Arts Tour Minnesota

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Shari G. Aronson AKA Shari Aronson
Recipient Type
Start Date
May 2013
End Date
April 2014
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Crow Wing
St. Louis
Crow Wing
St. Louis
Project Overview
Arts Tour Minnesota
Project Details
Puppeteer Shari Aronson and collaborators will tour Monkey Mind Pirates performances and workshops to 16 new North Minnesota sites in Summer 2013, integrating puppetry, music and yoga to give families creative tools for finding calm.
Competitive Grant Making Body
Board Members and Qualifications
Judson Bemis Jr.: Actor, arts administrator, founder and principal of Clere Consulting. Secretary, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Ardell Brede: Mayor of Rochester, elected 2002.; Peggy Burnet: Businesswoman, art collector, and community volunteer. Chair of the Nominating Committee, Smithsonian National Board. Trustee, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Vice Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Michael Charron: Dean of the School of the Arts, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Vice Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Sean Dowse: Executive director, Sheldon Theatre. Board member for Minnesota Music Coalition, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, and Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies.; John Gunyou, City manager, Minnetonka.; Benjamin Klipfel: Board member, Minnesota State Arts Board. Executive Director, Alexandria Area Arts Association, Inc. Director and arts educator.; Ellen McInnis: Director of Twin Cities government relations, Wells Fargo. Member of Bottineau Boulevard Partnership. Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Pamela Perri: Executive vice president, Builders Association of Minnesota.; Margaret Rapp: Former educator, Saint Paul Academy and Summit School. Officer at-large, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Anton Treuer: Professor of Ojibwe, Bemidji State University.
Advisory Group Members and Qualifications
Jeffery Amundson: Executive Director, Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale; Adrienne Dorn: Director of Development, The Cedar Cultural Center; Stephanie Eichman: President of the Board of Directors; Minnesota Dance Ensemble; Christine Gradl Seitz: Executive and Artistic Director, Duluth Playhouse; Andrew Maus: Executive Director, Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Winona; Margaret McCreary: Puppeteer, artist/educator; James Scott: General Manager, Guthrie Theater, contracts and negotiations; Iris Shiraishi: Artistic Director, Mu Daiko; taiko drumming/music; Robert Thomas III: Associate Director of Development and Company Manager, Great River Shakespeare Festival, Winona
Conflict of Interest Disclosed
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota 2011, First Special Session, chapter 6, article 4, section 2, subdivision 3
Appropriation Language

ACHF Arts Access

2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Direct expenses
Administration costs
Number of full time equivalents funded
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

A new concert version of Monkey Mind Pirates will provide northern Minnesota families with a quality arts experience and creative approach to stress relief. Children will express their understanding of calm through post-show creative activities. Through written, verbal, and visual reflection, families will use a 5-point scale to rate the artistic quality and usefulness of tools for calm in the performance. 2: In workshops for Down Syndrome Association Minnesota parent groups, adults will learn Monkey Mind Pirates' creative tools to help their families find calm. Pre-surveys will measure participants’ awareness of stress relief techniques. Post-surveys will assess how participants anticipate using Monkey Mind Pirates’ characters, metaphors, music, and mindfulness methods to address stress in their families.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Z Puppets’ 2013 tour fulfilled the originally stated outcome of providing northern Minnesota families with a quality arts experience and creative approach to stress relief through our puppet, rock, yoga adventure Monkey Mind Pirates. We adapted the production to fit the needs of informal community venues by scaling down the narrative, sets and technical effects while increasing the interactivity. We presented this new Monkey Mind Pirates Family Yoga Party at all nine branches of the Kitchigami Library System, Duluth’s Twin Ports Bridge Festival and at Down Up North (Duluth affiliate of Down Syndrome Association Minnesota). To measure the impact of this new show, we asked audience members to fill out post-show surveys. As an incentive, we offered to enter each completed survey in a drawing for a prize (a Monkey Mind Pirates CD). Respondents indicated a high understanding and usefulness of the key messages of our Quest for Calm and rated high levels of engagement and enjoyment of the show. 2: We worked with Down Syndrome Association Minnesota Duluth affiliate, Down Up North to provide three Monkey Mind Pirates playful mindfulness family workshops. The series began with a free public performance of Monkey Mind Pirates Family Yoga Party at the end of Down Up North’s popular annual picnic. At the end of each workshop, we asked the participants to share with us how they anticipated using Z Puppets’ characters, metaphors, music, and mindfulness methods to address stress in their families. The families rated the usefulness high because of the multi-modal approach combining music, puppets, story, and yoga. They noted that the activities worked best for the youth participants with Down Syndrome (ages 4-6) when the emphasis was on physical and tangible creative activity vs. discussion.

Description of Funds
Source of Additional Funds

Other, local or private

Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Shari G. Aronson AKA Shari Aronson
(612) 267-7344
Administered By
Administered by

Griggs Midway Building, Suite 304,
540 Fairview Avenue North,
St. Paul, MN 55104

(651) 539-2650 or toll-free (800) 866-2787
Email the Agency