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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. 


Read the full letter from the HOBT Leadership Team about this decision here. 

Council Nomination

Learn more about the MayDay Council and make a nomination.

Share your Input

We want to hear your reactions, questions, and feedback.

Time To Change

More information about this decision and last year at HOBT.


Answers to your common questions about the future of MayDay.

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.

To read our full plan and public invitation click here. 

Engagement Plan

This summer, you are invited into a community engagement process to envision the future for HOBT and MayDay.

Your Input

Fill out this survey to help inform a more equitable, accessible, and shared MayDay!

Survey Results

300 people shared why they participate in MayDay, what they love about MayDay, and what they can imagine for MayDay’s future

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!

Learn More

Click below to read more, including a longer exploration of the challenges we are facing right now, and more.

Goals & Assumptions

Goals for HOBT to build an Equity Framework, to decentralize MayDay and to build a more resilient structure for the organization.

What will we build?

Our May announcement, outlining where we've been and what we hope to accomplish this summer.

Equity Statement

More about HOBT's ongoing commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

January Announcement

Announcing our plans to significantly reduce staff and programming in 2019

Challenges of Our Field

Much more detailed information about the challenges we, and many mid-sized arts organizations, face.

Letter from Sandy Spieler

About her decision to step down as MayDay Artistic Director

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