KID CITY is looking for Teen Video Interns!

Hello KID CITY Friends! 

It's that time of year again! KID CITY is looking for Teen Video Interns for this summers Videography Internship! 

Teen video interns will collaborate as a team and work with award winning, KID CITY teaching artists Jessica Huang and Ricardo Vazquez to create mini-documentary videos about two Maplewood Parks & Recreation summer events. Teens will learn about shooting and editing video while gaining work experience in this paid internship. 

Teen Videographers will be have the opportunity to learn video editing on Final Cut Pro, how to compose a shot and create a narrative, as well as journalistic integrity as they film and conduct interviews at the Summer WOW Events. 

I, myself, still remember what it felt like in high school, as the pressure of preparing for the next stage of my life was drawing near. Whether your path is college, work or exploring the world, opportunities like this only come around once in a blue moon! As the world continues to move into the digital age, having skills in videography and video editing will be extremely valuable. But more than that, this is the perfect opportunity to meet new people, gain leadership and learn how art can impact your community.

See an interview from our Year 1 Teen Video Interns Arun Madurai and Akhil Madurai, as they interview the City of Maplewood Mayor Nora Slawik! 

So don't miss out on this amazing internship! And apply today!

Till next time!



To apply or for a full description keep on scrolling! 

Click here for the online application.

Click here for the job description and a PDF of the application! 


KID CITY Teen Video Internship Job Description

KID CITY is a collaboration between Maplewood Parks and Recreation and the award-winning artists Z Puppets Rosenschnoz. KID CITY goals are to:

1. Engage Maplewood residents in city revitalization through the creativity of kids.

2. Spark connections across the diverse populations of Maplewood.

3. Empower youth to become future leaders shaping their community.

Teen Video Interns must be 14 years old or older AND available for all training, shooting and editing dates. Interns will be paid $9.50/hr. for up to a total of 40 hours and report to KID CITY teaching artists. Payment will be received in full at the end of the internship period.


● Work together with the team to create mini-documentaries about Maplewood Parks and Recreation events

● Attend all training, pre-production, shooting and editing sessions with KID CITY teaching artists

● Give and receive constructive, respectful feedback

● Follow all rules set by KID CITY artists and CTV North Suburbs for use of equipment.

● Check email a minimum of 2x per week to receive communications from staff, and respond to phone calls/texts within 48 hours of receipt.


● No previous experience with video is required

● Interest in taking photos or videos

● Ability to arrange independent transportation to and from multiple locations including: Maplewood City Hall, Wakefield Park, and CTV North Suburbs in Roseville.

● Ability to commit to all scheduled dates, totaling 40 hours.


( hours total) [CTV North Suburbs] Monday, July 24 [1-5 pm] & Tuesday, 25 [1-5 pm]


2 events, 5 hours each (10 hours total) Wakefield Park. Wednesday, July 26, 3:00-8:00 PM & Wednesday, August 23, 3:00-8:00 PM


(20 hours total) [CTV North Suburbs]. Thursday, July 27 [1-6 pm], Friday, July 28, [1-6 pm], Thursday, August 24th, [1-6 pm] & Friday, August 25, [12-7 pm]

Desired Qualities

● Self-motivated

● Good communicator

● Able to work well with others as part of a team

● Interested in video and journalism

● Interested in community development through the arts


KID CITY brings Toy Theaters and Brainstorm Theater to John Glenn!

Hello KID CITY Friends! 

I feel like it has been so long since I last spoke with you all...

KID CITY has been so busy this spring, particularly with our in school residencies! 

As I write, we have our wonderful teaching artist at Weaver Elementary doing some Laugh Labs in Maplewood. But you'll hear more about that soon! 

Today I am here to share with you all KID CITY's residency with John Glenn Middle School! 

This past April, KID CITY had the opportunity to work with students from John Glenn and their after school TOPS program. 

If you're not sure what TOPS is, or if you're interested in learning more about John Glenn, click HERE to read my last blog post about this partnership. 

Our KID CITY artist team worked with John Glenn students for 2 different programs. 

1) Brainstorm Theater and


Over 5-6 weeks, students spent their Tuesdays and Thursday's after school with our teaching artists. 

Both programs were very different, but our hopes were to inspire these young leaders to use arts for civic engagement. Watch the video below to learn more about Brainstorm Theater and the process we went through to do this! (To learn more about this partnership, visit my past blog here)

Each student brought their very own perspectives and experiences. From the very first day, I knew that this was going to be a great group of leaders, who were not afraid to have difficult conversations about the issues and barriers in their lives. 

