The Scoop

In 2007, the Center for Puppetry Arts was generously gifted more than 500 original Jim Henson puppets and artifacts. The “Believe in Make Believe” campaign raised funds for a brand-new museum at CPA: the Worlds of Puppetry Museum, featuring the world’s largest and most comprehensive Jim Henson Collection, as well as the Global Collection.

The Challenge

Expand the world’s premier puppet organization while maintaining the legacy of renowned artist Jim Henson – all on a limited budget, with licensing restrictions on Muppet characters and significant time constraints.

  • Generation of national, regional and local press buzz surrounding the expansion and grand opening was essential for the nonprofit’s success

The Campaign

It’s not easy being green.

  • Outreach to national arts outlets, fan blogs and social influencers to spread the word online and via social media
  • Top-tier media interviews for Henson’s daughter and president of the Jim Henson Foundation Cheryl Henson, as well as members of The Jim Henson Legacy
  • Interactive events for influencers: exclusive media hart hat tours, a blogger “sneak peek” Tweet Up and media preview days
  • Special surprise guest and beloved Henson friend Kermit the Frog, along with puppeteer Steve Whitmire, who helped Cheryl Henson, Brian Henson, Heather Henson and family cut the ribbon to officially open the Worlds of Puppetry Museum

The Results

“Believe in Make Believe” combined with (a lot of) hard work:

  • More than 280 press placements in top regional and national outlets including CNN, Garden & Gun, The New York Times and The Smithsonian Magazine
  • Cover stories for Kermit the Frog, including Atlanta NOW’s January issue
  • November 14, 2015 proclaimed as Center for Puppetry Arts Day; the award was presented to the Center’s founder Vincent Anthony by Mayor Kasim Reed, Councilman Kwanza Hall and Councilwoman Mary Norwood
  • A sold-out grand opening weekend of more than 2,000 visitors and earned community recognition as the Jim Henson Foundation partner, preserving the Center’s legacy for future generations