Thank you 2016 and HELLO 2017!

Hello Friends!

Gaosong here with your weekly KID CITY Blog and CAN YOU BELIEVE 2016 is almost gone and 2017 is here! 2016 was filled with so many firsts as we transitioned from Year 1 into Year 2! Join me as I recap some of our favorite events and residencies from 2015-2016!

To start off the year, Mayor Nora Slawik declared April 1st to be "Maplewood's Official Day of Laughter" and in celebration KID CITY had our FIRST annual Laugh In event at the Maplewood Community Center! With over 200 community members in attendance, this multi-cultural event showcased the amazing talent and leadership Maplewood holds within its boarders! The day was filled with smiles, joy and we made so many new friends as we played and discovered laughter together!

A snapshot of staff from Maplewood's MN Nature Center with an excited attendee!

There was even a Joke Swap competition between the Maplewood Police Force and the Maplewood City Council to see who could find the funniest joke! The Maplewood Police Force took the win this year when the audience cheered in approval with a hilarious joke about Justin Bieber! (Who doesn't love a good Bieber joke!?) 

Photos of our summer and outreach events painting the Z-Puppets Van, performing a Laugh Lab and building your own puppet. Click on the photo to enlarge and see more!

As the year progressed, KID CITY did many different outreach events and Pop-Up Laugh Labs at schools located all over Maplewood and even at Maplewood Mall!

Some of the most memorial moments was this past summer at the "Touch-A-Truck" event (a summer WOW Event at Wakefield Park) where kids of all ages helped transform the white Z-Puppets van into a colorful piece of artwork! It left such an amazing impact on the van, that to this day, their are still remnants of beautiful color on the inside of the rims and mud flaps!

Fairview High School students doing image theater and having a group discussion with teaching Artist Ricardo Vazquez. Last photo features Mayor Slawik of Maplewood with KID CITY COUNCIL members 2015-2016. 

Fall 2016 proved to be a lot of fun as we taught residencies with different schools located within and around Maplewood. As a result, we had a chance to work with many students, of all backgrounds and ages to explore new concepts and ideas; like how laughter brings people together in our Laugh Labs, videography with our Teen Videographer Interns and brainstorm theater with our KID CITY COUNCIL and other youth!

All in all, 2016 was so exciting and an amazing time for KID CITY as we built so many great relationships with the community. We all look forward growing and further building these relationships to create meaningful impact as the year moves on.

 To send you off into 2017, here is a little thank you from the KID CITY Team to you!

Happy holidays and may your new year be bright! 

Till next week, 

-Gaosong

Chris Griffith

Z Puppets Rosenschnoz, 4054 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis, MN, 55407, United States