Steve Ackerman is a playwright and puppet artist who focuses on quick, crude, high-energy art making. He has his BFA in Acting from East Carolina University and MFA in Playwriting from Southern Illinois University. Previous projects include Action Sequence, Kaboom, and Cartooon!.
"I saw a kid making a giraffe puppet during a MayDay workshop, and I said, “Nice giraffe”. And the kid said “No, you don’t understand, it’s an octopus, posing as a giraffe.”
Interim Co-Executive Director
Lisa Marie Brimmer is an interdisciplinary artist living on Dakota and Anishinaabe lands. They are in ever-evolving relation with nature, and connection to their ancestors. Lisa Marie is a former Interim Co-Executive Director of The Cedar Cultural Center (2018), and held multiple roles at Intermedia Arts (2014-17) and currently teaches English at Century College.
"My favorite memories of HOBT and with MayDay are the ones we are building right now! My Capricorn Moon loves difficult and complex conversations with this prism of beautiful and brilliant artists, dreamers and community members. We are making medicine together, and imagining new ways forward."
Originally from New Zealand, Naomi has produced projects that use puppetry and ritual as a vehicle for resistance, transformation, and healing after the 2011 earthquakes. After immigrating from NZ in 2014, MayDay was her first stop before joining HOBT staff in 2015. As HOBT's General Manager, Naomi brings her love of program design and emergent systems to support the many roots of MayDay within the community.
"Watching the young kids from the neighborhood flying down the parade route on decked out scooters, offering love to the crowds in the name of pizza and stickers, accompanied by a crew of sweaty, dedicated HOBT Artists, leaving a trail of joy, silliness and love behind them.”
Kayann is a long time Southside resident, multi-faceted artist, and community connector. She has written 4 books, a stage play, and is a nationally recognized columnist. Her youth advocacy led to the creation of a robotics initiative to inspire future generations in tech. She is thrilled to combine her skillset in the Arts, Community, and Leadership at HOBT with fresh eyes and an eager heart to drive the mission of this Southside staple, home.
"My favorite memory of MayDay was one-year I met a little girl who thought the MayDay celebration was for her because that’s her birthday weekend and her family holds her bday party at Powderhorn Park!"
Interim Co-Executive Director
Claire is a movement artist, organizer, and a settler of Swedish and Irish descent. She joined HOBT as Communications Director in 2018, after 5 years leading climate justice communications and campaigns that build empathy and interconnection at Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light. Claire’s deep joy is embodied in her work as a dancer, choreographer, and Co-Director of St Paul-based One Dance Company.
“Experiencing the world we know is possible through ritual, puppetry, and movement, gives me hope for the resilient futures we can build together.”
Linnea brings twenty years of experience within the nonprofit community, ranging from direct services to arts to advocacy organizations, to her role as Finance Director. Linnea plays baritone saxophone with Seward Concert Band, as well as serving on its board of directors. Linnea holds a B.A. in English and Women's Studies from Saint Olaf College, and a master's degree in Nonprofit Management from Hamline University.
MayDay Festival Director
Zephyr is a quaker-ish, queer artist, filmmaker, and twin who grew up near a crooked bridge in Leesburg, Virginia. Their practice includes experimenting with comedy and small intimacies through film, performance, photography, and installation. Zephyr earned their BFA in Filmmaking from VCUarts in Richmond, Virginia.
Free Black Dirt
HOBT is thrilled to be working with Free Black Dirt to design and facilitate the MayDay Council.
Free Black Dirt is an artistic partnership formed by Minneapolis based collaborators Junauda Petrus and Erin Sharkey. Committed to creating original theatre and performance, hosting innovative events, organizing local artists, and promoting and supporting the emerging artists’ community in the Twin Cities, Free Black Dirt seeks to spark and engage in critical conversations.
Lisa Marie Brimmer
Lisa Marie Brimmer is an interdisciplinary artist living on Dakota and Anishinaabe lands. They are in ever-evolving relation with nature, ritual, and connection to their ancestors. Lisa Marie currently teaches at Century College, co-edited Queer Voices: Poetry, Prose, and Pride (MHS Press 2019), and is co-curator with Sherrie Fernandez Williams of the “Queer Voices Reading and Performance Series” presented in collaboration with Quatrefoil Library and Hennepin County Library. They also consult with Family Tree Clinic on an MSAB funded project, “Where Does Your Healing Come From?” which integrates art into the client experience at a sexual health clinic. Lisa Marie is a former Interim Executive Co-Director of The Cedar Cultural Center (2018), and held multiple roles at Intermedia Arts (2014-17). In their time with Intermedia, they worked with Creative Leadership and Artistic Development programs in coordination and managerial roles.
Junauda Petrus-Nasah is a writer, pleasure activist, filmmaker and performance artist of Black-Caribbean descent, born on Dakota land. Her work centers around wildness, queerness, Black-diasporic-futurism, ancestral healing, sweetness, shimmer and liberation. She is the co-founder with Erin Sharkey of Free Black Dirt, an experimental arts production company. She is the writer and director of "Sweetness of Wild" a poetic-episodic film series themed around Blackness, queerness, biking, resistance, love and coming of age in Minneapolis. Her first YA novel, The Stars and The Blackness Between Them is out on Dutton Children’s. She lives in Minneapolis with her wife, child, and family.
Erin Sharkey is a writer and cultural producer based in Minneapolis. She is the co-founder, with Junauda Petrus, of an experimental arts production company called Free Black Dirt. Erin was a Bell Museum Artist-in-Residence, Loft Mentor Series mentee, VONA fellow, Jerome Travel and Study grantee, and Givens Foundation fellow. Her work as appeared in Brooklyn Quarterly, Paper Darts and Walker Sightlines and Primer Magazines and is editing a forthcoming publication on Milkweed Editions. In 2019, She was awarded the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant, and is currently producing, Sweetness of Wild, an episodic web film project, and teaching with Minnesota Prison Writers Workshop and Metro State University. Erin worked as the MayDay Parade and Ceremony Production Manager in 2016 and 2017 and was a consultant to the Parade Celebration in 2018.