we’ve run into a little performance week snafu with one of our special guests and puppeteers not able to participate or perform because of a death in the family.

We need additional voice(s) in the chorus to accompany Mr. Rokko Jans, our cast and musical director (and a pro composer from Chicago Shakespeare Theater, etal).

There is a dress rehearsal tonight THURSDAY, August 1st,  at O’k Studio in the Alley, 514 Second St.  6:30 pm. Tomorrow’s performance meetup is 10:00 am, with the play beginning at 11:00 am.  The total performance time is approx. 30 minutes.

Please HELP if you can!

On Friday morning we need voices to help us sing the following songs that are starred ***

Other music listed will underscore the performance bits.

Scenes and music….

Opening music:  Zuni Melody, Ancient

ACT 1:

***“Daylight” Adam Levine

***“Here Comes the Sun” George Harrison

“House of the Rising Sun”


“You are the Sunshine of my Life” Stevie Wonder

ACT 2:

“A Boy and His Rock” Alaric Jans

***”Rock Around the Clock”

If you are interested, willing and able—please contact us:

Thank you so much for your consideration!



ps. here’s a little bit of info on the play  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153054555070181&set=a.10150095948295181.393578.465381305180&type=1&theater

Singing Voices Needed…TCFF Kids Fest Musical Puppet Show…LittleArtshram.org

This Friday at the Traverse City Film Festival Kids’ Fest @ Central Grade School, 7th Street, Traverse City, Michigan @ 11:00 am.

Please, join Little Artshram and O’k Puppet Theater and the Pretty Good Players….


Our 2013 summer puppet theater features author Byrd Baylor, author of over 30 well-loved childrens’ books. Our original puppet story/script takes place in Arizona and then we travel north, right here along the lovely Grand Traverse Bay, with a fourth generation Monarch Butterfly narrating and guiding our way. From Byrd Baylor’s home place in the Sonoran Desert to the edge of Lake Michigan, you’ll find two wonderful, powerful places where all kinds of creatures live.

ByrdThrough music, song and Byrd’s storytelling our SUN AND ROCK puppet show, shares how the sun’s energy is a part of our “solar diet”, and why showing our appreciation of shared, powerful natural sources and incredible inanimate objects, like rocks, can bring great joy! Find out more about upcoming puppet and mask theater workshops, classes and performances:


www.pennyokart.com  OR  www.littleartshram.org

Sun and Rock, Scenery Chorus











Puppet Show @ the Traverse City Film Festival Kids Fest, Friday, Aug. 2nd…LittleArtshram.org

Sun and Rock, Scenery Chorus

O’k Puppet Theater and the Pretty Good Players at the Traverse City Film Fest….and you can join us too!  Ever been a part of a puppet theater troupe?

NOW’s your chance and a golden opportunity! We are performing at the Traverse City Film Fest and YOU can be a part of the party!  We are putting out the call for folks of all ages to join our “Scenery Chorus”.

You will be joining a group of awesome folks in our production of “SUN AND ROCK: Stories from Byrd Baylor”.  The stories take place in both Arizona and NW Michigan, it abstractly follows the path of a Monarch Butterfly, drawing some comparisons to the understanding of the energies that we are connected to at the edges of the powerful places—the edge of the desert and the edge of water of a great lake….It connects to our understanding of how energy is shared, fueled by the Sun for us all and how all earth’s beings have a “solar diet”, even butterflies and rocks…and how we come to recognize our connections, while also understand the beauty and importance of showing our appreciation for these shared gifts.

The Scenery Chorus will have a joy-filled time of setting the stage in each of our two acts, carrying bump cards through from time to time, rising and shining our BIG well-loved Sun Puppet, scattering a few colorful rocks about the stage, and yes, a little singing will also be part of the mix. This is meant to be a group effort–with a sense of playful comraderie.

Some of you have said you love Byrd Baylor and her stories, so this is a place for you to share/demonstrate and act on that in a great little community theater way! Sounds kind of wonderful huh?

We feel that by putting this invitation out to the big wide-world of friends and families, that we are sure to be blessed with exactly the right group of folks for this chorus!

This week we are in our final, and first, ’cause thats’ the way we do original-organic-community-puppet theater for a special presentation at the Traverse City Film Festival on Friday.

Contact us for a copy of the script, asap, and let us know you are interested, then show up for our first rehearsal. See the schedule below:

Set design, puppet production and music rehearsals are: Monday, July 29th-through Thursday, August 1st, meeting each day from 1-4 pm

Monday: read through script/storyboard, begin set design/puppet production, practice lines/songs/music

Tuesday: tweak/finalize storyboard, continue set design/puppet production, practice lines/songs/music

Wednesday: continue set design/puppet production, practice lines/songs/music

Thursday: COMPLETE/Fine-tune and finish set design and puppets

Performance rehearsals for the entire crew are scheduled for Monday, July 29th through puppet dress-rehearsal on Thursday, August 1st, from 6:30-8:30 pm.

Monday; read through script, designate roles

Tuesday; read through w/ designated roles, meet puppets

Wednesday; read through w/ puppets

Thursday: puppet dress rehearsal

Our puppet performance is on Friday, August 2nd @ 11:00 am, at the Kids Fest site at Central Grade School, on 7th Street in Traverse City.

thanks all, looking forward!



Join the Pretty Good Players for a TCFF Kidsfest puppet show!LittleArtshram.org