Leslee Asch, an Independent Curator & Writer, is currently completing a book entitled Out of the Shadows: The Henson Festivals and Their Impact on Contemporary Puppet Theater. A recognized expert on the field, she worked for the Jim Henson Company for over 20 years. She began her career as a puppet builder, and went on to serve as Director of Exhibitions for Jim Henson Productions, curating and managing exhibitions world-wide. She also served as Executive Director of the Jim Henson Foundation and Producing Director of the Henson International Festivals of Puppet Theater. She co-curated the 5 Henson festivals working with numerous NYC theaters, including The Public Theater, LaMama, and the New Victory; and conceived, curated and wrote all text for exhibitions for all 5 Henson festivals. These included three with The Library of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, one at The Snug Harbor Cultural Center, and one developed with the Library of the Performing Arts, and held at The Cooper Union. Artists presented included visual artist and director, William Kentridge with Handspring Puppet Company, Robert Lepage, Mabou Mines, Basil Twist, and Dan Hurlin.
In 2010, she curated and wrote the catalog for The Art of Contemporary Puppet Theater, for the Katonah Museum of Art. She has written numerous articles which have appeared in U.S. and international publications. She also wrote a series of plays including Crunchy Colors, which was produced by The Children’s Museum of New York; and Isle of the Seal, which was produced by The Theatre of the Open Eye.
She remains an active Board Member of the Jim Henson Foundation; and is a member of the National League of American Pen Women, Greenwich Chapter; ArtTable; Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County; and the Flinn Gallery.
She also served as Executive Director of Silvermine Arts Center; and National Dance Institute, a nationally recognized, award-winning arts education program, founded in 1975 by New York City Ballet principal dancer, Jacques d’Amboise.