Diane Houk (1932-2014) was a generous, kind and gracious host to any puppeteers who visited the Kansas City area. In 2000 she founded the Puppetry Arts Institute, Independence Missouri. Diane created the Institute to preserve the legacy of Hazelle Rollins (1910-1984) of Kansas City MO, who established a very successful company that manufactured marionettes. The institute includes a museum featuring the puppets of Hazelle Rollins, many other noted American puppeteers and an excellent representative selection of puppets from the around the globe. There are also performances by local and visiting puppeteers, and puppet making workshops.
Diane was energetic, organized, thoughtful. Her modesty,humor, consideration and a kind of sparkle brought together a loyal group of volunteers and board members. She had a deep commitment to puppetry, children’s creativity, and to celebrating cultures around the world as you can see in this Youtube clip made by a local television station.