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Jul 27, 2016 8:38 PM ET

Archived: BABA YAGA: A Traveling Performing Arts Wagon – A traveling wooden wagon that transforms into a theatrical playing space presenting FREE original performance while building community!

iCrowdNewswire - Jul 27, 2016

BABA YAGA: A Traveling Performing Arts Wagon

A traveling wooden wagon that transforms into a theatrical playing space presenting FREE original performance while building community!

About this project

 We are raising FUNds to get this project on WHEELS once and for all!  Let’s get this funk-i-fied wagon rolling through your city!


  • All Shows Are Free:   No high priced tickets for high quality performances. We are bringing art outside of the box and onto the streets thanks to grants, donors, and sponsors like YOU!! All donations are tax deductible!! 
  • Breaking Socio-Economic Boundaries Between Art & Community:  We believe that the “theatre”  is every man’s entertainment. No matter your economic status, everyone deserves to be transformed and moved by great performance and art. 
  • MOBILITY is our ABILITY:  Towed by a vehicle, (truck, RV, or converted vehicle living space for the artists to live while on the road), the wagon will appear in parks, alleys, streets … basically anywhere we can fit it in order to build community around the arts.  The Baba Yaga Tour will begin in Miami in October, and eventually go nationwide. 


  • Innovative Concept:  It’s a tiny home for ART on the move! We are creating a fully functioning wagon stage with lights, sound, film projection, and flare. 
  • Style:  Incorporating a mix of textures, colors, woods, shapes and art mediums, the sight of the wagon will hopefully incite wonder, curiosity, and awe in those who happen upon it. 

– Mosaics     – Shingles     – Painting      – Wood Burning     – Wood Carving

  • Moving Art Installation:   I envision her (yes…Baba Yaga is a She =)  constantly morphing & evolving. We’re inviting local visual artists to help the wagon come alive with innovative décor that allows her to become the breathing, living being that she is. It will be like the fierce and beautiful Mother Nature just crawled out of the woods to bring love, light and mystery to the world.  
  • Design:   

– Essentially a stylized box on wheels, one of the long walls (attached to a pulley or wench) will hinge down, and form the stage. 

–  We already have the heavy duty 16 ft long x 8 1/2 ft wide trailer bed hooked up with jacks and breaks.

–  Mostly built of wood, it will have windows, doors, and a roof that serves as a SECOND STAGE!

–  Designer/Engineer & long time Theatre Set Designer and Technical Director Dorset Noble has come forward to help make this wagon a reality as a labor of love.  So many other artists and great minds have also donated their time and expertise to bringing Baba Yaga to fruition…And that is pretty magical! 

  • Eco-Friendly:  

–  Locally bought wood

–  Obtaining solar power to help run most electrical needs like sound and lighting equipment

–  Acquiring a hybrid, fuel efficient vehicle for towing, to ensure that we are acting consciously and watching our eco-footprint.

–   In 2017 Baba Yaga is teaming up with Quutopia Caravan of Arts and Earth on a national tour to cultivate community through arts & permaculture! Planting gardens by day; performing variety acts by night. Sowing change: a seed and song at a time. Dream-folk artist, Alina Q, will lead this creative activist musical tour to bring permaculture gardens to under-reached schools and present variety acts by night. The Quutopia Caravan of Arts & Earth is on a mission to cultivate a global community through performance arts, music, pop-up festivals, earth education and hands-on community projects. 


Hi!  My name is Shira aka Baba Mama =)  Just wanted to say Hi!!! Thanks for stopping by! You can learn more about me on….the “About Me” tab of course =)  I’ve been pouring my whole life into this project for the last 2 and a half years, and am so excited for it to finally touch ground!  We’ll keep you updated as things progress with the build and other parts of the project. Much much love =)


The wagon is a platform for original artists to share fresh new work with the community.  Film screenings, concerts, theatre, puppetry etc., nothing is off limits!  

Here is an example of some of the work I do & something you might see on the wagon. I’m a fan of multi-media performance. Utilizing film, acting, music, & movement.  This is a show I created, directed, acted in and produced. It has been commissioned by Miami Light Project and The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

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A character from Eastern European Folk-lore, historically Baba Yaga has been described as a terrifying witch.  But the story version I choose to remember, paints her as the equivalent of the powerful Mother Nature: nurturing yet destructive, mystical yet earthly, beautiful yet full of fury! Baba Yaga is a creative force to be reckoned with.  According to me and the book, Women Who Run With The Wolves, she represents the wild woman archetype; Intuitive, authentic, & fearless!  THIS wagon Baba Yaga represents the type of work I want to present on her stage…all encompassing.


    Two Summers ago I went to Turin, Italy to visit some wagon artists in motion and gain some insight for Baba Yaga. Their troupe is called “Caravana Balacaval” (Caravan of Dancing Horses), and their four wagons are horse drawn. They also have a wagon stage and do performances of all kinds while traveling 5 months out of the year. I got a chance to stay with them, travel a bit, and see how the whole thing breathes. 

