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The Northwest Puppet Center in Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood is a regional treasure. The average American thinks of puppetry as being an art form for children, unaware for the most part of the rich and sophisticated puppet theater traditions of Europe and Asia. The puppeteers of the Carter Family Marionettes are world class performers and puppet makers. Their productions delight and the rich detail of their sets and puppets would be the envy of any designer from the live stage. I grew to love puppet theater through my husband's infectious admiration for the art. We were so fortunate to see a Japanese national touring Bunraku company perform in San Francisco (we were seated right behind Diane Finestein!), and a Sicilian national company perform "Orlando Furioso" in Marin, and an Indonesian company complete with gamelan orchestra perform the most amazing shadow puppet works, plus countless productions of famed puppeteers, Lewis Mahlman and Randal Metz in Oakland. So, to find Seattle is home to one of America's premiere puppet theaters is a thrill. The Carter family are among the most practiced and professional troupes in the nation. The puppet center they founded has been developed on the site of a former church and includes a museum, theater, outdoor picnic area, and a large children's playground which features this carved climbing Keet.