July 5-9 2021, 20th International Puppetry & Creative Arts Festival, Olivet Nazarene University, IL 60914

July 5-9 2021, 20th International Puppetry & Creative Arts Festival, Olivet Nazarene University, IL 60914
July 5-9 2021, 20th International Puppetry & Creative Arts Festival, Olivet Nazarene University, IL 60914
SKU: I-Fest2021
$25 Deposit per delegate secures your registration for Our 20th International Festival of Puppetry and Creative Arts Ministry, or I-Fest, is a unique 5-day event which celebrates and promotes the use of creative arts to spread the Gospel. A wide variety of workshops are offered covering topics such as puppetry, ventriloquism, stick ministry, gospel illusions, balloon twisting, human video, and many more. Some workshops will be offering hands-on training covering performance and puppet construction techniques. Checkout below for full details of the event! Book by 04/01/21 to benefit from the early Discount of $100 per person. Group price is per person for 4 or more registering at the same time (Discounted price calculated at checkout). Select your Options below to Register!
List Price: $539.00
Price: $439.00
You Save: $100.00 (19%)
Product Details
I-FEST 2021

Secure Your Registration
Book online or send us your deposit of $25 to secure your registration. We will lock in your total fee for the week, and the final payment due by 1st July.
General Information
20th International Festival of Puppetry and Creative Arts Ministry was created to provide specialized training for Christian performers and performance teams. I-Fest is a unique time were we bring the very best teachers and performers from around the world to an environment of fellowship, learning, sharing, and encouragement in a Christian atmosphere.
What is I-Fest?
The I-Fest is a gathering of Christian creative arts enthusiasts. It is a week full of resources, workshops, performances, networking, encouraging, fellowship, competitions, construction labs, dream team.
When is I-Fest?
The International Festival of Creative Arts Ministry begins Monday afternoon and continues through Friday afternoon, July 5-9, 2021. The Dream Team rehearsal and some hands-on classes will begin Monday morning.
Who Should Attend?
The I-Fest is for team leaders, beginning to advanced puppeteers, beginning to advanced ventriloquists, those involved with stick (dowel rod/God rods), human video, hand mime, illusion, clowning, mime, ballooning and more.
Age Limits:
The I-Fest is for teens and adults. We ask that all participants be at least 12 years old. Anyone under age 18 staying on campus must have a responsible parent or puppet team director of the same gender 21 years or older as an on-campus chaperone. If you bring both male and female teens, you must bring both male and female adult sponsors to stay in the male or female dorms with the teens. If you do not have the required sponsors, please plan to stay in a nearby motel.
At I-Fest 2015 J-Fest was introduced. Children 5-11 may now attend I-Fest with their families and be a part of a little Dream Team. The daily program includes prop building, puppetry, gospel illusion, human video, scripture memorization and more. J-Fest allows families to experience I-Fest and for CMS to develop the next generation to use creative arts in ministry. Space is limited, so register early for this awesome program!
Resource Area:
Bring your check, cash and credit card! There will be resources available in the exhibit area. Vendors with creative resources, materials, products and services will be on display. The exhibit area will be open at scheduled breaks and before and after general sessions for you to shop and select great resources for your ministry.
Conference Assistant:
If you enjoy being a part of 'the behind the scenes' crew and you enjoy serving you might want to apply to be an I-Fest Conference Assistant (CA). This team has become a vital part of the I-Fest Staff. Tasks may include backstage assistant, recording workshops, competition backstage help, registration help, event set up or tear down, youth program helpers, sales help, and much more. Our desire is to have the CA program benefit both I-Fest and your Ministry. Click here to download the application
If you have questions about I-Fest, contact the Events department at events@creativemin.com

Share the training with others
For every registration you purchase for one of the regional Creative Ministry Festivals, you have the opportunity to gift someone from another church or organization who has never been to a festival with a FREE registration. This is a great way to introduce others to the world of puppetry and other creative arts ministries. Don't miss out on this chance to introduce another church (or churches) to the world of creative arts ministry.

