Past Partnerships

We are always excited to partner with organizations that have similar missions and values as ours. Here are some of the amazing partnerships we have had over the last few years.

Tubman Partnership

Z Puppets Rosenschnoz partnered with 3 Tubman sites to create this shadow puppet video, thanks to funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board Partners in Arts Partnership program.

Backus Community Center

Z Puppets Rosenschnoz brought Monkey Mind Pirates to International Falls, MN in the summer of 2018, with a week-long camp for local youth and students on the Autism Spectrum.

Monkey Mind Pirates at Backus Community Center

Monkey Mind Pirates at Backus Community Center

Austin Area Arts Commission/

Historic Paramount Theatre

Austin, Minnesota

In 2016/17, Z Puppets worked with the Austin Area Arts Commission to bring STEM of Puppetry workshops and performances of Cellula to the Historic Paramount Theatre. Youth participated in Shadow Puppet, Glow-in-the-Dark Puppet and Recycled object invention labs at the Austin Artworks Center, IJ Holton Intermediate School, and Austin Public Library.  Photographer Bruce Silcox took pictures of the creativity in action, featured in the Austin ArtWorks Gallery.The project was funded by an Arts Learning Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. 

ZP STEM Glow in the Dark Lab.jpg

Midwest Special Services

Twin Cities Metro Area, MN

MSS participants will explore the world of puppetry with Z Puppets Rosenschnoz. Participants will make puppets, learn to manipulate them, create their own puppet show, and then perform live in front of their peers, friends, family, and community.

Participants will gain skills and knowledge in a new art medium, as well as skills relating to personal growth (e.g. effective communication, teamwork, following direction, thinking creatively, and persistence).

MSS serves individuals with both physical and cognitive disabilities, and we will use adaptive tools and techniques to fully engage art learners of every ability level in this project. Arts learners from each of MSS’ 6 centers will participate. The centers will pair up to create three multimedia performances. Once the project in complete, all three performances will be available online for future enjoyment.


This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.


Epic Enterprises

Dundas, MN

Epic is a non-profit that has been serving adults with disabilities for 38 years. Epic’s clients are 18 years old and older and experience a wide range of challenges including developmental, physical, emotional, sensory and learning disabilities, as well as traumatic brain injuries. Many have multiple diagnoses including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Epic offers job skills training, placement, employment coaching and transportation to and from minimum or lower paying jobs.

Z Puppets is partnering again with Epic to reconnect with our original group of arts learners from 2014 and deepen their experience with MMP. Our project builds on the puppetry, singing and mindfulness skills they learned during our previous residency by providing them opportunities to further develop their roles as Sailors in workshops, guest-starring as the Chorus in public performances at Dakota County and Faribault libraries. Participants will learn the skills and discipline necessary to sustain multiple shows. Epic performers will receive a stipend equal to or more than the pay of their daily jobs. As participants discover new skills and hone their artistic discipline, they will also deepen their mindfulness practice, sharpening their creative tools for coping with stress and improving self-esteem.

Z Puppets will also present free arts and mindfulness outreach workshops for youth and adults of all abilities at the four libraries. The workshops will feature Epic Sailors modeling MMP’s calming techniques. Combined with the performances, this project will increase the number of Minnesotans witnessing the artistic triumph of Epic clients, raising the awareness of the capabilities of people with special needs. Epic Sailors will demonstrate that people with “disabilities” are full of artistic possibilities.


This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. 


The Autism Society of MN

St. Paul, MN


In 2014, AuSM teamed with Z Puppets to adapt workshops and performances for families living with ASD. In 2015 we expanded the reach of MMP, with programs in Duluth, Rochester and the Twin Cities. Youth (ages 7 and up) and their accompanying adults create puppets, learn songs and practice “playful mindfulness” (basic meditation and yoga framed in the sea adventure). The group then performs with Z Puppets as the Sailor Chorus in sensory-friendly productions of the play. In evaluations, participants report significant, long-lasting positive impacts on their families’ ability to cope with stress. Parents of children with ASD describe MMP's mix of fun metaphors and calming techniques as "joyful," "liberating" and "uplifting."

Registration 2016 Monkey Mind Pirates Workshop is now open!

Visit the AuSM website for  registration!

Cost Per Session
Due to a generous grant from the State Arts Board, this class is FREE for participating families. Registration is required.

Location of Monkey Mind Pirates
Maplewood Community Center, 2100 White Bear Ave., Maplewood, MN 55109

Monkey Mind Pirates (youth with autism, siblings ages 7+, parents, caregivers)
Based on the award-winning show, Monkey Mind Pirates, this FREE workshop centered around arts and mindfulness is specifically designed for families living with autism. Z Puppets artists will lead participants in basic yoga and mindfulness techniques, singing, and puppetry. Each family will receive a Monkey Mind Pirates CD, workbook and yoga mat to keep.

