Karen Konnerth, who also works as Calliope Puppets when performing, is a visual storyteller with a broad skill set which includes writing, making art in a wide variety of 3-D and 2-D media, arts integrated teaching, and puppet theater performance.
She has traveled nationally and internationally to share stories with children and families, and skills with educators. As a puppeteer who writes and builds both original and folklore based shows, she creates presentations respecting the intelligence of the child. And as a teacher, she has distilled her countless classroom hours developing, implementing, and refining arts integrated projects with children, to empower teachers with exciting new strategies for student engagement.
Her puppet theater performance work ranges from years of curriculum connected presentations in schools and libraries, to extensive festival tours in Central and South America, to an unexpected performance in Arabic (using VERY few words) in Salalah, Oman, for the U.S Embassy.
Educator workshops include presentations for the National Art Education Association, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and for the U.S. Embassy English Language Specialist Program in Central America, Asia, the Middle East, and South Africa.
Karen was awarded the 2011 Puppeteers of America Marjorie Batchelder McPharlin Award for contributions in the field of education. She also initiated and directed the puppetry component of the Teen Docent Program at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, awarded a 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.
Karen is represented by Tanusri Prasanna of Foundry Media as writer and illustrator of children’s books, with work coming out in 2021.
Karen has two grown children and is based in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she lives with her musician husband.
Karen presently seeks to inspire and help teachers to engage children in enthusiastic learning across the curriculum through arts integration. As she has seen clearly in her own classroom work, active learning on projects of personal interest to the child are effective and exciting for all. Karen is available as professional development as well as conference presenter. And she continues to build a collection of student video class series for use right in the classroom.
Karen’s present personal work focus is on the creation of picture books with depth, imagination, and unique visual style.