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).


  • 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,


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