Anne Sawyer

Minneapolis, Minnesota
(612) 251-3568 · [email protected]

Artist, writer and puppeteer, experienced in creating content for virtual or in-person performances, commissions, workshops, and videos. Unusual bits: stilter, specialist in STEAM curriculum, author/illustrator of three picture books; former Spanish instructor.

Residencies and Teaching

(A partial list)
  • Art Facilitator, Lifeworks, a non-profit for adults with disabilities (2017-2020).
  • Created six virtual Science and Art programs for Hennepin County Libraries (2020).
  • Taught Zoom art camp and Google Meet shadow puppet residencies for Artstart (2020).
  • Manifested a Collage Postcard Exchange for 21 adults with disabilities through a Springboard for the Arts, Battling Social Isolation grant (2020).
  • Artstart Eco Arts Festival & Summer Visual Art Camp Educator (2007-present).
  • In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater, School Residencies, May Day Parade Artist, Saturday Matinee Workshop Instructor (2006-2019).
  • Hennepin County Libraries, in-person art workshops (2006-2019).
  • Artist-in-Residence at Courageous HeARTS (2019).
  • Silverwood Park Arts Education Programmer, Library Outreach Program (2015-2016).
  • Free-lance arts residencies: Bancroft, Metro Deaf, Four Seasons, Richard Green, Mississippi Creative Arts, International Spanish Language Academy (2003-present).
  • Steppingstone Theatre, Puppetry and Mask classes (2006-2009).
  • Galumph Interactive Theater, Puppetry and Theater Educator (1996-2003).

Performances & Commissions

(A partial list)
  • Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Mia): directed film Advice from Chicks on Sticks (2020).
  • Heart of the Beast Theatre, May Day Staff, Associate Artist (Since 1997).
  • Artistic Director, Kalevala Puppet Pageant, NY Mills Cultural Center, (2011-2019).
  • Magic Lantern Puppet Theatre, Created eleven shows, including Nalah and the Pink Tiger and Nalah Goes to Mad Mouse City; Ala Dean and the Marvelous Lamp, Children and Other Optical Illusions, and Three Tales, One World. (Since 2000).
  • Mia: Shadows of the Floating World, Commissioned show for Edo Pop Exhibit (2012).
  • MacPhail Center for Music commission: color shadow puppet show Petrushka (2014).
  • Build large puppets for clients such as MN Nurse’s , AFL CIO, and Artstart.
  • Open Eye Figure Theatre, title role in Juan Bobo touring (2006 & 2009).
  • Galumph Interactive Theatre, Producing Artist for many shows, including The Parsnip County Shindig, Séance, Madame Freux-Freux’s Café of Love. (1996-2003).
  • MN Zoo: title role puppeteer in Odessa’s Magical Twelve shows a week, eight weeks, (2011 & 2013).
  • Gustavus Adolphus College: Commissioned to create puppets for 2018 production of Measure for Taught J-term on shadow puppetry, 2009.

Author & Illustrator

  • Mars on Life, a picture book for grown-ups, teens and (ML Press, 2020).
  • Nalah Goes to Mad Mouse City, (ML Press, 2014). Made touring puppet show of
  • Nalah & the Pink Tiger (Scarletta Press, 2012). Created touring puppet show of
  • Illustrator of May Lee Yang’s Imaginary Day (MN Humanities Press, 2012).

Stilter

  • Chicks on Sticks Performer/Gig Coordinator/Costume (1999-Present).
  • Clients: Cirque Du Soleil, Mill City Museum, MN State Fair, Ordway Children’s Festival, Edina Arts Fair, NHL Fan Festival, Walker Art Museum,

Education:

University of Arizona, Tucson
M.F.A. Courses in Creative Writing. GPA: 4.0. (1992-1993).

University of Wisconsin, Madison
B.A. in Latin American Studies. Graduated with Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa (1991).

Awards & Distinctions:

  • Springboard for the Arts, Battling Social Isolation grant (2020).
  • Thirteen MRAC Awards: Arts Learning, Community Arts, & Arts Activities grants for Magic Lantern (2000, 2002, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017).
  • Tofte Lake Center Artist Residency (2013).
  • MN State Arts Board Arts Tour Grant (2013).
  • Next Step Grants for Artists from MRAC (2012 & 2016).
  • Jim Henson Foundation Award (2011).
  • Puppeteers of America Endowment Awards (2005 & 2011).
  • VSA Arts of MN Artist Award, (2010 & 2013).
  • New York Mills Artist Residency (2010).
  • MN State Arts Board’s Artist Initiative Grant (2005).
  • Jerome Travel Study Grant, (1999): to perform at National Puppetry

Special Skills, Areas of Expertise:

  • Large puppet construction, color shadow puppets, costume
  • Extensive experience with diverse populations, from pre-school through adults. Have taught in at-risk communities, children and adults with disabilities, college, and ELL classrooms.
  • Experienced producer/coordinator, from puppetry productions to visual arts program Have led all phases of projects: conceptualization, grant writing, budget creation, facilitating dialogue, communicating with clients and artistic collaborators, making contracts, publicizing, running events, evaluation, invoicing/tracking income.
  • Fluent in Spanish (lived/studied in Mexico and at the University of Granada, Spain). Former instructor at University Language Center 1993-1995.
Anne Sawyer