    The impact and power of this way of life was more than I could’ve dreamed. It was very hands on and community oriented. Wherever they went they formed relationships with the people of the towns. People were so inspired by their art movement that they gladly provided them with a place to park their wagons, space for the horses to graze, or even water and a place to shower. When people saw this magical caravan come through town, they just wanted to be a part of it in any way they could.  

    The wagon life has a sense of daily care, family, love, laughter, sharing, music, creativity, and truly invites the community to be a part of something special. Those are the things I want to nourish and bring to Miami and the United States: that lively feeling of true community and togetherness. Why not meet in the streets, on the beach, at a park, school, or nursing home and gather with your neighbors to experience the magic of traveling art on wheels? It demonstrates a different way of life, and when people see an out of this world dream realized, when they see something magical that they’ve only seen in movies or heard about in storybooks in THEIR neighborhoods, it sends a message that truly…really… anything is possible.



     project video thumbnail

    • The Wagon: ALL THE WALLS ARE UP!!!  The wagon is almost built!! Take a look at the video above to see the time-lapse.  
    • The Inaugural Show: Happening in October:  based on the Baba Yaga Myth & utilizing live music, film & projection, acting & possibly puppetry, this show will be a mystical, multi-media journey into the psyche and spirit of a girl seeking wholeness through “family” in all senses of the word. 
    • Fundraising:  Our bank is currently empty due to spending all the funds on the build.  We are seeking as much support as we can get by applying for grants and looking for sponsors.  


    We are seeking to reach $25,000 dollars in donations. For every dollar you donate, the John S. James L. Knight Foundation will match each dollar up to $50,000 dollars. 

    • Install solar powered electricity
    • Insurance 
    • Rehearsal space rental
    • Lights, sound, and projector
    • Energy efficient towing vehicle
    • Fund productions with the appropriate props, set, costumes, performing artists and supporting crew
    • Broadcast productions via internet
    • Acquire the appropriate permits to perform in certain areas
    • Administrative & Marketing services
    • Record the musical score of each show and create albums for sale
    • Pay for licensing fees to have film screenings of local and other films
    • and that’s just the beginning =)


    The vision for the future is to find a home for the wagon where a group of artists can create as an ensemble and as individuals, while living in a permaculture community.  This space will have an indoor rehearsal space and outdoor village where the wagon can live.  It will be big enough for events, visits, and gardens. 


    With sponsors like you, all of the above is possible. Together we can enrich and enliven our Miami and National communities with the arts and support local artists. Baba Yaga takes an alternative approach to the growth of the art scene in Miami and the U.S. Baba Yaga is free for all to enjoy and wants to hug every human who sees her with a bit of artistic magic! The goal is simple: to make the world a brighter place and bring some grounded grassroots joy to Miami and the U.S.

    Let us bring new life, let us bring a new meaning of what community and art can be, let us – together – bring Baba Yaga to fruition so we can roll through a neighborhood near you! Thank you all so much!


    We are proudly supported by and partially funded by the Knight Foundation. Their goal is to weave the arts into the fabric of Knight resident communities to engage and inspire the people living in them. The foundation believes that the arts are a catalyst for public dialogue and that shared cultural experiences contribute to a sense of place and communal identity.  A big thanks to the Knight Foundation for helping make this dream a reality. 


    • Kickstarter Video, Timelapse Video & Photos By: Edson Jean
    • Appalachian Squall Film & Baba Drawings By:  Shaun Wright   
    • Wood Burnings and Photo By:  Lisi

Risks and challenges

So CHALLENGES! Of course! There are: permits to get, shows to create and serve, a home to find for the wagon, constant fundraising, acquire a driving tow vehicle, wagon upkeep, find sound and lighting equipment, spread the word, and eventually book a tour cross country. This project is not a one time thing. It’s an ongoing way of life. So tackling these challenges isn’t a problem, they’re just things that must get done in order to go on with the lifestyle of art, community, and travel. That’s why Baba Yaga is so grateful and lucky to be surrounded and supported by friends, family, and collaborators that believe in her. As Baba Mama, it is my duty to continue to take the reigns, make the calls, delegate and reach out and use each challenge as an opportunity for community building and learning. Of course it takes persistence. We might run into moments where no one is donating, or we don’t receive certain grants. It is up to us to find ways of generating income internally as well in order to move forward and give the community free shows. There are some ideas circulating: food trucks & vendors pay a fee to be at our event and sell their products (like a farmers market), we will sell our own artisan products at events and online, and rent the wagon as a venue/stage for the use of other events or performers. Challenges there will be, but overcome we shall!

Contact Information:

Shira Lee Abergel - aka - *Baba Mama*

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