Cattywampus Puppet Council began in the summer of 2014 as a papier mache puppet making collaboration between Knoxville-based artists, Rachel Milford and Shelagh Leutwiler. After making several large puppet heads together and taking them out around the streets of Knoxville, Cattywampus was commissioned in the fall of 2014 to create a full length show for the the Dogwood Arts Festival. Multiple artists and community members joined in the process of creating this show, playing music, puppeteering, and assisting in the making of sets, puppets, and other props. Through this process, a collaborative team emerged, and the Cattywampus Puppet Council was born. Since this first collaborative show, Cattywampus Puppet Council has created several other shows for all ages and also founded Knoxville’s first giant puppet parade, the Appalachian Puppet Pageant. The Council consists of an ever rotating collective of artists, performers, dancers, musicians, and other whimsy-makers.
Cattywampus Puppet Council is a registered non-profit in the state of Tennessee and fiscally sponsored by Community Shares. CPC gathers and imagines stories inspired by nature and the human experience in the South East to bring people together. Through workshops, public art, performances, and parades, CPC seeks to promote play and community-based storytelling as integral to our individual growth and the health of our communities. CPC believes art accessibility invigorates an individual’s sense of ownership and power within community.