In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre’s annual MayDay Parade, Ceremony, and Festival has been a vibrant example of art as community building in the Twin Cities area for 43 years.
For many in Minnesota, the MayDay Parade is a time to celebrate the coming warmth with hand-built puppets and masks (some over 10 feet tall), music, and performance in the street.
But the essence of the parade is rooted in the local community and contemporary issues, concerns, and visions for a better world.
When the community workshops begin in April, the theater’s main performance space is converted to a giant studio space.
Throughout the month, everyone is invited to the 16 public workshops, and all who enter participate in the building of this communal story through the creation of puppets and masks.
By the time the parade unfolds on the first Sunday of May, more than 50,000 people from near and far fill the streets both as participants and spectators for this day of celebration and community.