During GiveMN’s SpringForward Campaign, we need to raise $15K to fund the future of MayDay and the Avalon Cooperative offering a beacon of connection and creativity!

Donate before May 11th to make HOBT eligible for additional funding from GiveMN’s bonus grants and prizes.

Help us reach our goal during SpringForward by GiveMN!

In 2019 HOBT began our chrysalis journey to reimagine a MayDay Celebration that is accessible, equitable, and truly sustainable. In the time since, we’ve built a cocoon and entered the chrysalis, going deep to heal, to reimagine, to bring forth new possibilities. 2020 brought many challenges: COVID-19 and significant funding impacts that led to a nearly 6 month furlough of all HOBT staff.

Now, in 2021, our chrysalis journey deepens. The butterfly isn’t yet ready to emerge. But our energy is building, and we are creating the conditions for thriving and care by focusing on three important goals for this coming year:

Join Us as We Reimagine and Transform

HOBT is approaching 2021 as a time of emergence. We are grounding in intention, generosity, and vulnerability by investing in a future for MayDay that is rooted in Environmental Justice, Workers Rights, Trans/Queer Community, and BIPOC leadership.

This year, HOBT will begin work to convene the Avalon Cohort to create a democratically and cooperatively held community arts space, in HOBT’s Avalon Theatre! The Avalon Cohort will work to provide creative space that centers, celebrates, and supports non-mainstream artists while giving the MayDay Celebration a sustainable space from which to grow.

Make a gift today at hobt.org/donate to fund the future of MayDay and the Avalon Cohort offering a beacon of connection and creativity!

This spring and summer, the MayDay Council will offer virtual and decentralized MayDay experiences rooted in language justice, accessibility, and a plurality of artistic voices. Stay tuned for more information on our website and social media!

Despite the many challenges we face, HOBT is harnessing the opportunity of this moment by shifting our organizational structure to one rooted in shared power and collaboration that will move us into a sustainable post-pandemic future. With your support, that future is bright!

Give today to support this moment of growth rooted in relationship and resilience.

                      —HOBT Board of Directors 

When we imagine the future of MayDay we see:

  • MayDay reminds us that humans are a part of, not separate from, nature. We are all connected.
  • MayDay honors the labor, vision, gifts, experiences, leadership, and brilliance of Black, Indigenous, People of Color.
  • MayDay is accessible for multiple language speakers, low-income folx, youth, BIPOC, and people living with disabilities in the audience, as artists, and partners.
  • MayDay is held as a celebration of love expressed through action.
  • MayDay is held as a protest, as a political space, and organizing hub.
  • MayDay is a continued fight for worker’s rights, health care, and housing for all.
  • MayDay is decolonized and decentralized; celebrated broadly year-round
puppet group

This year HOBT will:

  • Hire new Executive Leadership marking the completion of HOBT’s three-year organization-wide transformation to authentically shift power to BIPOC and Queer artists.
  • Continue to support the work MayDay Council building toward the new equitable, sustainable and decentralized MayDay Celebration.
  • Offer virtual “Puppet Portal” workshops for youth and adults and launch new free Environmental Puppetry workshops to elementary-aged students this summer.
  • Convene an inaugural Avalon Theatre Cohort bringing together a group committed to reaching the community needs of our neighbors and in the greater arts community

Make a Sustaining Donation

Become a SeedKeeper!

As a monthly donor, you tend to the seed each month, ensuring that it sprouts year after year. Your monthly gift ensures a healthy and thriving MayDay Celebration for years to come.

Why give monthly?

PAPERLESS! You can choose to no longer receive our paper appeal mailings! You will receive one statement in January with a summary of your giving history for tax purposes (and your annual magnet).

Smaller monthly contributions! Do you normally give $100 a year? Break that down to a manageable $9 a month donation and you have hit your $100 mark (actually its $108, for you math geniuses out there). This is a great way to make your donations more financially manageable, while also ensuring reliable support for HOBT throughout the year.

Invite your community to donate with you. We encourage you to set a goal and call on your community to help meet it. By sharing the work of tending the seeds, you can empower yourself and your network to participate in building a stronger, sustainable, and vibrant system in support of MayDays to come. Here's how!

Rooted In Resource

Rooted in Resource is an online community map highlighting local businesses, community organizations, and artists in the Powderhorn and Philips neighborhoods.

This is a chance for our neighbors to tell our stories in our own voices, and provide ways to come together and support each other in this challenging moment.

We have been reflecting on the great need to be connecting and supporting one another during this challenging time.

And so, Rooted In Resource Community Map was born, as part of a strategy to help HOBT and our neighbors become more deeply connected and rooted in resilience, mutual reliance, and interconnection.

This is just the beginning! We’ll continue to add stories throughout the weeks and months to come.

Donate to support the archive project

In celebration of In the Heart of the Beast’s 45 years, and the artistic leadership of Sandy Spieler, we are excited to launch the HOBT Archive Project.

The Archive Project is a fundraiser to properly document and display puppets, scripts, videos, and photos of work that's been done by hundreds of artists and thousands of community members at HOBT over the past 45 years.

Funds raised through this initiative will help pay a team, including longtime HOBT Artistic Director Sandy Spieler, to do the work of cataloging and organizing the work of the theatre. This work will include 45 years of MayDay, MainStage and Touring Performances, Ritual and Celebratory Events, Educational work (including residencies, exhibits, and installations), and of course, puppets! Make a gift today!


tree of life

Want to make a gift in memory of someone?

Either mail a check to the theater with a letter explaining your wishes - OR - make the gift online and email your instructions to us at [email protected]

HOBT is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and your gift is 100% tax deductible.

Celebrating 45 years of MayDay

We give deep gratitude to all of you who have shaped, supported, and embodied the work of MayDay for so many years.

MayDay challenges us to envision the world as it could be and challenges us to step authentically into that vision. With ART as a tool, we are able to generate much joy, hold immense pain, weave community. We recognize that our very lives depend on finding each other, upholding each other.

In defiance of all that seeks to divide us, this act of building community is indeed sacred and transformative, complex, radical, and powerful.

Your support lays the foundation for the future of Mayday. Please contribute generously!

THANK YOU to our funders and friends!

Many thanks to the hundreds of individuals who have joined Heartbeats, made monthly sustaining gifts, made Give to the Max donations, and contributed time and resources to support HOBT programming this year. The Board, Staff, Artists and Volunteers sincerely THANK YOU for your continuing generosity.

  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • Minnesota State Arts Board – Operating Support
  • McKnight Foundation
  • Hugh J. Andersen Foundation
  • HRK Foundation
  • Target
  • Fidelity Charitable Funds
  • Community Shares of Minnesota
  • Troutman-Blumenshine Family Fund
  • Cy and Paula DeCosse Fund
  • Phoebe and Maureen Trepp – Minnesota Community Foundation
  • Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association Inc.
  • Mississippi Watershed Management Organization
  • One Minneapolis Fund

All photos by Max Haynes