At the end of the process, the students from Brainstorm Theater were able to host a forum with their peers about some of the issues they had previously identified and rehearsed. 

The forum itself is is a large part of what makes Brainstorm Theater so special! I wanted to give the forum it's own blog, so stay tuned for next week's blog where I go into depth about the FORUM! :) 

Moving on from Brainstorm Theater, our 2nd program was KID CITY COUNCIL. Here, student's were given a challenge to create a way to bring people of Maplewood together through art. In the end, they had to create a short puppet show using Toy Theaters to describe the problem and proposed solutions. 

But first, we had to find out what barriers exist in our communities that keep us apart. There were conversations of technology, geography, race, culture and even not having enough free community events. 

Watch the videos below to see how KID CITY COUNCIL addresses these issues with their Toy Theaters. 

It was great to see how both groups took on this challenge and came up with so many different solutions.

Not only that, I thoroughly enjoyed the use of color, music and puppetry that truly brought these Toy Theaters to life! All in all, we at KID CITY believe that it is extremely important to empower the youth in our community to engage in a dialogue and find creative solutions to real world problems. (To see more example of Toy Theaters, visit my past blog here!)

Just like we say in our mission statement:

KID CITY empowers Maplewood through the power of playfulness and public art across age, class and culture, putting youth at the forefront of creative community revitalization.

With every event, workshop or residency we host, YOU, THE COMMUNITY MEMBERS, are at the heart of everything we do. So thank you for coming on this journey with us! From everyone at KID CITY. We were so honored to build this partnership with John Glenn Middle School. It would not have been possible without them hosting us in their beautiful school. Cheers for an ever growing friendship between KID CITY, John Glenn Middle School AND the City of Maplewood.

Till next week! 



KID CITY Teaching Artist Derek Phillips and Shari Aronson having ice cream and silly fun with guest!

Hello my KID CITY enthusiasts! 

I cannot believe today marks 1 month since our 2nd Annual KID CITY Laugh IN! It feels like it was just yesterday that we all got together to celebrate community and laughter! 

If you're new to KID CITY and you have no idea what a Laugh IN is, do not fear! The Laugh IN is a free annual event in the City of Maplewood that celebrates laughter and all the amazing talent and people that live in our community. 

This year's Laugh IN featured a wide range of performers, table exhibitors and JOKES! 

From Z Puppets Rosenschnoz Laugh Labs, Maplewood Parks and Recreation root bear floats and Ice cream Sundays, to Twin Cities Family Fun's reading corner, all our guests had lots to do. 

We had our community talent showcase which featured:

  • Award winning Hmong dance Group: Nkauj Ntxuas Dej (NND) 
  • Little Miss Minnesota Lilah Lee
  • Amy Korbecky: Comedian 
  • Weaver's 4th and 5th grade choir 

AND our 2nd Annual Joke Swap Challenge! This year the Maplewood Police Department and the Maplewood City Council went head to head again, competing for the title of the "JOKE SWAP CHALLENGE WINNER!" Last year the Maplewood Police Department took home the honor and this year, the Police Department did it again with their uniform magic! 

Although it was definitely a close race, with both teams picking jokes that left the audience laughing for days. The winning joke was, of course, a joke about a cow. Because, who doesn't love a good cow joke? 

"You must love cows...because you keep staring at my calves!" 

Look at that calf go!

With all the fun,games and performances, we cannot forget all the good food that was at the event. 

With Maplewood food truck TOT Boss and Maplewood Parks and Recreation Root Beer Floats and Ice Cream Sundaes, everyone, young and old, got a chance to treat themselves to some free fun and laughter fit for a kingdom--the kingdom of Maplewood that is. 

Thank you to everyone who joined us on that beautiful Spring day and I cannot wait to see you all for our next event, coming up in June! So to stay connected with us and upcoming community events where KID CITY will be, please follow the #KIDCITYMN or like us on Facebook at Z Puppets or Maplewood Parks and Recreation!

Till next time, 

Have a goofy day!


Two KID CITY Laugh IN attendees having fun with our Funny Face Gallery.

Brainstorm Theater! KID CITY's first week at John Glenn Middle School!

Teaching artist Shari, Ifrah and Derek working the students from Brainstorm Theater.

Teaching artist Shari, Ifrah and Derek working the students from Brainstorm Theater.

Hello KID CITY Friends! 

