A MayDay Thank You!

Thank you! You, who participated in planning meetings and attended public workshops. You, who volunteered before, during and after the parade, ceremony and festival. You, who came together with your family/friends/neighbors/community to celebrate with us! Thank you for your creative energy, your hard work, your kindness, your enthusiasm, and for being a part of an incredible, beautiful, powerful MayDay!

Didn’t get enough of MayDay?

Check out our Facebook page to see all the great parade/ceremony/festival photos (posted by you!)

City Pages has a great slide show of parade photos at The Smiles of May Day 2015 

Take a peek inside this year’s MayDay Public Workshops

Learn more about the MayDay Theme: …And Still We Rise!

Didn’t get the chance to make a donation to support MayDay?

You still can! Donate today!

MayDay Festival Entertainment Schedule 2015

Sunday, May 3, 2015

4:00pm  —  Dred I Dread
5:00pm  —  Machinery Hill
6:00pm  —  Positive Vibrations aka Maroons

Sponsored by Seward Co-op Grocery and Deli
12:00pm  —  Roe Family Singers
1:45pm  —  One Ukulele
2:30pm  —  Greg Herriges
3:15pm  —  Heart of a Tinman
4:00pm  —  SisterTree
4:45pm  —  Andra Suchy
5:30pm  —  Carlos Lumbi & El Taller del Amatl
6:15pm  —  Brass Messengers

12:00pm  —  World Beat Dance Music
2:00pm  —  Swimsuit Area
2:45pm  —  Bomba Umoya
3:30pm  —  Ben Glaros Electric
4:15pm  —  Ginstrings
5:00pm  —  Rumba Eterna
5:45pm  —  Business Man

Sponsored by Whole Foods Markets
2:00-6:00pm  —  RARE Productions

Stage & Ceremony Sound by Event Pro, Inc., Expertease Fitness, Homestead Road presents: Bring Life Home, Laughter Yoga, Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Million Artist Movement Quilt Making, Community, Morris Dancers, Thera Labyrinth, TruArt Speaks, Umoja Drum Circle, Wilderness Inquiry Canoe Rides, Women’s Drum Circle


…And Still We Rise

We rise to END any and all forms of racial oppression. So that all can breathe full and limitlessly and know they are free and divine. YES!

We rise so that the legacy of slavery and oppression will not live on anymore. Not in the prison industrial complex or racial profiling or state-sponsored violence or senseless killings or ignorant stereotypes or hateful confusion or soul depression or greedy indifference. This stops NOW.

We rise to heal the dis-ease of racism in all our hearts and the collective heart of the United States of America! We rise with galvanizing fire so that all the pain and sacrifices of our ancestors can be fully vindicated and freedom fully arrives! YES!

We rise so that all can know a free heart when walking in the streets. We rise so all can lay in the shade of the Tree of Life, feeling luscious breezes and warm kisses knowing all are loved to their core. YES!

We rise in affirmation that Black Lives are sacred. And sweet, ingenious, inventive, unfolding, blossoming, courageous, resilient, ancient, soulful, queer, folk, complex, diverse, precious and infinite.

Parade Sections:

Ecstatic Origins
Celebrates All Life twined together as a Tree of Life.

Elephant in the Room
Examines the longstanding mechanism of racial oppression and white privilege in the United States of America.

We Rise!
We rise with galvanizing fire to heal the dis-ease of racism in all our hearts and the collective heart of the United States of America!

Black Lives Are Sacred
Affirming a daybreak that’s wondrously clear with the action of health and freedom for all, we envision: the police force as teams of Grandmas, of social systems based on Cooperative Abundance, of Children living free and being taught the Whole Truth of ancestry, of Love raining down and cleansing all.

And Still We Rise
Recognizes that our human rising is grounded in the continual generative energy of our living earth.


The title of this year’s MayDay theme is inspired by Maya Angelou’s poem Still I Rise.
Thank you Maya Angelou (1928-2014)! Your many years of stunning, passionate work feeds us!

PuppetLab 2015

Thanks to all who attended one of our world Premiere PuppetLab performances. We had record-breaking numbers at the box office, and we are so grateful for your support of genre-pushing, boundary-smashing, artist-supporting work.

To all the PuppetLab artists of 2015, and everyone who helped them paper mache, sewed their costumes, made their videos, took photos of their work, offered moral support, didn’t complain (or at least didn’t complain too much) about long long nights in the studio in this ~ the fifth ~ year of PuppetLab, congratulations! You DID IT! You made it!