Here's how it works:  

Let's say you purchase a registration for yourself to attend the festival.  That means you can also register someone from a different church to join you for FREE!  How about if you register eight people to come to the festival?  That means you can also gift eight other churches with a single registration for the festival. 

The gift registrations cannot be given to a member of your church, team, or organization. It must go to the representative of another ministry who has never been to a festival before.  Any one church, team or organization can only receive one free registration.

20th International Festival of Puppetry 


Creative Arts Ministry Festival 2020

Tentative Schedule of Events


08:30  - 16:00                  Hands-on Classes (start times and class length vary)

09:00.                               Dream Team Meeting/Rehearsals

13:00 - 15:00                   Registration

13:00 - 14:00                   Exhibits Open    

15:00 - 15:30                   Orientation

15:45                                Workshop #1

17:00                               Supper

19:00                               Evening Performance 

20:30                               Exhibits and Fellowship

21:00                               Competitions and more


06:30                              Mile or More (Optional walk or run)

07:15                              Breakfast

08:45                              Chapel

10:00                             Workshop #2

11:15                             Workshop #3

12:15                             Lunch

13:45                             Workshop #4

15:00 - 17:00                Workshop #5 (Hands-on & 2 hour sessions) / Free Time / Exhibits

17:00                             Supper

19:00                             Evening Performance

20:30                             Exhibits and Fellowship

21:00                             Competitions and more


06:30                              Mile or More (Optional walk or run)

07:15                              Breakfast

08:45                              Chapel

10:00                             Workshop #6

11:15                             Workshop #7

12:15                             Lunch

13:45                             Workshop #8

15:00 - 17:00                Workshop #9  (Hands-on & 2 hour sessions) / Free Time / Exhibits

17:00                             Supper

19:00                             Evening Performance

20:30                             Exhibits and Fellowship

21:00                             Competitions and more


06:30                              Mile or More (Optional walk or run)

07:15                              Breakfast

08:45                              Chapel

10:00                             Workshop #10

11:15                             Workshop #11

12:15                             Lunch

13:45                             Workshop #12

15:00 - 17:00                Workshop #13  (Hands-on & 2 hour sessions) / Free Time / Exhibits

17:00                             Supper

19:00                             Evening Performance

20:30                             Exhibits and Fellowship

21:00                             Competitions and more


06:30                              Mile or More (Optional walk or run)

07:15                              Breakfast

08:45                              Chapel

09:30                             Visit Exhibits 

10:00                             Workshop #14
11:15                             Workshop #15a

11:30                             Workshop #15b

12:15                             Lunch

13:15                            Workshop #16

14:30                            Workshop #17

16:00                             J-Fest and Dream Team Performance

17:15                             Dismissal 

Competition Entry (Optional)

The competitions are open to everyone! They are not about winning or losing, but about ability, encouragement, progression, and passing on ideas to each other. 
There is a panel of judges, who use a set criteria to evaluate your presentation and to give you the feedback to encourage you to excel even further in your ministry.
Due to time restraint, there are a limited number of places for the competitions and these are often fully booked, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Purposes of Competition

Participants in the Festival Competition are reminded that the overall purpose of performing is to minister and to share their ministry with others.

  • Teams benefit from receiving written feedback from qualified judges.
  • Competition allows ministry teams to share material they have been working on.
  • Observers can gain many new ideas from watching others perform.
  • The challenge of competition encourages participants to work hard and do their best.

Types of Competition:

Please review the Judging Criteria below to help you choose the correct type of competition you wish to be entered as. You may also enter in the Competition as a Showcase (un-judged) piece if you do not want the judges feedback or your piece does not fit into the types listed below.

