As a theater artist and educator, I create puppet shows for children and adults alike, which celebrate thoughtful imagination and narrative in all its glorious and strange explorations. I often seek to explore a particular tradition of thought or classic myth through allegory. I invite a sense of community in my work by performing in unconventional locations in an effort to make art more accessible and plentiful.
I also lead puppet-making workshops, often alongside or leading up to performances. As an educator, I believe in a collaborative curiosity, a process-based pedagogy best led by questions and co-learning. I also work towards inclusive equity, relying upon community as a resource for accessible practices.
I have been working as a teaching artist since 2014, as MAKEshop teaching artist at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, developing ways of scaffolding and reapproaching maker skills for a wider audience. In 2016, on a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library services, I developed a makerspace at Hosanna House in Wilkinsburg, and later, one at Action Housing’s Uptown Lofts, a transitional housing facility for young people aging out of the foster care system and facing homelessness.
I am most proud of my work in seeking diversity in maker culture, an initiative I presented with one of my students at Detroit Maker Faire 2017. I have also taught with Propel Schools, Assemble Pittsburgh, Environmental Charter School, and others. Through PF/PCA, I have taught at the Allegheny County Jail’s Academic Institute and Arlington Elementary’s Summer Dreamers.
feliciatcooper (at) gmail (dot) com