Gaosong here with you weekly blog! As you may or may not know, KID CITY has been BUSY BUSY BUSY as we get ready for our 2nd Annual KID CITY LAUGH IN! (which you are all welcome to join us for, Saturday April 1st, 2017 at the Maplewood Community Center/YMCA.) ;) 

Join us all for the Laugh IN, April 1st 4-6 pm at the Maplewood Community Center/MCC! 

Join us all for the Laugh IN, April 1st 4-6 pm at the Maplewood Community Center/MCC! 

However, that does not mean that we have forgotten about our teaching residencies!

Last week marked our 2nd week at John Glenn Middle School, doing teaching residencies with their after school TOPS programs. 

The TOPS Program is an after school program open to all students at John Glenn Middle School. TOPS features a wide variety of classes that offer students additional learning opportunities. The TOPS program consists of non-traditional classes that are not offered during a regular school day.

Now, we are hosting two different residencies, one of them is Brainstorm Theater and the other is KID CITY COUNCIL. Today's blog will feature our first 2 weeks working with the students in Brainstorm Theater. 

However, if you want to learn more about KID CITY COUNCIL, read my previous blog here

Brainstorm Theater is inspired by Brazilian Theater Maker turned politician Augusto Boal, whom created Theater of the Oppressed. In our KID CITY reinterpretation, Brainstorm Theater is does the following: 

  • Jump into scenes of conflict to re-wind and re-write the outcomes in order to rehearse revolution that will empower our lives. 

At the end of our 5 sessions, we will have a final scene and performance, which will be presented to other students within the TOPS Program at John Glenn Middle School. 

However, there is a lot go planning, play and discussion that goes into creating a performance! 

Right now, we are in our planning stages. 

This involves lots of warm up exercises that include Image Theater (featured above) and Dynamizing. Both of these forms of theater are used to enhance and expand our brains to think and strategize in new, creative ways. 

As we each went around the circle, we shared experiences of times that we felt we were wronged, or stories where the outcome was unjust for ourselves, I just knew this performance is going to be powerful.

There were stories of lost friendships, bullying and mistaken identity, all resulting in an outcome, that was not favorable to our students. However, with Brainstorm Theater, we want to change these outcomes in the future!

Next week, we will work together to finalize 2-3 stories that we can then create a scene for. All the students will be in leadership positions when creating scenes; as the directors, actors and creating an improved script for the performance.

As we move forward, I am very excited to see how the scenes will grow and how these students will revision the outcomes to these stories, so they can empower themselves in the future. 

So stay tuned! Because at the end of the 5 weeks, I will feature a whole VIDEO about the experience, so you can see the whole journey! 

If you want to read more about Brainstorm Theater and our experiences at other schools, click here

Again! I would just like to take this moment to say, thank you for joining me today and I hope to see you all at the Laugh IN for our Joke Swap Competition and for a whole day filled with FREE FAMILY FUN!

Need inspiration for the Joke Swap Competition!? Then check out the poster below!

OR, For more information to the Laugh IN, please click on this link to the FB Event Page!

I'll see you all soon!






KID CITY Joke Swap Challenge! Who Will Come Out Winning!

KID CITY Laugh IN Flier! 

KID CITY Laugh IN Flier! 


Gaosong here and have I missed you all! 1 week and a half is too long to be away from you all. I have such exciting news! Today, March 1st, 2017, MARKS THE OFFICIAL START OF KID CITY'S JOKE SWAP CHALLENGE!


The Joke Swap Challenge is a friendly competition between the Maplewood City Council and the Maplewood Police Department, to see who can collect the funniest joke and be declared the winners of the 2nd annual Joke Swap Challenge!

The purpose of the Joke Swap is to engage all of Maplewood in laughter and play. Last year the Maplewood Police Department took first place with the funniest joke, as determined by the audience!

Will the Police Department be victorious again, or will the City Council have a roaring win!?

Here is the framework to the Joke Swap!

1) If you meet a member of City Council or the Maplewood Police Department, ask about this form!

City Council will have a yellow version, while the Police Department will have a blue version!

3) Fill out the form and BRING YOUR JOKE THE THE LAUGH IN!

4) Winners of the Joke Swap must be present at the Laugh IN to receive a prize.


6 Semi-finalist will get Skating Passes to Saints North AND The Grand Prize is a free Splash Bath Birthday Party at the Maplewood Community Center/YMCA, as well as a photo with Mayor Slawick and Police Chief Schnell, which will be published within Maplewood Living!

