Bread & Puppet Founder Receives Presidential Award for Activism

Plainfield, Vt. — Peter Schumann, the founder of the Internationally renowned Bread & Puppet Theater, will be honored at Goddard College with a special award to recognize his life and work in the arts and the social justice movement.

Goddard President Barbara Vacarr will present Schumann with the Second Annual Presidential Award for Activism at a ceremony on July 22, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. during the Masters of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts (MFA IA) Commencement, held at the Plainfield, Vermont campus.

“Peter Schumann embodies the ideals of social justice that reflect Goddard’s mission and values,’’ Vacarr said. “We are proud of the shared history of Goddard and Bread & Puppet, and we celebrate that history today.”
As Goddard approaches its 150th Anniversary, the college has been collecting stories from its alumni to document its long and distinguished history and the many contributions Goddard alumni have made to the arts, education, politics, science and activism.

Bread and Puppet was the Theater in Residence at Goddard College from 1970 to 1974.Over the course of its 50-year history, the company has participated in thousands of protests, parades, marches, pageants and circuses across the globe. The company has inspired countless activists andartists to imaginative action with the goal of creating a more just and sustainable future.

The Presidential Award for Activism was created to recognize Goddard alumni or individuals who have made significant contributions in the field of social justice and who embody the mission and values of Goddard College. This annual award was given for the first time in 2011 to Holocaust Survivor Stephan Ross from the class of 1955.

The award ceremony will be part of the MFA-IA Commencement on July 22nd at 7:00 PM. This event is open to the public as Goddard celebrates the life and work of Schumann and the 2012 MFA-IA graduating class.

About Goddard College
The mission of Goddard College is to advance cultures of rigorous inquiry, collaboration and lifelong learning, where individuals take imaginative andresponsible action in the world.

Goddard College was chartered in 1938 at its Plainfield, Vermont campus by founding President Royce “Tim” Pitkin. In 1963, Goddard became the first American college to offer adult-degree programs, and now specializes in MA, MFA, BA and BFA low-residency education. Offering accredited degree programs from campuses in Plainfield, Vermont and Port Townsend, Washington, Goddard’s low-residency format offers the best of on-campus and distance education, with experienced faculty advisors, rigorous on-campus residencies, and the freedom to study from anywhere.

About Bread & Puppet
The Bread and Puppet Theater was founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side, hosting rod-puppet and hand puppet shows for children. More complex theater pieces followed, in which sculpture, music, dance and language were equal partners. The puppets grew bigger and bigger. Annual presentations for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and Memorial Day often included children and adults from the community as participants. Many performances were done in the street. During the Vietnam War, Bread and Puppet staged block-long processions and pageants involving hundreds of people.

In 1974 Bread and Puppet moved to a farm in Glover in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. The 140-year old hay barn was transformed into a museum for veteran puppets. The company makes its income from touring new and old productions both on the American continent and abroad, and from sales of Bread and Puppet Press’ posters and publications. The traveling puppet shows range from tightly composed theater pieces presented by members of the company, to extensive outdoor pageants which require the participation of many volunteers.

Bread and Puppet is one of the oldest, nonprofit, self-supporting theatrical companies in the country.

Important Announcement

The Board of Directors for Goddard College have made the difficult decision to close the college at the end of the 2024 Spring term.  


Current Goddard students will have the opportunity to complete their degrees at the same tuition rate through a teach-out with like-minded institution, Prescott College. Updates and scholarship funds will be available in the coming weeks and months. Information will be posted to

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