At the end of the session, families will guest star in a special public performance of Monkey Mind Pirates in the theater at Maplewood Community Center.

Five Consecutive Days, Monday-Friday 
August 22-26, 2016 

Session 1: 10-11:30 a.m.
Session 2: 1-2:30 p.m.

Orientation at Maplewood Community Center
Aug. 7, 2016 (time to be announced)

Performance at Maplewood Community Center
Saturday, Aug. 27 (time to be announced)

You can also download a PDF of the Before You Go Guide.

In 2016, we seek to continue our collaboration by expanding programs to families in the Eastern Twin Cities suburbs, particularly those with greater needs for services due to economic barriers. With Z Puppets’ multicultural artist team and community partners, we will strive to reach the growing low-income and immigrant populations in this area. Target communities all have strong traditions around stories; based on feedback from teaching artists, we expect the MMP metaphors to be particularly effective.

Click here to download the Evaluation Findings from Blue Scarf Consulting


This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.


Harriet Tubman Center

Happy Places Workshops

Families at the Harriet Tubman Shelter were asked to imagine their Happy Places and create miniature Toy Theaters depicting what or who they would put in their worlds.

Bethune Community School

Thanks to funding from the National Turnaround Arts program, Z Puppets is bringing the Monkey Mind Pirates to Bethune Community School in Minneapolis in early 2016.

Kindergartners, 1st graders and 2nd graders are learning to find Calm in the midst of the storms.

New London Arts Alliance

New London, MN

Z Puppets travels to New London, MN for a series of performances and workshops thanks to the MN State Arts Board Arts Tour program and the Arts and Cultural Heritage Legacy Amendment. 

This partnership with the New London Arts Alliance is placing Z Puppets artists into schools, festivals, libraries, and theaters in the New London area throughout 2015 and 2016.

See below for upcoming events:


This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.


The STEM of Blacklight Puppetry

In 2016, Z Puppets is working with Technical Tools of the Trade to bring performances and residencies to Cherokee Heights Elementary School and Riverview West Side School of Excellence in Saint Paul.

2nd graders will use the engineering design process to create glow-in-the-dark puppets of underwater creatures.

Sacred Heart Music Center

Duluth, MN

The Quest for Calm Day returns to Duluth!

Start your family’s New Year with the Quest for Calm and turn your “Arrghs” into “Oms” with the critically-acclaimed puppet musical, Monkey Mind Pirates Family Yoga Party, Thursday, December 31st, 2016 at 2:30 pm at Sacred Heart Music Center

Celebrate Duluth’s 3rd Annual Quest for Calm Day — an event established by a 2013 proclamation by Mayor Don Ness in honor of Z Puppets’ award-winning arts and mindfulness program.

Doors open at 1:30pm for Z Puppets’ Family Happy Hour of creative activities and yoga-themed fun on the Island of Calm.  The performance and activities are recommended for ages 2 and up.  

Stillwater Library & Valley Friendship Club

Stillwater, Mn

Throughout 2015, Z Puppets partnered with the Stillwater Public Library and the Valley Friendship Club to present a series of STEM of Puppetry performances and workshops at the library, and two innovative summer camps. 

•Spring performances and workshops investigating artistic and scientific processes of puppetry for youth (ages 7+)

•Summer arts and mindfulness camp for youth (ages 7+) using STEM concepts to create and perform two types of puppetry in Z Puppets’ musical with health-science theme of stress relief

•Summer camp for junior high students to create and perform puppetry about basic cell science

All events will be designed for, promoted to and accommodate youth with and without developmental disabilities. Combined with extensive planning and community outreach, Z Puppets’ Stillwater STEM series will advance the goals of Z Puppets, the Library and VFC.

VFC is a non-profit founded in 2010 by a group of Washington County parents who saw the need for experiences to foster innovation, independence and relationships for young people with and without disabilities.

Stillwater Library seeks to inspire lifelong learning, as reflected in their motto, “Let your mind run deep!”

By teaming with these two partners in Stillwater, Z Puppets will integrate and advance our top four initiatives: arts for people with special needs; STEM of Puppetry, arts and mindfulness and community partnerships.


The STEM of Puppetry Performances


The STEM of Puppetry Workshops

Z Puppets conducted a series of workshops at the Stillwater Library designed to explore the STEM of Puppetry. 

Each workshop focused on a different style of puppet, including:

  • Found Object puppets
  • Glow-in-the-Dark puppets
  • Sock puppets
  • Toy Theater Puppets


The Cell Science Summer Camp

Exploring Cell Science, 2015

Cell Science Camp Final Performances

Making Shadow Puppets for Cell Science Camp, 2015

Monkey Mind Pirates Summer Camp

Rehearsing for Monkey Mind Pirates performance

American Indian Family Center

saint paul, mn

Your music and puppets gave our family a way to talk more clearly about emotions with our children. You provide good, practical ideas to children and adults about how to transform and face emotions.
— Participant Survey

In 2012, Z Puppets partnered with AIFC through a Partner In Arts Participation grant through the MN State Arts Board to produce a series of Arts and Mindfulness stress reduction workshops for Native youth and their families.