If you need Inspiration follow #KIDCITYjoke or call our Joke Hotline at 651-432-4004 to hear our weekly joke!? Want to be featured? Tell us your joke by tweeting your joke to #KIDCITYjoke or #KIDCITYMN

So have fun! And submit as many jokes as you'd like! 

City Council and the Maplewood Police Department have officially 31 days to get all you wonderful people to the Laugh IN with your BEST JOKE! 

Who will you give your joke to?

Till next week! I leave you with the winning joke from last year's Joke Swap Competition! 

"What chews wood and loves to sing? JUSTIN BEAVER!"

See you all soon!


KID CITY's Week at Weaver!

Hello KID CITY Friends! 

Gaosong here with this week's blog! I am so sorry I missed you all last week. I was extremely busy because KID CITY was teaching at Weaver Elementary all last week! 

Yes! Everyday for 5 days, KID CITY Artists taught 4 different classes! Totaling 20 sessions! Every single day the artists taught from 12:30-3:30 pm and WE HAD SO MUCH FUN! 

Even with such a short amount of time, and a lot to accomplish, I feel the art we created and connections we made will inspire all the students for a lifetime!

The two residencies we did at Weaver included (1) Videography and (2) My City Park Proposal. 

The Videography program was designed for the 5th graders in the "Leader In Me Program." For 5 days, during their lunch period, the group of 12 students met the teaching artists in a classroom. Here, they learned the fundamentals of videography using IPADS, such as storyboarding, frame composition and lighting. As well as the fundamentals of video editing with IMovie: sound/audio, trimming, text and titles. 

Most importantly though, the Videographers learned how to tell their own stories and tell the stories of others, like a documentary! 

This whole residency was very hands on, with specific prompts that asked the students to film, direct and operate the camera within 5-10 mins and then edit the videos right afterwards. 

Each group consisted of 3-4 students and had the opportunity to work with their very own teaching artists for the duration of the residency. 

The end goal of this residency was to have the 5th grade students go in, film and edit the forth graders City Park Proposals.

And boy! Did they do a great job! Since each group had 3-4 students, every time a new proposal came onto the set, the videographers got a chance to switch roles; Director, Cinematographer (2), Camera Operator. The final day of the residency, the videographers had the opportunity to edit 1 of the videos, which was later on presented to the 4th graders!

It was extremely important for KID CITY to challenge the students and to set realistic goals for them to achieve. Within 5 days, these 12 students went from never have filmed anything, to learning how to plan a video by storyboarding, filming an entire performance, editing videos and having a well-made finished product. The KID CITY Artists could not be more proud of them and their work! 

Let's move on to the 4th grade residency! 

"My City Park Proposal" was a residency done with 3 different forth grade classes. Each class had 4 groups, totaling 12 proposals for different City Parks all around Maplewood. 

The challenge for the 4th graders was to see how they could use ART to bring people together in the Parks. 

 The four main parks we focused on were: Wakefield Park, Geranium Park, Joy Park and Applewood Park. With only 5 days to create a proposal, design our Toy Theaters, film and watch the finished product, there was no time to waste! 

Every group had different ideas for their park. Some wanted to have statues that celebrated children and diversity. Some had practical ideas, like adding in water fountains, 1 for adults and 1 for kids. Others wanted to build a unicorn roller coaster. One group even proposed having a library, in a tree house, so she and others could read their favorite books at the park! 

Excuse me. But WHO WOULD SAY NO TO A TREE HOUSE AND A LIBRARY AT THE PARK! I would love any of those options, but the both of them together are perfect! 

It was such a pleasure to see how the students worked together to discuss barriers within the community, but also how we can bring people together using art in public spaces. I am sure the other teaching artists can attest to this, but I saw many of my students from each class blossoming over the 5 day residency. 

A special thank you note from one of the students from Ms. Her's class. 

A special thank you note from one of the students from Ms. Her's class. 

Even if the students cannot see or feel the impact art can have on community building in Maplewood, I hope they can see how our few short days together, making art and innovating ways to create a better Maplewood, has built a stronger community within their own classrooms.

A huge thank you to all the staff, students and Principle Xiong from Weaver! It would not have been possible without all of you!

To see more videos from the residency, click on this link HERE!

Till next week! 

Enjoy this beautiful Spring Friday!

Spring time brings KID CITY to John Glenn Middle School!


Is it just me, or has Minnesota officially said goodbye to winter? Well, I for one am NOT going to complain about that. I love the spring, for 2 reasons: 

1) The flowers start to bloom and it is a beautiful sight to see!


