In the Heart of the Beast Announces Executive Leadership Transition
In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre (HOBT) announced Tuesday that Executive Director Corrie Zoll will leave the organization May 1 after transferring executive leadership to Interim Co-Executive Directors Lisa Marie Brimmer and Claire Curran.
HOBT's Board of Directors thanks Corrie for building the momentum needed to drive HOBT's next iteration. We look forward to Lisa & Claire’s co-leadership to move the organization towards a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and financially stable future.
Two months ago, in mid-February, I decided that it was time to leave my role as HOBT's Executive Director. Over nearly five years, I believe we made large strides in the work of dismantling structural inequality within our organization. We learned that this work requires turning over power to communities most harmed, and over time I understood that the work would eventually require me to step aside myself...I am proud of HOBT’s board for securing Claire and Lisa as an interim team, and have been excited to spend these final months at HOBT supporting this transition.
Lisa and Claire bring creative, equitable, community-centered skills from their past work and artistic experience. We’re very excited to have their leadership and perspectives at HOBT in this unprecedented moment.
Lisa Brimmer is an artist and arts administrator who recently served as Interim Co-Executive Director of Cedar Cultural Center. As part of artist collective FREE BLACK DIRT, Lisa has been a critical part of designing, recruiting, and convening HOBT’s MayDay Council since October 2019.
Claire Curran has been HOBT’s Communications Director for two years, and previously led Communications and Campaigns at Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light. Claire has been a core part of leading the organizational culture shifts necessary for HOBT to embrace a more equitable future.
Though we collectively find ourselves in a moment of great challenge and uncertainty, HOBT has important work ahead. The MayDay Council, facilitated by Free Black Dirt, is shaping a new MayDay Celebration that is truly collaborative, community-owned, and equitable. We will celebrate Chrysalis MayDay on May 3rd, after two weeks of online art-making workshops. Staff are responding to the urgent needs of our artists and community, working to develop new funding models to quickly hire artists to create work to respond to COVID19.
In the weeks and months to come, we will continue leaning into what we do best: bringing people together to make art that addresses the biggest challenges facing our neighbors.
Please join us in welcoming Lisa & Claire!
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 is a former Interim Co-Executive Director of The Cedar Cultural Center (2018), and held multiple roles at Intermedia Arts (2014-17). In their time with Intermedia, they worked with the department of Creative Leadership in programs like the Creative Community Leadership Institute (Bush Foundation) and Creative CityMaking (Kresge Foundation) and Equity and Public Programming programs.
Lisa Marie currently teaches at Century College. In 2019 they co-edited Queer Voices: Poetry, Prose, and Pride (MHS Press), and is co-curator with Sherrie Fernandez Williams of the “Queer Voices Reading Series” presented in collaboration with Quatrefoil Library and Hennepin County Library. Lisa Marie also consults with Family Tree Clinic on the Minnesota State Arts Board funded project, “Where Does Your Healing Come From?” which integrates art into the client experience at a sexual health clinic.
Claire Curran is a movement artist, organizer, and a settler of Swedish and Irish descent living in the Upper Mississippi watershed on Dakota and Anishinaabe land. Since joining HOBT as Communications Director two years ago, Claire has led organizational communications through a time of intense change and transformation. She has expanded accessibility offerings, deepened staff reflection and action around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and stewarded creative community engagement efforts to reimagine MayDay.
Before joining HOBT, Claire spent 5 years leading climate justice communications and campaigns at Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light. There she collaboratively developed and communicated statewide campaigns addressing the climate crisis while building empathy and interconnection. Claire listens with calm intention and creates space for people to be fully seen so that together we can build resilience, belonging, and justice in community. Claire’s deep joy is embodied in her work as a dancer, choreographer, and Co-Director of St Paul-based One Dance Company.