In the Heart of the Beast Puppet Library

Heart of the Beast has installed the Twin Cities' first Puppet and Mask Lending Library at our very own Avalon Theater.

The lending library is a collection of puppets and masks on display, many of which are available for check out—just like a book from a library, at no cost to the public. These puppets and masks can be utilized for community events, activism, school plays, personal celebrations, civic events, and more. During library hours, the public can come for a visit or check out a puppet.

Puppets and the entire collectoon can be viewed or checked out on the first and third Saturdays of every month, from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. Check out our calendar for special events on those days too. 

Here's some things to note:

  • Some of our puppets in the library will require puppeteers and/or transportation. For these puppets there will be a fee attached to pay our contracted puppeteers for their time transporting and performing at your event. When you visit the library we will indicate which puppets and masks require puppeteers.
  • Hiring puppeteers starts $75 an hour, with transportation rental starting at a flat fee of $150. Costs may go up based on project requirements.
Untitled design

Image Description: A square with the HOBT hand logo that reads "In the Heart of the Beast Puppet Library" framed in purple.

To experience the virtual tour, click the "play" button above and then click on the circles to zoom in and out of what you see and to travel all around the Avalon theater.

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Image Descriptions: Three photos by Uche Iroegbu, show a series of colorful masks, animal, and human against a black backdrop. These masks were crafted by HOBT artists and community members over many years.

How It Works

You will be able to visit the puppet library during its hours of operation.

  • The puppet library will be open on the first and third Saturdays of each month, from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. You can check our online calendar to confirm it’s open.
  • During your visit you can check out a puppet with a volunteer or staff person working at the front desk.
  • To do so, you will fill out a log with your basic information: your name, phone number, email address, the name of the puppet checked out, and the date of check out.
  • You will get a mini lesson in how to wear and operate the puppet or mask that you are borrowing. Puppets can be checked out for a maximum of two weeks at a time. If you want to return your puppet before then you can make arrangements with us. 
  • Normal puppet wear and tear is to be expected. You will sign a pledge to care for the puppet to the best of your ability and pay for any major damage to the puppet. 

It will be a group effort to keep the puppets in good condition, free and available to all and we ask for grace as we launch the library.

*Hours of operation are subject to change as the library develops.

Adding Puppets to the Library

We are kicking off the library opening with the puppets currently living at the theater, but we will soon begin building the collection. 

  • We will invite two artists to build pieces in the 2023-24 season. Our goal is to commission two artists per quarter. 
  • We will work with schools and communities as another avenue to add to the library.