Who We Are

A Brief History

Founded in 1998 by Amy Ballestad and Shelley Chinander, Hijinks Stilts explores the ancient and universal art of stiltwalking. We also explore the powerful dynamic of working together as an all-female collective.

Through an initial grant from FORECAST Public ArtWorks, we were able to build stilts, make long-legged costumes, and create several small community performances.

In the years since, we have collaborated with puppeteers, dancers, singers, aerialists, and pyrotechnicians to create original performances. Our pieces range from tall-tale puppet shows in school gyms to flaming pyrotechnic pageants in urban corridors.

Our artists also teach stiltwalking in workshops and summer youth camps.

Mission Statement

Hijinks Stilts is an all women’s, consensus-based, community arts group dedicated to:

  • building a safe, noncompetitive, and supportive environment for our artists to enhance their skills as stilters, performers, teachers, and creators
  • creating dynamic, high-quality performances
  • fostering the growth of pageantry, celebration, and ritual theater
  • providing opportunities for the women, children, and men in our community to learn stiltwalking through workshops that are accessible to all, regardless of income level
  • bringing color and celebration to our urban environment
  • exploring the depths and heights of the ancient art of stiltwalking