In August of 2016, Nik Nerburn, a filmographer originally from the Bemidji, MN area, came to New York Mills to the Center’s Artist Retreat Program. While here, Nik shot video of the Puppet Pageant workshops, the performance, and the New York Mills Corn Feed (on the same day as the Pageant). See Nik’s 15-minute documentary on the 2016 Kalevala Puppet Pageant on the Center’s YouTube page. Click the button below:

Sometimes You Move the Puppet and Sometimes the Puppet Moves You


Starring the children of New York Mills, MN

Thanks to the adults in the room (see credits below)

Music by Curtis & Loretta

Corn Feed courtesy of the New York Mills Civic & Commerce

The Puppet Pageant is produced annually by the Cultural Center in New York Mills

Directed by Anne Sawyer

Filmed and edited by Nik Nerburn in 2016 during a residency at the Cultural Center in New York Mills


Heidi Dresser
Adam Tervola Hultberg
Amy Wallgren

Artistic Director/Narrator- Anne Sawyer
Assistant Director- Lisa Winter
Stage Manager- Sue Seip
Musical Directors- Curtis & Loretta
Violist- Bridget King

Dorothy Eskeli
Cheryl Humbert
Tammy Kasma
Erika Leija
Susan Kay
Heather & Tim Cassidy
Teresa Pederson
Judith Brockway
Tom Olson
Connie & Jeremy Vandermay
Kathy Bauck
Matt & Julie Radniecki
Dyann Tigges
Cindi Koll
Cara Newberry

Food Sponsors:
Auntie Lisa’s Bake Shoppe
NYM Farmers Market
Super One Foods
Dean’s Country Market

Puppet Pageant Sponsors:
Goose Gang
Mills Auto Parts
Grieger Dental
Cenex Hardware Hank
Central Minnesota Credit Union
Perham Printing
Dean’s Country Market
New Horizons women’s organization
Farmers & Merchants State Bank


Read about this year’s Pageant & join the fun Here

Learn about Nik’s residency in New York Mills Here