Puppetry Arts Institute

+1-816-833-9777 pai@att.net


We are now offering Puppet Painting Workshops on an appointment basis.  (Limited to no more than 15 puppet painters at a time.)  Call or email us for an appointment  at 816-833-9777 or pai@att.net.  Masks will be worn by all staff and volunteers, and we encourage participants and accompanying adults to wear masks as well.

We are also offering Puppet Kits that can be painted at home.  Available with curbside or counter pick up at PAI or home delivery within Eastern Jackson county.  We can also mail them to you via the US Postal Service.

More information about our Puppet Kits is at https://puppetryartsinstitute.org/puppet-kits-available/

The board and staff of Puppetry Arts Institute in the Englewood Arts District of Independence, Missouri, send our deepest gratitude to doctors, nurses and other medical staff members, first responders, delivery drivers, cooks, those who serve food to those in need, grocers, teachers preparing on-line lessons, and many others dedicated to keeping us all safe.  Our goal has always been to share our love of puppetry through puppet painting workshops, high quality and entertaining puppet shows, educational tours of our museum and other special events. 

Welcome to the Puppetry Arts Institute!

The Puppetry Arts Institute (PAI) is located in a 3,000 square foot, handicapped-accessible building in the Englewood Arts District of Independence, Missouri.

This space includes the Hazelle Rollins Puppet Museum. Hazelle Rollins was a local Kansas City, Missouri, businesswoman who owned a nationally recognized and world’s largest puppet factory from 1935-1975. PAI was gifted the remaining inventory of the factory and uses these parts in puppet painting and marionette construction workshops.

The Institute includes a research library, puppet performance and workshop areas, in addition to museum space and offices. Our museum displays include an International Room, Hazelle Rollins Room and changing exhibits area featuring a different theme twice a year.

PAI has a website, quarterly newsletter, postcard mailing list, Facebook page, Twitter, and is featured in KC Parent, VisitKC, VisitMO, plus the Independence Examiner and Kansas City Star Events Calendar.

PAI offers interactive puppet making workshops using parts from the historic Hazelle puppet factory. Workshops are designed to suit the requests of youth, school groups, seniors, daycares and family groups.

PAI schedules monthly puppet shows bringing in professional puppeteers both local and from other states to perform, using a variety of styles of puppetry.


Our Story

PAI is a 501(c)3 organization established in 2000 by local puppeteers led by Diane Houk, to share this art form with our community.


What We Do

The Puppetry Arts Institute is a magical place for children, families and even adults to enjoy puppet shows, puppet painting workshops and other special events.


Why We Do It

Our mission is to preserve and promote puppetry through education and entertainment for all ages.

Can you guess where we got the colorful background art for this website?

From the Kids at PAI!

Puppet Painting Workshop attendees have a great time painting and learning at PAI. The background image used for this website is one of the many pieces of tablecloth art that was created while the kids painted their puppets.

Our Upcoming Shows and Events