 Puppet Song

Puppet Skits or Ventriloquism

Clown Skits or Mime Routines

Stick Ministry or Human Videos

Hand Mime

Gospel Illusion

 Entry Limitations
Each church/organization may enter once in the competition. The number of entries will be limited due to time constraints, so register early to be sure you're included in the competition. Entries are taken on a first come/first served basis.

Time Limits
The time limit for your presentation is five minutes. One point will be deducted from each judge's score sheet for each 30 seconds overtime. Any entry going more than two minutes overtime will be disqualified. You need not try to fill the entire time allotment. It is better to strive for QUALITY not quantity.

Set-Up Time
Plan to be ready to perform within three minutes after you enter the stage. One point will be deducted from each judge's score sheet for each minute of delay beyond the three-minute allotment for setup. All props, scenery, or other equipment should be quickly put in place and removed immediately after the performance.

 Competition Evaluation
Entries in the competitions will each receive Gold, Silver, or Bronze awards based on the judges' evaluations of each performing group. The judges may present additional awards for outstanding puppetry technique, exceptional use of props and scenery, originality, and best portrayal of our festival theme. In addition to the judges' awards, each group attending the festival will vote for one group to receive the "People's Choice" award.

Bonus/Penalty Information
Bonus points may be awarded for originality of material, special effects, outstanding live voices, or overall excellence of the presentation.

One point will be deducted from each judge sheet for each 30 seconds of "overtime" beyond the time limit. Teams will be disqualified if time exceeds limit by two minutes or more.

Be ready to perform within three minutes after you enter the stage. One point will be deducted from each judge's score sheet for each minute of delay beyond the three minute allotment for setup. (See above section on Time Limits for more information.)

Puppet Stage Set-Up
Due to time and space limitations, groups who enter the competition are not allowed to use their own puppet stages. A stage and sound system will be provided for all groups to use. The stage will have two levels. Puppeteers on the lower level perform from a kneeling position, while those performing on the upper level stand. Please bring your own kneeling pads or benches. Props need to be hand-held, free-standing, or draped over the curtain.

Sound, Props, Scenery & Tech
All performance media must be in CD format. We are unable to accept cassettes, DVDs, MP3s, or other types.
You will need to supply whatever kneeling pads or other materials you need for your shorter puppeteers to kneel or stand on.
NO pyrotechnics or fog - This means that the use of electric flash pots, electric confetti cannon, and flash paper is prohibited in any competition piece. Fog machines, smoke-in-a-can and similar smoke effects are also not allowed. Violaters will be disqualified. 
C02 confetti cannon loaded with streamers only (no confetti) and similar non-flame effects are allowable. However, any residue from streamers or other "messy" special effects should be cleaned up immediately by the team causing the residue. Failure to do so will result in penalty points. 
All props should be either "freestanding" or hand-held. Do not assume that there will be any type of prop rack available. All scenery should be of a lightweight type that can be draped over the stage or hung from the stage pipes or bars.

If you have any queries regarding the festival or the competitions - please email; events@creativemin.com or call our events department on 303-567-8800 or 800-569-4537.

FEST 2020
Hands-On Workshops

Every year at I-Fest, there are several hands-on classes throughout the day on Monday for early arrivals, and up to 30 different hands-on classes Tuesday through Friday during the 15:00 - 17:00 hands-on workshop/free time slot. These workshops cover a variety of topics, and may include puppet making, prop making, ventriloquism skills, gospel illusion, human video, choreography, private coaching, and director mentoring. Performance Labs are also offered throughout the week. This experience may provide participants an opportunity to share as a group what they have learned in the Thursday evening program. 
Full details and list of our 2020 Hands-On-Workshops will be posted shortly! In the meantime any questions please email events@creativemin.com

What is Dream Team

I-Fest features a Creative Ministry Dream Team, selected through an application and audition process, that presents a finale performance for all attendees. Over the years, the Dream Team has become a highlight of the festival because of the high-caliber talent, creativity and faith presented. 

