MayDay in Metamorphosis
HOBT’s MayDay Is Taking a Year Off: Save the Date for May 2, 2021
Over the last four months, we, the HOBT Leadership Team, have heard from more than 500 community members and artists about their dreams for the future of HOBT’s MayDay. Themes drawn from this feedback support what we have known for years but have only now documented: MayDay in its current form is not only unsustainable financially and logistically, the creation process systematically marginalizes and appropriates the work of artists of color. This cannot be allowed to continue.
The HOBT Leadership Team has decided that taking a year off from producing MayDay to pause and redesign MayDay is the best way to come back with a stronger, more equitable MayDay in 2021.
We know that for some, this is difficult news to hear. We did not come to this decision lightly. In the coming year, HOBT can choose either to produce the MayDay celebration that South Minneapolis has grown to know and love, or to invest our time and resources in rebuilding that celebration to equitably and resiliently continue as a valuable institution for future generations. We cannot do both.
In the interest of the long-term value of this MayDay celebration, we choose to rebuild. We choose to live into a new kind of working and creating art together: one that is truly collaborative and opens up new opportunities for transformation by placing our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at the center and giving power to artists and leaders of color.
Many of you have asked: How did we come to the decision to take a year off from producing MayDay in 2020?
In April, we embarked on a community engagement process to listen deeply to the community in order to inform next steps for MayDay. We heard from more than 500 folxs in our community who told us: MayDay is a deeply beloved and treasured community celebration, but we have important work to do to create a truly equitable and accessible MayDay.
Click above to see Imagine Deliver's full report on what we learned from the community over our four-month engagement process which led to our decision to pause MayDay in 2020.
Some folks are not sure what HOBT means when we say we have a problem with cultural appropriation, microaggressions, and a MayDay process that marginalizes artists of color. Click here to learn more.
Imagine MayDay Community Engagement: Summer 2019
This summer, HOBT’s highest priority is investing in a robust community engagement process to listen deeply to the communities we work with, particularly past and present MayDay artists, artists who have felt left out of the MayDay process, Southside BIPOC artists, queer & nonbinary artists, neighborhood organizations in the Phillips and Powderhorn neighborhoods, and you, someone who cares about MayDay’s future.
This commitment is at the core of a set of goals for HOBT to build an Equity Framework, to decentralize MayDay and to build a more resilient structure for the organization.
Imagine MayDay January Announcement
In January, HOBT announced significant reductions to staff and programming. Though significantly diminished in capacity, HOBT remains committed to its vision of building creativity, empathy, and interconnection in its core neighborhoods. HOBT’s tens of thousands of supporters want us to continue our work. We believe transformational change is possible that will lead to a more resilient future organization.
Hundreds of thousands of people have participated in MayDay. It seems no exaggeration to say that a million or more people have been touched by HOBT’s work over 45 years. HOBT has the support to continue impacting communities and the proposed work plan sets the organization on a more resilient path.
As we look ahead to the future of the MayDay celebration, we need your voice. Share your thoughts about the festival in 2020 and beyond in this short survey. Thank you!
Click below to read more, including a longer exploration of the challenges we are facing right now, and more.