Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve received an outpouring of responses. Thank you so much for all your support, comments, and stories.

We are doing our best to address your questions, and appreciate your concern and curiosity. Below are answers to some of these emerging questions. You can also read much more detailed information that led to this decision, give input or ask a question, or our Executive Director Corrie Zoll can be reached at [email protected]

This page will be updated weekly with new questions and as new information becomes available.

Is MayDay still happening this year?

Yes! MayDay is scheduled for May 5th, 2019, the 45th MayDay! It will be an amazing day, a celebration of all that has been and all that will be.

Is this the last MayDay?

We hope not! We are going to do our best, together with the community, to create a resilient and shared future for MayDay. We hope to find a new way forward for MayDay that will be more sustainable and include more partners because HOBT can no longer bear the financial burden and risk involved with producing such a huge parade, ceremony, and festival.

If I donate, what am I funding?

Our 45th MayDay is projected to operate at a loss of more than $10,000.  If you are investing in MayDay, about two-thirds of our budget goes to pay people, and about one-third goes to paying for permits and equipment and other things. We are happy to share more detail if you are curious. Second, even with cuts to staff and programs, HOBT's annual budget is currently projected to end with a loss of approximately $20,000. Dollars invested in HOBT operations pay for staff salaries as well as costs related to owning the Avalon Theater.  Finally and most importantly, donations to HOBT will subsidize HOBT programming this spring including Puppet Lab, Residencies, and Puppet Cabaret events. If HOBT is able to raise funds to cover all of these expenses, then we hope to finish our year with a budget surplus. Having a surplus will increase the range of options open to HOBT as we work to imagine a more resilient future.

When and where are the community forums being held to get answers to these questions?

We are currently seeking outside help from consultants and others to design and facilitate a community engagement process. They will help HOBT and our community think about who will be included in conversations about HOBT's future, what sorts of community forums and other strategies will be most effective and, in the end, what is it that we want to carry into the future? Investing in HOBT now provides us with resources to make sure this process is done thoroughly and openly. As soon as we have more details we will share them with you and we look forward to being in conversation together.

Is the staff being laid off or furloughed? Will employees get rehired if funding is restored?

Layoffs are overwhelmingly the most painful part of this process. We are calling these layoffs and not furloughs. A furlough implies that an employer believes the same positions will be available again at a later date, and that employees will be allowed to return to their previous work. We do not feel confident that we can promise that laid off staff will be able to return to their same positions. One of the underlying reasons behind staff and programming cuts is an acknowledgment that HOBT simply cannot continue to operate in the ways we have before. Until we get through the community engagement process described above, we won't know exactly what structure will be carried forward for HOBT and what positions will need to be filled. Having said that, we have every intention of working with laid off staff in the future. Until we have a more concrete plan for HOBT's future, we plan to rehire some of our laid-off staff on a project-by-project basis as funding is available. We do not find this arrangement preferable or even sustainable. It is a less-than-ideal short-term solution during a transitional period.

While we cannot answer every request for information immediately, we are committed to responding to every question we receive. You can also leave questions and comments here. As with the rest of our communication about our current situation, we will attempt to be as transparent as possible.