University Community

Puppets and papier-mâché: Learning Communities engage with Athens tradition

Honey for the Heart is a much-beloved Athens tradition organized by Passion Works Studio, a local collaborative community arts center. Co-sponsored by Arts for Ohio and Ohio University Learning Communities, the annual parade celebrates art and its impact on the Athens community.

“Ohio University was established as a college town, one where students are part of the Athens community, not adjacent to it,” said Barb Remsburg, director of Learning Community Programs. “It is opportunities like these, to partner with Passion Works Studio and Arts for Ohio in supporting a major community event, that makes the Bobcat experience special.”

All community members, including students, faculty, and non-university members, are welcome to take part in the annual celebration.

See how this community-based celebration of art comes together, below. Photos by Rich-Joseph Facun.


Students and community members gather to create the art behind Honey for the Heart

Almost all new OHIO students join a Learning Community to form relationships with their peers and learn about the University experience. They participate in activities and events led by their peer leader, an upper class student. Passion Works hosts the students for many events that encourage them to create, bond, and give back to their community.


Two OHIO students work with upcycled material to create a Honey for the Heart display

Passion Works Studio is known for its vivid colors and elaborate creations. Art created at this studio often features materials that were once considered trash and have been up-cycled into works of inclusive beauty. 


An OHIO student works at a table at Central Venue in Athens with a Passion Works Studio flower decorating the wall behind him

Art from the studio can be found across Athens in local businesses, including Central Venue (pictured) and Donkey Coffee.


Three OHIO students work together to produce Honey for the Heart creations

"There are over 1,500 Learning Community students expected to take part in supporting this 25th year of Honey for the Heart during the month of October." - Barb Remsburg, director of Learning Community Programs.


An OHIO student works at a table at Central Venue in Athens on Honey for the Heart puppets

"Each class that goes builds on what the class did before them. Paper mâché buckets will become party hats and beads sewn on a cloth will accentuate a costume." - Barb Remsburg, director of Learning Community Programs.


A student's hands are shown sewing costume parts for puppets for the Honey for the Heart parade

The puppets, instruments and costumes featured in the parade are re-imagined every year using an ever-growing supply of donated and up-cycled materials.   

November 1, 2023
By Acadia Hansen '26