Anne Sawyer
[email protected]

Spanish-speaking Artist/Organizer, Educator, Performer seeking opportunities to create art-making experiences and build community for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.

Residencies, Teaching, Arts Administration

(A partial list)

  • Production Coordinator, Teatro del Pueblo (2022).
  • Free-lance arts residencies: Bancroft, Metro Deaf, Four Seasons, Richard Green, Mississippi Creative Arts, International Spanish Language Academy (2003-present).
  • Art Facilitator, Lifeworks, a non-profit for adults with disabilities (2017-2020).
  • Created eight virtual Science and Art programs for Hennepin County Libraries (2020-2021).
  • Teach simple weaving, embroidery via Zoom and Google Meet shadow puppet residencies for Artstart (2020-present).
  • Designed 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).
  • Silverwood Park Arts Education Programmer, Library Outreach Program (2015-2016).
  • Steppingstone Theatre, Puppetry and Mask classes (2006-2009).
  • Galumph Interactive Theater, Production Manager, Performer, Educator (1996-2003).

Performances & Commissions

(A partial list)

  • Stilt Puppet Costume Designer for Hairball, Open Eye Figure Theatre (2022).
  • Collaborator for Monarch Tapestry public art project with Artstart (2021-22).
  • Artistic Director, Kalevala Puppet Pageant, NY Mills Cultural Center, (2011-2021).
  • 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).
  • Magic Lantern Puppet Theatre, Founder. 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 Assoc., AFL CIO, and Artstart.
  • Open Eye Figure Theatre, title role in Juan Bobo touring show. (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 Menagerie. Twelve shows a week, eight weeks, (2011 & 2013).
  • Gustavus Adolphus College: Commissioned to create puppets for 2018 production of Measure for Measure. Taught J-term on shadow puppetry, 2009.

Author & Illustrator

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


  • Barebones Productions Halloween Extravaganza, Stilt Krewe Co-Lead (2021)
  • Chicks on Sticks Performer/Gig Coordinator/Costume Designer. (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, Mia.
  • Perform and coordinate MN State Fair stilters for Upstanding Standing Stilts (2019-2021).


  • 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:

  • Arts Impact Grant, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, 2021.
  • 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 Festival.

Special Skills, Areas of Expertise:

  • Large puppet construction, color shadow puppets, costume design.
  • 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 implementation. 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