Frequently Asked Questions
What’s happening with HOBT?
- In Mid-March core staff returned from furlough to their roles and are in the process of reinventing themselves and steering the organization in a new shared governance model.
- Now through August we’ll be setting a new baseline: with community programming and residencies paused, we’re re-evaluating our use of the theatre space to help support the MayDay Council, the future Avalon Cohort, and staff teams prepare for 2022.
What does the staff furlough have to do with MayDay plans?
- Core staff is so important to a sustainable celebration! Capacity starts here.
- Staff support the logistics, communication, and MayDay Council empowerment in our new business model. They will also support the Studio at HOBT’s Avalon space. The more grounded they are in the roles, the more rooted in resource and possibility they are to innovate towards collective art making!
What are the roles?
Beloved Community: The incredible artists, volunteers, vendors, partners and audience members that make the work possible
Board: Fund development and support of MayDay Council, Staff, and Cohort.
MayDay Council: Building partnerships and working as conduits for art and relationships aligned with the Values and Affirmations. The Council will soon take up the task of sharing this work with the greater community.
Staff: Innovation specialists helping support the MayDay Council’s dialogue with the community by
1) providing logistical support and studio production services to artists, organizations, and beloved community members, and
2) Creating accessible experiences for non-mainstream artists
What will MayDay look like this year?
- HOBT has no plans to host a parade or festival in Powderhorn Park on the first Sunday of May. HOBT intends to work with the MayDay Council to engage our communities. As opportunities for celebration are made available, we will share details with everyone.
- The MayDay Council will spend April dusting off pre-furlough MayDay plans laid in the late summer of 2020 and will invite the community to celebrate as those plans are set in motion.
Why will there not be a parade?
- Given the realities of Covid-19 and a lack of staff/council capacity due to the furlough in October, the HOBT Board decided in a January meeting to move forward with a decentralized celebration to reduce pandemic spread. We want to create an accessible and decentralized MayDay this year, in a lot of different ways. Stay tuned.
What does it mean to “decentralize” MayDay?
- When we say “decentralize” MayDay, we mean creating a variety of ways throughout the year to celebrate and honor the roots of MayDay that isn’t limited to one large celebration on the first Sunday in May.
Who is the MayDay Council?
- The function of The MayDay Council is to collectively design a sustainable and equitable path forward for MayDay. This includes designing a new approach to the planning and production of future MayDay events based on principles of equity, justice, and collaboration.
I’m an artist. What should I know?
- Artist opportunities will make themselves available as we have more detailed information about the activities to come this spring/summer.
I’m a volunteer. What should I know?
- Volunteer opportunities will make themselves available as we have more detailed information about the activities to come this spring/summer.
I’m a vendor. What should I know?
- Vendor opportunities will make themselves available as we have more detailed information about the activities to come this spring/summer.
I’m an audience/community member. What should I know?
- Opportunities for art making and experiences will make themselves available as we have more detailed information about the activities to come this spring/summer.
I’m an individual or organization interested in professional development opportunities for our staff community- how do I get involved?
- Opportunities for art making workshops and co-authored experiences will make themselves available as we have more detailed information about the activities to come this summer/fall. If you are interested in this type of opportunity, email [email protected]
How can I support?
The restart work of In The Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre and the Avalon Theatre has been such a determined effort these past 8 months. From the human experiences of board, staff, and council members to the hard numbers of balance sheets, Covid-19 placed additional pressure on it all.
What happened in 2020?
The pandemic cast a shadow on our previous ways of doing business.
- We paused or cancelled programming. From our mainstage show Coming Home to Wild, our residencies, cabarets, to the tea and treats scheduled to engage council, board, and community at large, we paused our work for collective safety.
- We prioritized the preservation of our assets of the Avalon Theatre and MayDay Celebration.
- We were aware of the history of loss of art space. At many turns throughout this project we were well aware of the Twin Cities’ Arts community’s history of loss (From Bedlam, to Intermedia Arts, to Patrick’s Cabaret).
- We furloughed all staff in October. Read more about that decision here.
- We turned to fund development and community messaging around our Chrysalis. For more information, see the community update report.
What is HOBT’s Re-start Plan?
- This Re-start is an emergence that comes in response to years of investment by HOBT, our community stakeholders and funders, our beloved artists and communities that were willing to Imagine MayDay and In the Heart of the Beast transformed. Imagine Deliver Reporting Link
- The Re-start is committed to co-creation with new Executive Co-Directors, as well as our incredible board, staff and MayDay Council. We’ve re-enlisted the support of the MayDay Council for year two and our next move will be to welcome additional community members to conspire on holding the theatre as a community asset.
- The Re-start is committed to honoring the legacy of non-mainstream artists in and outside of our space to build connection and dialogue on our stage, across our many channels and in our communities.
As the weeks roll out we have planned virtual meetings across teams to begin to understand what is possible for our time together.
- Staff now work in two new teams, as innovators. The Studio Production team and the Experience Programs teams have familiar faces working in new roles to help this communities-wide vision move forward.
- We are changing up our use of the space for Covid-19 and laying the foundations for a strong 2022. We will have more information on this available in Spring/Summer 2021.
- We are revising our website and have a new decentralized communications approach so expect some changes to our online identity.
About MayDay 2021
- HOBT has no plans to host a parade or festival in Powderhorn Park on the first Sunday of May. HOBT intends to work with the MayDay Council to engage our communities and as opportunities are made available, we will share details with our beloveds.
- Thank you to all of our artists, volunteers, vendors, and partners for all you have been doing in your communities to create the worlds of care we want to live in. Some of you have reached out to us during our furlough - this is our soonest message. Thank you!
We’ll be able to share more with you about the 2021 MayDay season as opportunities for co-creation become available! Have other questions? Check out the MayDay 2021 FAQ.
Due to a significant and unexpected loss in funding, in addition to the impacts of COVID-19, beginning October 12th all HOBT staff will be furloughed for three months. You can read the full announcement here.
Why a furlough period?
When considering ways forward, the HOBT Board held these priorities:
- Honor our commitment to the MayDay Council and the community
- Act with compassion and respect for staff
- Use this moment to address long term organizational challenges and patterns and create a truly sustainable way forward.
A furlough period gives us the best opportunity to create a strong foundation for the future of the MayDay Celebration by giving the board of directors time to evaluate strategies to move us forward.
What does this mean for MayDay?
We are committed to a fundamental shift in the way we produce MayDay: we must ensure funding before we commit staff, artists, and organizational resources to the year-long planning, production, and celebration of MayDay. Our deepest held commitment is to honor the work of the MayDay Council and ensure an equitable and sustainable future for the MayDay Celebration. That work depends on this period of rest to cultivate long term financial health and sustainability for MayDay.
What does this mean for the MayDay Council?
As trusted advisors and community nominated representatives, the MayDay Council was amongst the first stakeholders to hear this news, and be asked for input. The MayDay Council has wrapped up their first year of landmark work, and will be invited into paid opportunities to advise and support the Board of Directors through the furlough period. MayDay Council members will be regularly updated throughout the furlough period.
What does this mean for staff?
All staff will be paid for all work to date, in addition to 100% payout of earned PTO hours, and 100% health benefits coverage for the furlough period. Staff will be updated regularly throughout the furlough period in the hopes that staff can be brought back to work in January.
What does this mean for current programming?
Due to COVID-19, HOBT had already reduced programmatic offerings this year. Current contracts with partners and artists will be honored. We will not be taking on new projects at this time.