New Board Members and Officers Selected at Center for Puppetry Arts

Christopher Hardwick
Jeffrey Blake
Sydney Langdon
Larry Mark
Vincent Anthony

The Center for Puppetry Arts Elects New Board Members and Officers

ATLANTA (July 2023) – The Center of Puppetry Arts is excited to announce new Board of Directors member Christopher Hardwick (Managing Director and Founder of Build Technology Group) as Advisor Director. Current Board member Jeffrey Blake (Partner in the Atlanta office of Merchant & Gould, PC) has accepted the role of Vice-Chair and Chair-Elect with Sydney Langdon (Senior Director – Corporate Social Responsibility at Warner Bros. Discovery), Larry Mark (Global Vice President – Finance Operations, The Coca-Cola Company), and Vincent Anthony (Founder and Strategic Advisor, Center for Puppetry Arts) also accepting new roles within the committee. 

We are so delighted to welcome Chris to our Board and to have the leadership of Jeff, Larry, and Sydney – all of which will help guide the Center into its very bright future. I can think of nothing more appropriate than honoring Vince as our first-lifetime board member. His sage advice, counsel, and mentorship over the last three years have been invaluable and we look forward to his guidance as we grow the Center he helped create for many years to come.Beth Schiavo, Executive Director of Center for Puppetry Arts.

Newly elected Advisor Director Christopher Hardwick is the Managing Director and Founder of Build Technology Group a global technology solutions and web development services firm employing over 100 in offices in the US, India, Greece, and Romania. An Atlanta native and graduate of Pace Academy and the University of Georgia, Blake recalls coming to the Center as a child for field trips with Christ the King School and looks forward to serving on the board and advising on technology and strategy.

The Board will soon have a new leader with the election of Jeffrey Blake as Vice-Chair and Chair-Elect. Blake is an intellectual property law attorney and Partner in the Atlanta office of Merchant & Gould, PC. Blake has served on the Board, including in various leadership roles, for six years. He will succeed Allen W. Yee, General Counsel of Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewing Company, as Chair of the Board of Directors & Advisors later this year.

Current Board of Directors members Sydney Langdon and Larry Mark join the Board’s leadership as Vice-Chair of Development and Vice-Chair of Governance, respectively. Langdon is Senior Director – Corporate Social Responsibility at Warner Bros. Discovery. Mark recently retired from a 30+ year career at The Coca-Cola Company holding various senior leadership roles including Controller, CFO-North America Group, and most recently Global Vice President – Finance Operations.

Vincent Anthony, the Center’s founder and former Executive Director has been elected as the Board’s first-ever lifetime member and honored with the title of Founder and Executive Director Emeritus. Anthony created the Center in 1978 serving as its leader for over 40 years.

Under his leadership, the Center grew from a small puppet theater working out of the Woodruff Arts Center to become one of Atlanta’s leading arts and culture institutions and the largest organization devoted to the art form of puppetry in the Americas. Since his retirement in 2019, the Atlanta legend has served as an advisor and consultant to Center staff and his successor the current Executive Director, Beth Schiavo.

Center for Puppetry Arts® is a unique cultural treasure – a magical place where children and adults are educated, enlightened, and entertained. Since 1978, the Center has introduced millions of visitors to the wonder and art of puppetry and has touched the lives of many through enchanting performances, curriculum-based workshops, and the hands-on Museum as well as Digital Learning and Outreach programs. Center for Puppetry Arts is a non-profit, 501(c) (3) organization and is supported in part by contributions from corporations, foundations, government agencies, and individuals. Major funding is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners and the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. These programs are also supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Center is a member of Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA/USA/ASSITEJ). The Center also serves as the headquarters of UNIMA-USA, the American branch of Union Internationale de la Marionnette, the international puppetry organization.

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