To all emerging puppet artists: Keep your eyes open for the applications for the 2016 cycle in the fall.

Thanks again,

Mpls Lantern Fest Lights the Winter Night

The inaugural Mpls Lantern Fest, a partnership between the Minneapolis Downtown Council and In the Heart of the Beast, was held on Saturday, February 21, 2015. Lantern workshop participants built more than 800 lanterns at workshops throughout February and then converged on Marquette Plaza in Downtown Minneapolis to Light the Winter Night!

Didn’t get enough of Mpls Lantern Fest? Check out these photos:

Photos: Mpls Lantern Fest Lights the Winter Night

Photos: Mpls Lantern Fest Workshops

Behind the Scenes: Constellation Lanterns Being Built 

Slide Show by Alan Wilfahrt

Read more about the Mpls Lantern Fest:

Twin Cities Daily Planet

Downtown Journal

City Pages


Mpls Lantern Fest

Learn more about building the giant constellation lanterns: 

WCCO interview with artist Mark Safford (he built the giant bear lantern)

La Natividad Thank You!

A big THANK YOU to La Natividad volunteers, cast and crew, our partner St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, and to YOU! We had such a successful run and we couldn’t have done it without the support of the over 1500 of you who walked through the streets of south Minneapolis with Maria and José.

Didn’t get enough of La Natividad?

Read about La Natividad in the Star Tribune
Watch a segment about La Natividad on TPT’S Almanac

For our Annual Winter Appeal, we say…

ThanksMagnetTHANKS! We are enormously grateful for the generous community of friends, artists, patrons, funders, partners, colleagues and neighbors who are blazing this new path with us! We would not be here without you. Thank you for recognizing us, and for your patience and commitment to the collaborative work of building an open and caring world. We at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre stand ready to embrace the new year with passion, energy, clear vision and joyful camaraderie!

If you’d like to support our work, please donate now.


Give to the Max Gratitude

WOW!  Truly an amazing 24 hours!!  How can we ever thank you?  Your generosity propelled us way over the top.  We made our stretch goal and then some!  While we don’t have the final total yet, preliminary numbers indicate that this is HOBT’s best Give to the Max Day ever!

If you donated, we are immensely grateful for your support!  In addition to helping pay for the materials and time to make MayDay happen, your continued support reinforces our commitment to this work and to making MayDay a sustainable community event for future generations. If you missed it yesterday but believe in MayDay and what HOBT does, you can still make a donation at www.hobt.org/donate/

If you want to support HOBT in other ways, please consider buying tickets to our bilingual holiday show, LA NATIVIDAD.  Told with humor, visual beauty and soulful live music, La Natividad combines puppetry, street theatre and community participation.  You don’t want to miss it!

Again, THANK YOU for supporting In the Heart of the Beast!  We are so honored by your kindness and big-heartedness.

Welcome to our Interim Executive Director!

October 9, 2014

The In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre Board of Directors has wonderful news! We are thrilled to announce that effective October 6 HOBT has hired Catherine Jordan as its Interim Executive Director. One of the most respected and skilled arts leaders in the Twin Cities, Catherine brings to HOBT a renewed sense of calm, confidence and stability as she starts working closely with staff, the Board, and our circle of partners and stakeholders. Thanks to supporters like you, we’ve been able to secure the services of a top-notch interim executive director with decades of arts leadership experience to oversee the day-to-day organizational operations and help us envision a new HOBT.

We thank outgoing Executive Director Loren Niemi for his service and commitment to HOBT and his leadership of the organization for the last four years. We wish Loren well in his future endeavors.

We want to give a big shout-out to our awesome staff – artists and administrators – who have worked diligently to ensure we keep making amazing artwork and serving our partners and community during this transitional time. Everyone will soon begin planning for the 2015 MayDay Parade and Festival.

Before MayDay materializes, don’t forget we’re taking the Nativity Story to the streets! Tickets for our popular holiday show, La Natividad, are on sale now with special group discounts available. Performances begin at the theatre – and following a colorful torch-lit procession – culminate two blocks away with a fiesta at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Told with HOBT’s signature visual beauty and soulful live music, La Natividad is a truly unique community celebration.

We can’t thank you enough for your commitment to HOBT. We are heartened by your generosity in all ways, shapes and forms.

Your feedback is welcome, as always, at hobtboard@gmail.com. Have you seen HOBT’s Facebook page? If you’re not currently a fan, please be sure to “like” us!