Check out our incredible artists from MayDay 2016. Our 2017 crew will be announced shortly.
Gustavo Boada is a theater-based multidisciplinary artist with more than 30 years experience working in Peru, Chile, Puerto Rico and USA. He has worked at Bread and Puppet Theatre in Vermont, Puppetry in Practice at Brooklyn College and NAYLAMP Street and Puppet Theater in Philadelphia. Since 2007, he has worked with HOBT as MayDay art staff, roster artist, Mpls. Lantern Fest and as a performer in main stage productions. He also works with diverse community organizations throughout Minnesota, teaching artistic residencies about puppetry, mask-making, and stilting; being commissioned to build big puppets and pageants; and touring his original puppet shows.
Malia Burkhart is a multidisciplinary performance artist, singer-songwriter, Community-Arts Activist, Somatic Massage therapist, and arts-educator living and working in the Twin Cities. She is returning to MayDay staff after being a HOBT/MayDay parade artist and an artist with Barebones Productions’ annual Halloween Extravaganza (1999 – 2009). Malia is on several artist-rosters including COMPAS, The Minnesota State Arts Board, and the East Side Arts Council. She is a member of Chicks on Sticks, an all-female professional stilt walkers’ cooperative, and the People’s Movement Center. artsbymalia.com and kochikara.com
Ramon Cordes has worked in puppet type art for over 20 years, growing up in the Powderhorn Park area and participating in numerous projects with HOBT, including the annual MayDay festivals, the Phillips Project Artist Team, and a puppet poem conceived by Bart Buch called Ode to Walt Whitman. He is an active member of the Twin Cities Bike Polo team. mrdovideo.com/bike-polo-high-light-videos/
Angie Courchaine is a community-based artist and teacher from Wisconsin, living and working in South Minneapolis. She enjoys collaborative projects, using her skills in visual arts, puppetry, architecture, and movement. In March 2016, Angie will appear as an aerialist explorer in Basement Creatures, a puppet rock opera at HOBT. When Angie’s not biking around town, she can be found stilt walking (proud member of Chicks on Sticks) or flying on various aerial apparatuses. She is box office manager and overall artistic support at HOBT, and a board member, maker, and performer with barebonespuppets.org.
Jordan Hamilton is a Minneapolis based visual artist and community activist. He is a founding member and facilitator of Power of Vision Mural Program in the Phillips neighborhood at Hope Community. Jordan’s freelance and community work has taken him around the world from the United Arab Emirates to Cuba to collaborative with other artists and communities. cargocollective.com/jordanmhamilton
Madeline Helling is a Minneapolis rooted artist. She jumped into the field of puppetry and cardboard engineering in 2010 and has since been working with HOBT in a variety of capacities, including as a teaching artist and performer. She co-directed the 2014 and 2015 Annual Barebones Halloween Extravaganzas and she also works as an artist @ Adventures in Cardboard. This is Madeline’s fifth year working on staff for the MayDay Parade and she’s pretty pumped about it. “Madeline is so exuberant, that you’ll forget you’ve been papier-macheing for the last five hours.” -Barebones Puppets barebonespuppets.org
Penny Krebiehl (stage manager) is very active as an artist, designer and educator in her community of Traverse City, MI. She is a certified permaculture design consultant and farmer/owner of O’k CSA Cooperative, which focuses on growing and providing consumers/share-holders with nutrient dense food. Penny has been the lead artist, directress and organizer of the Grand Traverse Earth Day Parade (15 years) and Little Artshram (20 years), building BIG puppets and designing themed parades and puppet and mask theater productions for the Traverse City Film Festival since 2012. She has mentored and volunteered as an artist with MayDay since 1997. pennyokart.com
Jeong Ae Neal has been recognized as a master puppeteer of Korea and is a puppet, doll, mask, and print maker. A prolific artist, she not only creates worlds of fantasy and reality through inanimate beings who take on lives of palpable existence – she also is deeply involved in the modern realities of environmental and social issues, single mother issues, and workshops for mothers and children. Her creations have been commissioned and spotlighted through exhibits, shows and workshops throughout the world. Jeong Ae is now a resident of St. Paul and has been on MayDay artistic staff since 1999. She actively participates in HOBT and barebonespuppets.org.
Esther Ouray has been creating, performing, celebrating, and teaching with In the Heart of the Beast Theatre since 1980. As puppeteer, actress, director, dancer, and choreographer, she has been blessed to engage in creative work locally, regionally, and internationally. She has cavorted with other performance companies as well in the area – among them are: At the Foot of the Mountain, Barebones Productions, Illusion Theater, and Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts. Esther is presently a company member of Zamya Theater Project. She has been the recipient of grants from the MN State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, Rimon, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Puffin Foundation, and Arts on Chicago.