Team members have also found it to be an incredible learning experience working with talented directors and forming life-long friendships with other members in the process. 
Interested in joining the Dream Team?
I-Fest closes with a performance by our Creative Ministry Dream Team. This team consists of 12-15 experienced performers selected through an application and audition process by Creative Ministry Solutions. Dream Team applicants must be nominated by their ministry team leader and complete an application as well as a short audition video by the May 16th deadline to be considered.  I-Fest Dream Team Application
In order to avoid misunderstandings, schedule conflicts, and other problems, we would like to give you some additional information regarding the I-Fest Dream Team selection process and the necessary time frame Dream Team participants should be aware of.
Important Information About The Dream Team:
Members of the Dream Team are chosen not just for their creative arts skills, but also for their strong Christian walk. If chosen for the team, we will be looking to you as an example for the other attendees at the conference. Your time with the Dream Team will be like one giant workshop. It will be hard work. You may be stretched to perform with some ministry arts technique that you have never used before. Through it all, it is expected that you will be a model of proper attitude, appearance, and willingness to serve.
Practice Times:
The Dream Team will practice daily during the workshop hours, you will not be able to attend any of the regular scheduled classes. You will also be expected to attend the evening programs.
 Age Requirements:
Dream Team members must be 15 years of age or older prior to the start of I-Fest. There is no upper age limit, but you must be physically up to the task of rehearsal and performing. Please note: anyone under the age of 18 must have a responsible parent or team leader (at least 21 years old) registering at the same time.
Dream Team applicants must complete the I-Fest Dream Team Application 
Applicants must send an audition video along with their printed application. This video should show you in action demonstrating the three primary areas of creative ministry skills you listed in section 3 of the application. You may demonstrate any other ministry techniques you wish, as well. The video should be no more than 15 minutes long and at least 8 minutes long. Your video must be on a DVD or submitted digitally via Dropbox; no other formats will be accepted. Your video will not be returned to you.
Applicants must send a photo of themselves. Please choose a photograph you are proud of and which you feel represents you well. This should be a quality color photograph (no low-resolution or paper print outs). Your photo should be a head and shoulder shot against a plain background (no less than 600 x 600 pixels and nor more than 1200 x 1200 pixels). The photo can be sent by mail or uploaded to Dropbox and shared with Events@creativemin.com. If you are chosen for the team, your photo will appear on Creative Ministry Solutions' website and in other I-Fest related materials. Note: You should be the only person in the picture and snapshots are not recommended.
In order to be considered for the I-Fest Dream Team, Creative Ministry Solutions needs to have received your paid I-Fest registration and your application by May 16th.
Arrival Time:
Dream Team members should plan to arrive in Bourbonnais by 7 pm on Sunday prior to I-Fest. There will be a get acquainted meeting at this time. Your first rehearsal will be Monday at 9 am. Please plan your travel and lodging arrangements accordingly.
Departure Time:
The Dream Team performance is the final event of the conference on Friday afternoon. Team members should not plan on being able to leave the conference until after the performance materials are packed away and final meetings with leadership.

Dream Team 1919

I-FEST 2020

Lenny Corliss
Lenny is the children's pastor at Scottsdale Worship Center in Scottsdale,
Arizona. Lenny is a graduate of Valley Forge Christian College and has been
involved in children's and family ministry since 1977. His ministry
responsibilities have included Child Care Director, Christian School
Administrator, writer/producer of songs and puppet skits for a daily
Christian television program, children's ministry training, camps and
conference speaker as well as fulfilling the role of children's pastor for
over 32 years. Publishing his first book "20 Word Twists" is his most recent
endeavor. He has been married for 43 years to his beautiful wife Mariam;
together they have three children and eight grandchildren and one
great-grandson. When not pouring into others in ministry, Lenny enjoys his
standing weekly lunch appointments with his son, tennis, rooting for the New
England Patriots, hiking and reading.
Bram Jarvis
Bram and his wife Sherry have four wonderful children and eight
grandchildren. They got involved with the puppet ministry through their
parents. The Jarvis family has been in puppet ministry since 1981. Bram and
Sherry directed the Powerhouse puppet team at First United Methodist Church
from 1992 to 2010 and have been the directors of "His Plans Our Hands"' at
Highland Community Church since 2010. Through the puppet ministry they have
been able to reach many adults and children they could not otherwise reach.
Their experiences have allowed them to encourage other teams to get started.
So far, they have done hundreds of programs and performances in twelve
different states. Bram enjoys the challenges of designing and building
specialty puppets, props, scenery and also enjoys chalk art ministry. The
family is so thankful to God for his blessings on their family and ministry.

Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith is Director of Salt & Light Ministries based near Richmond, VA.
After graduation from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1980, Jeff spent
eight years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.  Besides various
military awards and decorations, Jeff was selected Best Male Vocalist in
Major Army Commands three times. He was also selected twice to tour with the
All-Army Soldiers Show that toured the US, Europe and the Far East. In 1988,
he resigned his commission to start Salt & Light Ministries.  While getting
his ministry started and working in the local church setting, he finished
his Masters Degree in Communications with an emphasis on Script and
Screenwriting from Regent University, later he graduated from Liberty
University with a Master of Arts degree in Worship Arts.  Since then, Jeff
has performed throughout the world as a featured performer and master
teacher in drama, worship arts, music ministry, teacher training, childrens
ministry, and creative arts. Jeff has won many awards and contest over the
years. Although Salt and Light Ministries publishes many of his written
works and he has self-produced a variety of CDs and other musical projects,
many of his dramatic works have been published by Lillenas and Standard
Publishing.  Additionally, his series of training videos, Movement for
Non-Movers have helped equipped teens and children all over the world to
share the gospel through creative movement.  Finally, in 2002, Jeff Smith
Ministries was incorporated to help better organize the effort and ministry
work that Jeff continues to do throughout the world.  Jeff currently resides
in Richmond, VA, with his wife Debbie.  For more information on Jeff and
his ministry check out our web site at www.saltandlightmin.org

Liz VonSeggen
Liz trained to become a high school teacher and taught Spanish, English, and
speech as she began her professional career over 30 years ago. She retired
in June 2017 from ten years of teaching speech, drama, and puppetry to 6th,
7th, and 8th graders at Cherry Hills Christian Middle School in Highlands
Ranch, CO. During the past year Liz worked closely with her husband Dale in
the Senior Adult Ministry at Denver First Church and has continued to use
her love for drama and teaching in various opportunities. She is currently
following God's direction in her life with speaking and performing as time,
energy, and opportunity make that possible. Her life verses are Proverbs 3:
5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own
understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your
paths." For Liz, life involves trusting and following God's twists and turns
in the plans He has put in her path. She is applying Ephesians 2:10 to
follow God's design. "For we are God's masterpiece, created anew in Christ
Jesus, to do the many things he planned for us long ago."

Neilene Leeth
Neilene has been actively involved in puppetry and creative arts since 1979.
She started the Puppets for Christ puppet team in 2001 at First Baptist
Church in Albertville, Alabama and also started their creative arts team.
She has a passion for children's ministry and has served as both a
children's minister and church weekday preschool director.  Neilene also
enjoys taking everyday objects and turning them into puppets.  She and her
husband Blake live in Albertville, Alabama where they have been active in
helping to plant churches and start puppet and creative arts ministries.
They attend First Baptist Church in Albertville where they are active with
the puppets and creative arts teams.