Based on Z Puppets' popular Monkey Mind Pirates curriculum, students at the American Indian Magnet School Youth Enrichment Summer Program learned yoga and mindfulness techniques while making puppets and singing songs.

Families connected with the AIFC then had the opportunity to participate in a series of evening workshops making puppets and writing a song for a public performance at the Dayton's Bluff Recreational Center in St. Paul.



Here are the lyrics the families wrote about their idea of Calm:

We have fallen for MMP BIG!
— Participant Survey

Light as cotton candy,

Life is sweet & dandy:

Tropical fruit, juicy and tart,

Strawberries red, as my heart!

Lying flat on a beautiful mat

Inhale, exhale, just like that

Relax and let go of time

x: Listen to the peaceful chime!

Nii mi lapping against my lip,

water cooling as I sip.

Sailing on a silent bear,

Soft as a little wolf's hair

Lavender lilacs lifting lightly,

In the morning blooming  brightly,

Quiet as a blue sky

Fluffy clouds floating by

Download the Evaluation Findings conducted by Blue Scarf Consulting


Mankato YMCA

Mankato, MN

Z Puppets partnered in 2012 with the YMCA of Mankato, working with youth in the Brother/Sister program and our Monkey Mind Pirates arts and mindfulness program. Funded through the Partners In Arts Participation Program of the MN State Arts Board, the program performed in the Lincoln School.

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre

minneapolis, mn

Z Puppets has a long time partnership with HOBT since our beginnings in 1998, performing annually in their Saturday Matinee Series, as part of the May Day Parade and Festival, the PuppetLab series for new works, and occasionally on their Mainstage.

In 2012, Z Puppets co-presented with HOBT our Monkey Mind Pirates performance, recruiting families for the first time to become part of our Sailor Chorus, and selling out the 300-seat venue. With sponsorships from local businesses, the performance was also chosen as a "Best Bet" by the Pioneer Press. 

Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota

saint paul, MN

I can’t thank you enough for what you have done for my family. I never thought I would see him do something like this!
— Father of participant
After months of trying to get my son to talk about his stress, he called me up after the workshop and said he wanted to talk about it!
— Mother of participant

in 2011, Z Puppets partnered with DSAM to present a series of arts & mindfulness workshops to adults with Down Syndrome. Our first experience adapting Monkey Mind Pirates for adults with special needs turned out to be a much larger success than even we anticipated. 

Here are the lyrics for their heavy metal-inspired Legend of Calm:

Squeezing smoothies from a mango

Peach and Orange dancing tango

Souls in the wind on Jupiter’s ring

Music and dancing makes us sing!


Calm is what I like to do

Everyone likes calm in their life

We are the calming crew

Come and join our ship! (Total wreck..)


Pizza baking in an oven

Smell of gravy is what I’m lovin’

The sound of deer eating grass

Graceful, pretty, kinda fast


Calm is what I like to do

Everyone likes calm in their life

We are the calming crew

Come and join our ship! (Total wreck..)


I listen to the water drip, drip, drip

An ice cold pepsi I sip, sip, sip.

I like to eat some garlic bread

And sip sprite. . . in my bed!


Calm is what I like to do

Everyone likes calm in their life

We are the calming crew

Come and join our ship! (Total wreck..)


Calm in a voice that our souls request

The legend of calm requires our best

Soldiers marching to a beat

Cool it down, in the heat.


Calm is what I like to do

Everyone likes calm in their life

We are the calming crew

Come and join our ship! (Total wreck..)

Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota

Mankato, mn


In 2012, the Children's Museum of Southern MN hosted a week-long Monkey Mind Pirates residency, combining puppetry, music and mindfulness. Using the story of a ship's Captain who overcomes the stress, anxiety and distraction of the Monkey Mind Pirates as a springboard, children ages 8-11 do yoga, puppetry and songwriting. The participants create and perform scenes alongside Z Puppets and a 3-piece band in a professional public production.  

Myles Reif Performing Arts Center

grand rapids, mN

New York Mills Center for the Arts

New York mills, MN

Our Neighborhood Works/Camden Music Center

Minneapolis, MN

In 2010 and 2011, Z Puppets partnered with the Minneapolis Northside community organization Our Neighborhood Works and the Camden Music School to premeire our first Monkey Mind Pirates workshops for Arts & Mindfulness. Funded through a Partners In Arts Participation Program by the Minnesota State Arts Board, the summer camp performed at The Warren (2010) and at The Historic Ritz Theater.

Lake Agassiz Library System


Arrowhead Library System


Saint Paul Public Libraries

saint paul, mn

Great River Library System


Blue Earth Library System


Individual Minnesota Libraries