If you took a snapshot of Jill Liflander’s car on any given day, you’d find an assortment of puppets, an eclectic mix of groovy music synced up on her iPhone, colorful costumes, percussion instruments. If you then followed her with her boxes of “stuff” into a daycare center, school, performing arts center, library, or wherever she happened to be playing that day, you’d soon find children singing, dancing, smiling, laughing, giggling, and exploring with the “edutainer.”
Liflander, who goes by the moniker “Jilly Puppets,” has been described as an “artistic force of nature.” She is a talented puppeteer, visual artist, dance artist, storyteller and writer. Jill views the world as a connected whole, separated through artificial barriers that inhibit people’s ability to make meaningful connections and love each other. She uses her art to challenge those barriers, creating experiences where adults and children step into perhaps unfamiliar waters, but quickly forget that they were supposed to be afraid of people and ideas that are different from what they know.
She teaches Early Childhood Puppet education at home-based daycares throughout Westchester, and is the Educational Director for Hebrew Congregation of Somers. She is frequently found leading community events with her vivacious, skilled energy and friendly, welcoming manner.
Jill’s undergraduate degree in Cultural Anthropology began to shape her unique world view. She went on for a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education with a focus on multicultural education. She has studied extensively at the Harkness Dance Center’s “Dance Education Laboratory” at the 92nd St Y in NYC, and has studied the Kennedy Center’s “Arts Integration” model of arts education.