Yompers - Larrikin Puppets Crowdfunder

I have a really weird day job.

I am one half of Larrikin Puppets, an award-winning puppetry arts business founded by my husband Brett Hansen in 2012. I have been puppeteering and performing with the company since 2017.

We perform colourful and exciting puppet shows, songs and stories for stage and screen. We provide children’s entertainment that’s engaging and educational, with a focus on humanities, arts and social sciences.

Highly entertaining and captivating, our fast-paced, feel-good puppetry celebrates fun, kindness and diversity while nurturing child development, encouraging audiences to talk, dance, sing and play along.

Because most of the puppetry I perform is what’s called “hidden puppetry” (where the puppet is seen but the puppeteer is hidden), most people don’t even realise I’m performing so many different puppets and puppet character voices.

I’m really good at it now, but not many people out there in the big wide world of important corporate sector, government sector or non-profit sector jobs care about that. That’s OK, I don’t need you to care about what I do. But I would like you to know about what I do.

You see, while you’re at work doing your very important job, I’m doing my equality important job of bringing joy to children while educating them in HASS (Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences) along the way – just largely unbenownst to anyone!

When I graduated with a Master of Arts in Social Sciences from Griffith University in 2011 with straight High Distinctions and a University Award, I did not think I would have this day job. I actually thought I’d be working at the United Nations or UNICEF .

But now I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Our little audiences often just think we’re funny and fun – and that’s cool. But our impact is actually a bit more profound than that. We connect closely with our child audiences. We communicate directly with our child audiences. We are deeply embedded in community and therefore become part of their community of care.

Now I want to bring this same impact and connection to a wider, mainstream audience of children and families across Australia.

I’d love your support in doing so.

Introducing Yompers

Set in a magical, multi-species community of animals, plants and humans, Yompers are a group of four friends, each one being a vulnerable animal of the world. They work, play and perform together.

Each donning a colourful backpack, Yompers yomp along gleefully while carrying a heavy load: one a portable café; one a set of musical instruments; one a pair of shoes for others to walk in; and one a big sack of fun facts.

Their calling is to impart wisdom to some of the youngest humans on earth in a super fun way, supporting them to understand important and exciting ideas in the areas of HASS (Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences).

Yompers is a TV series and a live puppet show.

Yompers is being created to engage, educate and entertain children aged 7 and under. It will also act as a worthwhile and welcome resource to support educators, parents and carers with high quality early years and early primary education in the area of HASS.

Why Support Yompers

There are a number of children’s television and theatre programs focusing on numeracy, literacy, science, sport and play. However, education in HASS is missing in mainstream entertainment despite these skills being vital to children so they become thriving teenagers and adults – learning to navigate the world as an individual; together with others in our family, community and beyond; and as part of the natural world around us.

Your support can help make that happen!

Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences teaches students the important skills of problem solving, critical thinking, and understanding our environment and history.

The Humanities deals with the philosophical question of what makes us human and the Arts delivers a creative expression of those questions.

The Social Sciences uses a more scientific approach, essentially applying similar methodology as the natural sciences to the study of humans in society. The Social Sciences helps us better understand connections and complexities in ourselves, in others, and in the world around us.

While this area of study sounds profound and complex (because it is!), Yompers supports children to develop foundational and age-appropriate critical thinking, communication and conversation skills that are essential for continued learning of HASS subject areas such as languages, history, geography, philosophy, sociology, psychology, anthropology,  performing arts, visual arts, sustainability, economics, politics, law, education, ethics, communication, and linguistics.

At Larrikin Puppets, the common thread that already weaves throughout the fabric of our work is the broad educational field of HASS. Yompers is simply an extension of what we already do, presented using a new, innovative and exciting set of quirky characters, songs and stories.

I am hoping placing this call for support here will help result in securing us a TV Series Pilot Producer who can provide a financial contribution of $5000. But donations of $5 are also more than welcome!

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