Yes, you heard me correctly! This Spring, KID CITY will be hosting two different after school programs with John Glenn Middle School. Although technically we will be starting at the end of February, with all this sun, let's call it Spring! 

This is KID CITY's first time partnering with John Glenn Middle School and everyone on the team could not be more excited. 

FUN FACT! I went to John Glenn Middle school from 6th-8th grade! 

I know right! Yes, I went to Weaver Elementary and John Glenn Middle School, two schools that we are indeed partnering with this year. Ya'll! I grew up in Maplewood as a child! You have no idea how excited I am to be teaching in John Glenn this year! I mean, we all are excited, but I am extra happy about this partnership, because John Glenn is a great school!

John Glenn's theme for the 2016-2017 school year is "Whatever It Takes!" Which means that the school administration, teachers, staff and support liasions will work closely with students everyday to help them be successful and achieve A's, B's and C's in all their classes. 

This goal wants EVERY STUDENT to be academically successful and we at KID CITY couldn't agree more!

I believe the programs we are bringing to John Glenn will support the students to become independent thinkers and use art and theater as a means to be creative problem solvers, furthering their abilities to be successful students! 

The two after school residencies we are offering this year are: 


  • Together, we will jump into scenes of conflict to re-wind and re-write the outcomes in order to rehearse revolution that will empower our lives.

  • Want to learn more about Brainstorm Theater? Read my previous blog about the program here!


  • Students will use Toy theaters to work together researching and creating a performance that highlights the work of other youth or youth organizations in Maplewood that make a positive impact in their communities. These performances will be recorded and then presented to the Maplewood City Council!
  • Want to learn more about Toy Theaters? Read my previous blog here!


KID CITY is honored and cannot wait to partner with John Glenn Middle School. I just know this residency is going to allow each student to grow and blossom into the unique flower he or she was always meant to be. 

Till next week all you beautiful KID CITY Flower-ers (get it? Like "Followers?" The joke would probably be funnier if I didn't explain it, but I just really want you to appreciate the pun ahaha) 

Sib Nsib Duas! [Good bye in Hmong :) ]


Come find KID CITY at Weaver Elementary!


Who would have ever thought that January would have come and gone so quickly! Everyone here at KID CITY is so excited for all the amazing things that are coming up this spring. One being KID CITY's upcoming residency at Weaver Elementary in Maplewood! 

Fun fact! I actually attended this elementary school for 5th grade! Yes, folks! I am indeed an alumni of this fine school and couldn't be happier to be back in this school teaching with our amazing artist team. 

Last year was KID CITY's first time working with Weaver Elementary, as we came into their after school programs and performed Laugh Labs, discovering laughter and community with the help of our wonderful audience members. 

We loved it so much, we had to come back!

Get to know Weaver and all the reasons we adore working with them!

With such a fine structure in place for their students to succeed, KID CITY wanted to make sure all the programs we brought in would compliment the skills and knowledge they are already learning in school. This year, we are hosting three different full length residencies: 

1) My City Park Proposal (4th grade)

  • Students work in groups to build Toy Theaters of your dream Maplewood CITY PARK. These Toy Theaters will be performed by the 4th graders and recorded by our Videography students (see below) and presented to the Maplewood City Council!

2) Videography Program (5th graders in the Leader In Me Program)

  • Students will learn the art of storytelling through video and video editing with tasks to document their own lives and their peers living in Maplewood! 

3) Laugh Labs (After School Targeted Learning Program)

  • Students will work together to design Weaver's very own, Laughter Museum (An installation art-piece that captures all the diverse laughs and faces that make up Maplewood's beautiful community) that will be on display in Maplewood!

I am not going to get into too much detail about every single program this week, because I want to save all the juicy details for when we actually go into the school! 

Although our residency does not officially begin till Feb. 6th, we are so excited to have the opportunity to partner with Weaver Elementary again. BUT THAT'S NOT EVEN THE BEST PART!

Weaver Beaver's Principle Pangjua Xiong, is one of the newest additions to KID CITY's Advisory Committee Family! 

Minnpost Photo by Eric Hinrichs

Minnpost Photo by Eric Hinrichs


I know. How lucky are we at KID CITY? I cannot wait to see all the amazing things that are going to happen within this residencies AND with Principle Xiong as a part of KID CITY's Advisory Committee!

Till next week,

Stay gnawing for Knowledge!