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Welcome toThe Puppetry Institute!

Making the world a cooler place... One Puppet at a time!

Located at - 1855 41st Ave, Capitola, CA 95010
Contact Ricki - (831) 601 9822 or
Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm

What's New at The Institute?


Introducing MIDDLEOF:

Imagine a one-of-a-kind immersive, interactive, puppetry arts installation featuring the talents of local artists. Check out how you can help bring this whimsical community art installation to the Capitola mall!
> Cheeto Shirts now on sale!


Special Effects Young Interns Scholarship 

At TPI we aim to get art into the hands of youth who need it most!
The Special Effects Young Interns Scholarship offers free instruction and materials to youth aged 12-14 with a drive to create!
This scholarship is open to 2 students of any financial situation, provided they have a portfolio, can commit 6 hours a week in the workshop, and have an unbridled drive t
o create!
> Just 2 spots open, read more here!<


[5/28/23 Update: We are currently 50% funded!]
help us get to 100%

Individualized all-ages workshops

Create Anything You Dream!

Classes At The Puppetry Institute


Visit Our Workshop!

At The Puppetry Institute your class experience is personalized to suit your schedule, goals, and skillset!

Contact Ricki - (831) 601 9822 or

Visit us by the beautiful Santa Cruz seaside!
Take a tour and meet our life-sized monster puppets at the Capitola Mall: 

1855 41st Ave, Capitola, CA 95010

Create Anything You Dream!

Bring your imagination to life - TPI Classes are custom tailored to your creative vision!

We will provide the tools, materials, and personalized instruction you need to take your project from concept to real-world costume, puppet, prop or art piece! 

Not only is what you create in the workshop yours to keep forever, you will also gain the creative and technical skills to keep making your dreams come true!

Because students are invested in what they create -

our engaging classes build student confidence in their own ideas and abilities, while secretly teaching skills for academic success!

TPI is an IEMINC vendor offering VAPA and STEAM applicable classes!


All Ages and Abilities Welcome!

Families with little ones under age 8 will love our beginner classes, family engagement programs, and crafting kits!


Older kids and teens may participate in drop-off classes! Check out our wide range of class types and contact us with your child's idea and availability! We personalize our classes to our students' abilities - ensuring that students always feel supported while gaining the confidence and skills to work independently.

And yes we mean ANY age! Kids-at-heart can embrace life-long-learning and creativity by scheduling an adult class. Best of all, class fees support our scholarship program - meaning you can improve a kid's childhood while reliving your own!

Work On Your Schedule

"When are your classes?" Almost any time!
TPI is open Monday-Saturday, from 10am-5pm.
Classes are typically between 30-120 minutes per session.
Contact us and schedule a time slot that works for you!

Classes are typically solo or alongside just a few students, allowing instructors to give their students plenty of one-on-one instruction.

Not in the Santa Cruz area? Many of our classes can also be attended online! Get a personalized material kit delivered to your door and attend video-call weekly distance learning classes.

Digital Fantasy Monster Design Lesson 2

One Puppet at a Time!

Making The World A COOLer Place...


Making Creativity Accessible to All

Make the world a cooler place puppet at a time with our scholarship program!
The Puppetry Institute is a 501c3 nonprofit that aims to make the magic of creativity accessible to those who need it most!


The Puppetry Institute is a non-profit organization that believes in the healing power of creativity! Our scholarship program provides free materials and personalized instruction for children facing financial and other hardships at home. 

After 4 years of being a under the Nonprofit wing of our dear friends at CAOF,
the Institute is now an independent 501 c3 NON PROFIT! Read more about it!

Here's how we get our funding:

Class Sales

A third of every workshop sale goes into our scholarship fund!
For every three classes sold, one is given away to a kid in need!


Mercurio's Curios Sales & Puppet Shows

Buy one-of-a-kind magical art pieces by TPI artists or bring live dragons to your next event! A portion of sales go into our scholarship fund, with the rest directly supporting local artists and performers

Direct Donations

Interested in supporting what we do directly?
Contact us, or join our PATREON

for as little as $1 a month! 

Unique patreon rewards available to higher tiers!


And Traveling Menagerie

The closest thing to meeting real-life dragons, yetis, unicorns and more!
These one-of-a-kind, life-sized mythical creature puppets are created and performed by the staff of The Puppetry Institute!

Our shows are immersive and interactive events! Hear, see, and touch life-like moving creatures.
A few lucky audience members may even get to feed, pet and play with select creatures!


We are available for school assemblies, parties and other events around California's central coast.
Contact us with your budget, or what creatures you would like to invite to your next event - and we will work with you to put on a truly unforgettable performance!

Check out our menagerie to see who is available!


Thank you for your Support!

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