If you took a snapshot of Jill Liflander’s car on any given day as she pulls up to teach, you’d find an assortment of puppets of all sizes, an eclectic mix of groovy music playing from the stereo, colorful costumes, percussion instruments, props such as balls, fabrics, ribbons, and mats. If you then followed her into a daycare center, school, performing arts center, library, or wherever she happened to be playing that day, you’d soon find children and adults singing, dancing, smiling, laughing, giggling, and exploring.
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 writer and activist. 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.
Jill crafts Early Childhood Puppet educational experiences at home-based daycares throughout Westchester. She is the dynamic Educational Director for Hebrew Congregation of Somers, a Reconstructionist Synagogue in Northern Westchester. Jill teaches a variety of courses at the Tarrytown Music Hall Academy . She is frequently found leading local community events with her vivacious, skilled, loving energy and her friendly, warm enthusiasm.
Jill’s holds an undergraduate degree in Cultural Anthropology and a Master’s Degree in Elementary 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. Jill considers herself to a continual and engaged learner, committed to deepening her connection with the Earth, with our communities, and with our truest, most joyful and loving selves.