Junauda Petrus is a writer, aerialist, playwright, creative organizer and performance artist. She has received a Givens Foundation fellowship, a Jerome Travel and Study grant and a Many Voices Mentorship with the Playwright’s Center, and is currently the performance and installation artist for the Naked Stages Residency at the Pillsbury House. She is also a cultural producer in residence at the Givens Foundation, where she co-hosts a podcast series called Black Market Reads, a weekly talk show about Black Literature, creativity and cultural production. She is the co-founder of Free Black Dirt, a Minneapolis-based artist collective. freeblackdirt.com
Mary Plaster is a Minnesota-raised, world-traveled, mixed-media artist and facilitator based in Duluth since 2000, where she is founder/artistic director of All Souls Night, held in early November since 2008. She is the feature artist of 2016’s ArtWorks festival, August 27 & 28, in Austin, MN. Career Highlights include: Parliament of World Religions, The Cosmic Mass, Ordway International Children’s Festival, Duluth Children’s Museum, MN Ballet, and Burning Man, with Jungle Theater and Children’s Theatre Company internships. A HOBT/MayDay fan/kindred from its start, Mary first joined art staff in 2008 and spent that summer with the Bread and Puppet Theatre in VT. maryplaster.com
Mark Safford is an artist hooked on puppetry in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area since 1991 with Galumph at the Jungle. He or his creations have appeared at HOBT, the Ordway’s International Children’s Festival, Red Eye Theatre, Theater de la June Lune, the Minnesota Opera Co., Bedlam Theater, Art Shanty Project, Art Sled Rally, Mpls. Lantern Fest, and in public parks and riverside squats for barebonespuppets.org of which he was a co-founder, active supporter, and participant for the last 22 years. When not at HOBT, Mark is usually working for East Side Arts Council, Leonardo’s Basement, or Marcy Open School and Barebones Puppets (Dumpster Duels).
Sandy Spieler is a sculptor, painter, graphic artist, performer, theatre director, mother, teacher and perpetual student. She is one of the founders and directors of MayDay and of In the Heart of the Beast Theatre. She holds an MA of Cultural Performance from Bristol University England, and studied puppetry arts at Bread and Puppet Theatre in Vermont, and New York University. She is grateful for supportive awards over the years including two UNIMA-USA Citations of Excellence in the Art of Puppetry Award, and was named the 2014 “Distinguished Artist of the Year” from the McKnight Foundation. sandyspieler.com
Erin Sharkey is a poet, essayist, educator and graphic designer based in Minneapolis. She is the co-founder of an artist collective called Free Black Dirt and serves as the co-host for Black Market Reads, a weekly podcast about literature and black cultural production. A graduate of MFA program at Hamline University, she has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as rockpaperscissors, OEJ and Paperdarts. Erin was a 2015 Givens Foundation for African American Literature Emerging Writers Fellow and is currently a Givens Foundation cultural producer-in-residence as well as a Coffee House Press in the Stacks artist-in-residence at the Archie Givens Sr. Archive at the University of MN. freeblackdirt.com
Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra is an emerging Twin Cities multidisciplinary post-modern folk artist. She works in visual art, music, performance, and photography. Her visual work is the contemporary expression of traditional artesanías of Mexico and Central America. She serves as curator for Dimensions of Indigenous annual exhibition at Intermedia Arts and as a founding artist and curator with Electric Machete Studios (a newly formed Latino cultural arts hub and gallery). Rebekah is passionate about building community through contemporary cultural arts and elevating folk arts to high art spaces. She works with Creative CityMaking, HOBT, Electric Machete Studios, and ArtStart. rebekahcrisanta.com
Gaea Dill-D’Ascoli is an interdisciplinary artist working in fiction writing, photography, technical theater, puppetry and stilt-walking. She has been published in Sky-Tinted Waters, a local anthology of speculative fiction and at dailysciencefiction.com and has shown photos at Blue Moon Cafe, Du Nord Craft Spirits, Phoenix Theater and the First Unitarian Society. Gaea works with several traditional and puppetry theaters around the Twin Cities including HOBT and Brooklyn Center Secondary Theater. She is part of Chicks on Sticks, an all women’s stilting collaborative. She is a returned Peace Corps volunteer with experience organizing communities at the village and national levels. gaeadd.com
Dee Henry Williams is a professional mask maker, painter, photographer, and textile artist whose “Art for Healing and Celebration” workshop helps participants to think outside the box and experience the exhilaration of living in the moment. Dee is a member of the Backyard Initiative’s Rebirthing Community CHAT team and Women’s Art Registry of Minnesota (WARM). As a KFAI volunteer of over 25 years, Dee produces a weekly radio program, Great Blend of Watercolors, Saturdays 6-9 a.m. Dee teaches across the Twin Cities providing workshops in Solar Lantern and Cooperative Solar Generators. communitiesoflight.net and shangospiritmarket.com
Kathleen Hill is a actress, drawer, painter, sculptor, etc. She is currently in the HECUA Art for Social Change program at the Pillsbury House. She goes to Augsburg College and is currently a studio art major. She has also worked with Illusion Theatre. She has won an award at her school as well.
Sam VanTassel is a senior at the University of Minnesota studying architecture and art, working as an intern with the HECUA Program. He is a painter, sculptor, and builder: his work explores both the good and the bad of youthful energy and nightlife. Born and raised in Minnesota, he has the north woods in his blood and a passion for being outdoors. He also loves to explore the world and hopes to live outside of Minnesota soon.
Woo Yeon Cheon is an arts festival producer from South Korea. Her motto for work is “Art affects life for good.” She has wanted to attend Mayday for a long time, and suspects that her work here will strengthen this motto. She is particularly interested in the interaction between Art and Community to see how artists and community understand and respect each other.
MayDay Artist Assistants
Edgar Bey Young III