Bertha Grauman
The Grauman's have been clowning since 1989. Their clown family includes
their two daughters, Uncle Larry, and a few of their grandchildren. Their
purpose is to touch the lives of others and to let people know in a unique
way that God loves them. They do family services, banquets, assisted living,
street ministry, Bible Schools walk around programs for all ages. They have
served with OWS/CMS since the year of 2000 at the regional festivals. Bertha
is a retired special education teacher. Ben is a retired civil engineer.
Bertha has a passion for missions in third world countries. She has had the
opportunity to serve in every central American country, several South
American countries, four islands in the Caribbean, one of those being Cuba
and also the Ukraine. When not traveling Bertha works as a non-medical in
home health care aide, and spends as much time

Melissa Knuckles
Melissa Knuckles has been actively involved with creative ministries since
1990. Most of her adult life has been spent working in children's ministry
and creative ministries. Melissa is an active face painter, balloonist,
dowel rod performer, clown, puppeteer, puppet builder, script writer and
children's ministry volunteer. She has almost 30 years experience in
children's ministry. Being involved in outreach has always been her passion.
Melissa and her husband Elijah, who she met on the 2001 Dream Team, enjoy
working together in creative ministries. Their Children Adelia and Samuel
give them so much joy and only increases their desire to use the gifts and
abilities God has given them to reach others through performance, video,
technology and teaching. Through her children, Melissa only

Colleen Fouts
Colleen has been involved with children's ministry since her teenage years,
34 years ago. During those years she has taught several ages and was a youth
leader/Pastor for several years. She now serves as a Children's Church
Pastor. Colleen is also in the choir, plays music and sometimes shows up as
a clown for church. Children's ministry, music and clown ministry are her
passions in the ministry. One thing she has learned is that she has a lot to
learn! Colleen's parents are the Pastor's of her church and they have been
her mentors and inspiration for loving the ministry.
Colleen has had the call to be a clown and graduated in 1999. Her mother
became a clown several years later. Her clown characters are Feliz, Joy
Bells, Ima P. Ugly, P stands for Plain which is how she felt before doing
clown ministry, and a new one she is developing specifically for Hospital
and Nursing Homes named Sara Naid. Colleen says, "Sandy Noe, Angel Contreras
and Randy Christensen have been a great part of mentoring my clown
ministry." Her life's Scripture is Phil. 4:13. This Scripture gives her the
courage to try the many things that God wants her to do even though she
feels so un-qualified.
Colleen loves to challenge people of all ages to try something new, to be
the best they can be, inspire them to do the thing God's calling them to do.
She enjoys sharing the love of Christ with little bitty ones (3 and up). She
teaches illusions, music and object talks to teens.

I-FEST 2020 Lodging
If you require housing while attending the I-Fest, you may stay on campus in the dormitories, or you may stay off campus in a nearby motel.

Lodging On Campus:
Housing is provided on the University campus in dormitory rooms with two single beds and shared bathrooms. Rooms are air-conditioned. Towels and bedding are supplied but limited. If you prefer the amenities of television, maid and room service, we recommend staying in a nearby motel.

Motel Accommodations:
If you choose not to stay on campus, there are numerous economy and mid-price motels near by. Note: you must have your own transportation if you choose off-campus lodging. Also, please remember motel rooms go very quickly in this area. Make you make reservations very early to avoid disappointment.

Fairfield Inn  815-935-1334         3 Miles from Campus
Quality Inn & Suites  815-939-3501 3 Miles from Campus
Super 8 Bourbonnais  815-939-7888 3 Miles from Campus
Holiday Inn Express  815-932-4411 4 Miles from Campus
Hilton Garden Inn.    815-932-4444 6 Miles from Campus
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"We love I-Fest"

on 3/26/2020 6:49:18 AM

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Description: We love I-FEST and can't wait to come! Praying regularly for you all.

"One of the best weeks of the year!"

on 3/8/2020 10:46:38 PM

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Description: I have thoroughly enjoyed I-Fest and look forward to it each year. I am so excited for the 20th I-Fest and getting to bring our entire ministry team this year!

"Great Time at I-Fest"

on 2/19/2020 7:39:34 AM

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Description: Happy, educational, heartfelt and cannot wait until the next I-Fest.
E.M. from Indiana

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