Puppetry design/ performance, special FX artist, Stop-Motion Puppetry, Filmmaker, Performance Artist, Sculptor


Since 1999 Ricki has continued to color outside the lines of what people expect when they think of puppets and puppeteers.  Ricki has performed thousands of street shows, created the popular underground TV puppet show, Dante's Place (1999). Ricki’s work has been produced,/performed, and commissioned by such as a Bunraku puppetry performance of Steinbeck’s "The Pearl" funded by UC Fullerton's Grand Central Art Center and the John Steinbeck society (2002). The Death Show a puppet opera about life's final bow, funded in part by the City of Austin's Cultural Arts Dept. (2009), as well as his all Puppet Burlesque show A night at Miss Mimi's funded by a performance art grant from from the Creative Capital Foundation.


In 2007 Ricki with the help of grant funds and generous donations from supporters, formed the Non Profit theater troupe, and Outreach Program Geppetto Dreams Puppet Company. Throughout his career he has striven to pass his art on to the next generation, teaching  workshops to both children and adults on puppet design construction and performance, creating an award winning workshop on designing puppets from recyclable and found items, and  developed summer internship programs for at risk teens.


In 2017, as a resident artist at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, he started the pilot program “The Puppetry Institute” and later found a more permanent home by partnering my program with the Santa Cruz Museum of Discovery, where he continues to pass on his knowledge to all who come through the doors.



Shark is a lover of all manner of beasties; real or fantasy, fluffy or slimy. They see wonder in every creature! As a tiny tot, they were playing with bugs and drawing made-up monsters. Somehow, both became career paths!


 They are now a professional naturalist with an environmental studies degree, and a free-lance artist. Shark has been teaching ecological science to 1st-6th graders as a Web Of Life Field School naturalist since 2015, and has countless hours of public volunteer work as an environmental educator since the mid 2000s. 


Shark has been a free-lance magical creature artist for over a decade, with a wide range of knowledge in both digital and traditional artforms; including digital painting, retro pixel art, fine-art painting, art-dolls, up-cycled toys and monster masks. Shark believes that passionate education can create a better future! ... in the mean time, they also believe current reality can be amended with a bit of fantasy.



Annamarie MacLeod lived in New York and Chicago before settling in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has worked locally with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Pacific Repertory Theatre, Bus Barn Stage Company, Woman's Will, the New Conservatory Theatre Center, the Pear Ave Theatre, theatre Q, the Ragged Wing Ensemble, and Dragon Productions.

Ms MacLeod taught theatre with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival and was a member of the 2010 and 2012 Shakespeare workshops that the Arabian Shakespeare Festival held at Al Ain University. Ms. MacLeod trained in New York at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. 



Star is a student at UCSC who has been with the institute since May 2017, has performed in the Doctor Mercurio show as a dragoneer and pyro ornithologist (one who studies birds that burst into flames), as well as the Hunter S. Thomson show with Ricki Vincent. Star studies art and game design, and has experience with many forms of media both 3D, 2D and 4D.


Star has been face-painting since 2016 and is eager to face any transformation challenge. Star also has thorough experience in theatre makeup and tech. Star has a background in music, and has been performing on stage for at least a decade, whether it's for a musical, play, or dance performance.


The Puppetry Institute has been a place Star can learn, expand on skills, and be around other passionate people at the institute. Star has been passionate about puppets since childhood and is so happy that passion can come to life.


Cuauhtemoc Guerrero

Cosplay Artist

Cosplaying since 2009, Cuauhtemoc has run the gambit from thrift store patchjobs to intricately foam-crafted power armor. Both his Zer0(Borderlands2) and Khajiit (Elder Scrolls) cosplays have won first place at convention competitions. Cuauhtemoc’s ‘professional hobbyist’ sensibilities surrounding his craft has lead to a build quality that is magical while performing, and affordable during crafting.


The first costume Cuauhtemoc ever put together was a space marine costume for his little brother- utilizing a broken motorcycle helmet, cardboard, and a healthy helping of paper mache. It’s fair to say that his methods have since improved, though his drive for the art has remained steadfast. A lifetime believer in the power of art, he looks forward to sharing his craft with curious minds everywhere. 


Multi-Media Artist, Teacher

Katie Savage is a mixed media artist and event organizer from the Monterey Bay Area. Her art is made with with recycled and natural materials whenever possible. During a residency at the Monterey Waste Management District(MRWMD), Katie made a body of work using materials recovered from the landfill. This work has inspired her vision since. 

Katie is also the Art Director of Luvlab Productions, an art and music gathering production company. Their events combine showcasing local musical and visual artists with community fundraisers. Her installation art and curation, has been featured at their annual music and arts festivals. 

She has her associates degree in Visual Communications and graduated with a bachelors in Visual and Public Art in May 2017. Katie gains inspiration from hiking, creating with others, and spending time with her family and friends. 



Sunday- Mon by appointment

Tues-Sat 10am-6pm

Tel. 831 316 0902

1855 41st Avenue
Capitola, CA 95010


The Puppetry Institute is a project of

The Children Are Our Future

a 501(c3) non-profit


The Puppetry Institute is a 501c3 nonprofit project of Children Are Our Future.
Learn more at  - thechildrenareourfuture.org