The project of the International Puppet Centre of Tolosa is an idea of the Centro de Iniciativas de Tolosa and started taking its first steps in 1986 when first talks took place with the Municipality of Tolosa. After more than 20 years of work and negotiations finally all suitable circunstances ocurred to comply with the needs and the Municipality of Tolosa, having signed the appropriate agreements with the Diputación Foral de Guipúzcoa and the Ministry of Public Works and Economy, the announced participation of the Basque Government and the Kutxa has approached this exceptional project turning Tolosa into a point of reference in the world of the art of puppets.
The aims of the International Puppet Centre of Tolosa (C.I.T.T.) are to spread and deepen into the potentialities of the Puppetry Art focusing its actions on the following points:
The C.I.T.T. will be settled in the historical centre of Tolosa, in the main building of the Euskalherria Square, which is a council property and has been declared historical patrimony. The Centre will consist of 3.600 square meters laid out in four floors, in which you will find:
The C.I.T.T. project opted for originality and innovation and will be a unique centre for the puppetry art, not only in Spain but also in Europe. In concrete areas some specialized centres for this complex art do exist emphasizing the creator, the artist, the specialist, the researcher, etc., but to find something with an all-round character putting more accent on the audience, final target of the works of art, we have to go to cities like Atlanta in the United States or Taipei in Taiwan.
The auditorium of the C.I.T.T. will be equipped with an 11 meters wide, 9 meters depth and 7 meters height rotary stage. And this stage will form the axis of the Centre and will host all those events with scenic character organized in Tolosa.
The expansion, besides the yearly festival, which this year will celebrate its 25th anniversary, includes a scholar campaign, which will permit children from Euskadi and the neighbouring provinces to spend a cultural day in Tolosa and establish a deep and playful contact with the art of puppets by attending a good show, with a visit to a different and original museum, the experience of building up a simple puppet and a visit to the old part of Tolosa. During weekends shows will be held addressed to family audiences as well as shows dedicated exclusively to adults.
Te intention of the C.I.T.T. is not to own a stable company to provide more freedom of programmes by opening the way to companies and creations of different sources, techniques and artistic conceptions, in order to enrich the utmost supply and at the same time giving an opportunity to a bigger number of artists.
As a part of the expansion, the project is considering the idea of co-productions with Basque companies by emphasizing the staging of contemporary dramaturgy, particularly of young writers, thereby covering the important lack that exists obliging the puppeteers to resort so often to adapt classical tales not always with the luck that the spectators are expected.
The Museum will have two sections. The first one will be a permanent section showing the puppet through its history, geographical distribution and different techniques and conceptions and the second one presenting monographic exhibitions devoted to a single subject which will change through the year.
The real dimension of the object of a puppet being shown on stage, the exhibition should have an important support provided by the new technologies offering moving images helping to know and better understand its real value.
The Museum will specially emphasize recovery and preservation of the national heritage of the puppet. There is a great concern for the protection of works produced by great artists irretrievably lost in rubbish containers or away from the country into the hands of speculators or private collectors, We think that we are all obliged to avoid pillage in future.
The Documentation and Research Centre begins with a patrimony of 1.800 videos or DVD of puppets shows from all over the world, 1.600 posters, 7.200 photographs, written documents from more than 2.300 companies from all over the world and a small specialised artistic library of nearly 600 volumens, and world wide magazines and periodic publications.
The new Centre will have different areas devoted to video-library, icon-library and library, open to everybody who would like to approach it with a research purpose or simple curiosity.
In collaboration with the country university institutions it is also planned to support research through scholarships so that young graduates of different careers in touch with the world of culture, thoughts, art and scene could deepen into some aspect of this complex art.
Training is divided in 3 areas.
First is assigned to professional retraining of puppeteers of the country, that will receive master classes to be able to retrain.
A second level will provide teachers, spare time technicians, entertainment managers, etc. a basic knowledge to allow them to work with children and teenagers in the theatrical play. This area also includes the application of puppets as therapy with children having problems.
And a third level to show 8 year old children to play by creating and building puppets.
In the three levels the use of interactive video-conference systems made through internet is being considered to reach schools of any corner of Euskadi or the country.
The C.I.T.T. will be a reference for all those that in some way are interested in the Puppetry Art and can be a bridge to join all of them together, specially those that share common cultures and languages.
All this project herein summarized will be managed according to the Municipality of Tolosa, by the Centro de Iniciativas de Tolosa, a non profitable cultural association, declared of public service.