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Carmel DeAmicis Headshot

Glowing Puppets Take to the Harlem Streets

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Saturday night, 100 illuminated puppets manned by over 500
people marched through Morningside Park, marking the first ever Morningside
Lights Parade. Startled passers-by stopped and gawked at the spectacle,
which included trumpeteers, a unicyclist, and glowing eight-foot paper-mache
creatures. Over the course of the prior week, local residents built the sculptures
in workshops, led by Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles, the designers of
the New York City Halloween Parade's puppets. Columbia University's Miller
Theatre and Arts Initiative, the event sponsor, is considering making it an
annual event, with the goal of connecting the campus and community through
cooperative art.

Columbia has been planning the event for the last year and marketing to the
community through local organizations like friends of Morningside Park. They
attracted a range of participants, from senior citizens and families, to students
and local artists. The theme was "Imagined City," and people used bamboo
and tissue paper to create structures from their ideal urban space. Jellyfish
automobiles sprung up alongside beehive huts, towering tree houses, and more
abstract pieces.

The non-narrated video below follows the creation of the largest puppet in the
parade -- the burning clock tower.

Glowing Puppets Hit the Harlem Streets from Carmel DeAmicis on Vimeo.