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Henson Homecoming—The Jim Henson Exhibition Opening Festival

Celebrate the legacy of Jim Henson with a museum-wide puppetry arts festival! Join us at MCHC for an entire day of live puppet shows, local artists, puppet-making, museum exhibitions, chalk drawings, live music, food, and film screenings with Sam and Friends author and Jim Henson Legacy President Craig Shemin. A day for adult and family inspiration and imagination!

10:30–11:30 am Musical Performance Shake Out Your Sillies with Ms. Eliza

11–11:30 am  Live Puppet Show Ebony Sonshine Puppets

Ebony Sonshine presents “Happy and Healthy”, a puppet show centered on health and wellness with fun movement! Through puppetry, dance, and song, children will be encouraged to think healthy and learn how they can improve their healthcare. Stronger children lead to stronger families, thus leading to stronger communities. “Good Health is Good Business!”

12–12:30 pm  Live Puppet Show Danny Joe’s Tree House

Danny invites you to travel back in time and attend a “live studio taping” of an episode of Danny Joe’s Tree House called, “Calling All Cadets!”. During this performance, we will visit the past and receive a reassuring message from the distant future.

12:00–12:30 pm  Ribbon Cutting

1–1:30 pm  Live Puppet Show Danny Joe’s Tree House

2–3:30 pm  Film Screening  Sam and Friends: Jim Henson’s Early Days with Author Craig Shemin

Craig Shemin presents this program of Jim and Jane Henson’s early Washington, D.C. work, including surviving footage from the early Henson series Sam and Friends, as well as newly restored transfers of Henson’s Wilkins Coffee commercials. Craig will also discuss the creation of his book, Sam and Friends: The Story of Jim Henson’s First Television Show, which will be available for sale in the Museum Store.

4–4:45 pm  Book Signing  Sam and Friends: The Story of Jim Henson’s First Television Show

5–6:15 pm  Film Screening  Jim Henson Commercials and Experiments with Author Craig Shemin

This mind-blowing collection of shorts, crazy commercials, and other rarities from the Henson archives has been remastered in high definition from original film elements and contains newly discovered material. Highlights include an industrial film for Wilson’s Meat that must be seen to be believed and excerpts from experimental TV programs The Cube and Youth ’68. Also included is Time Piece, the 8-minute Oscar-nominated experimental masterpiece directed by (and starring) Jim Henson himself. 

Newly Added! 6:30–7:30 pm  Live Puppet Show Katherine Fahey and Dan Van Allen

Wind down from the day’s events with Katherine Fahey’s magical shadow puppet *Crankies, performed by Katherine and puppeteer Dan Van Allen. Following the performance, get an inside look at the creation and operation of Crankies and shadow puppets. 

*Crankies are a pre-cinema form of visual performance, involving a moving scroll of artwork in a box.

Throughout the Day

Live music from Jazz Bay Project and The Tony & Gavin Conflict

Chalk art with local muralist Bridget Cimino

Food trucks

Blondie Donuts

Partner tables

Art-making with Port Discovery

Museum exhibitions

Image: © 2023, Muppets/Disney. © 2023, Sesame Workshop. © The Jim Henson Company.



Fleet Week—Free Museum Admission