MayDay Staff

MayDay Artists

Gustavo Boada is a theater-based multidisciplinary artist with more than 30 years experience working in Peru, Chile, Puerto Rico and USA. He has worked at Bread and Puppet Theatre in Vermont, Puppetry in Practice at Brooklyn College and NAYLAMP Street and Puppet Theater in Philadelphia. Since 2007, he has worked with HOBT as MayDay art staff, roster artist, Mpls. Lantern Fest and as a performer in main stage productions. He also works with diverse community organizations throughout Minnesota, teaching artistic residencies about puppetry, mask-making, and stilting; being commissioned to build big puppets and pageants; and touring his original puppet shows.

Ramon Cordes has worked in puppet type art for over 20 years, growing up in the Powderhorn Park area and participating in numerous projects with HOBT, including the annual MayDay festivals, the Phillips Project Artist Team, and a puppet poem conceived by Bart Buch called Ode to Walt Whitman. He is an active member of the Twin Cities Bike Polo team.

Willow Cordes - Eklund grew up from the roots of south Minneapolis' puppet community. Having learned the art of pageantry and puppet making from HOBT she uses those tools to educate about social and environmental injustices. Touring with the Beehive Design Collective and performing solo shows, she strives to engage people of all ages with the power of storytelling and imagery. In 2014 Willow co-directed Barebones Halloween extravaganza, one of her most influential experiences of her professional career. Then in 2016 she went on to open her own community puppet studio, With Breath Puppetry, in Belfast maine, a place she has begun to call home. Having spent the last 15 years working as an artist, radical environmental activist and homesteader Willow has returned to Minneapolis for one more round of city living and urban community art.

Graci Horne, was born and raised in Mnisota [Minnesota]. Her bands are the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota people and Hunkpapa Lakota and Dakota people. She is a mixed media artist-acrylic paint, ink, watercolor, and also creates works in photography, film, and poetry. Horne holds a degree in Museum Studies from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. Her specialty is curation and exhibition planning. Horne loves to combine both art and protecting Grandmother Earth. Recently she showed a poem photo series called Mni Wiconi at Northern Spark in June 2016. (2017 Roy McBride Scholar)

Jacob Ladda: Working with the May Day parade in Minneapolis and the Puerto Rican Day parade in Manhatten has exposed me to sculpting and puppeteering on a larger scale. Traveling with art has brought me many places in the United States and now, most recently, it has brought me to South East Asia. Sculpting, sketching, and painting through life. (2017 Roy McBride Scholar)

Theresa Linnihan was the associate director for The Czech-American Marionette Theater in New York for close to twenty years. She toured with CAMT to Prague, Pakistan,Turkey and Korea. Theresa was also a producer, designer and performer for The Puppeteers Cooperative, staging parades and pageants in New York and Boston. She managed The New York Puppet Library for over a decade, providing puppets of all sizes to community events. She founded Theater In The Open, a children's theater in MA, reworking myths, fairy tales and historical episodes in the great outdoors through a residency at Maudslay State Park. Having recently returned to her home state of MN, Theresa's been working with Bare Bones and HOTB.

Lindsay McCaw currently lives in Detroit MI and works as an artist and musician. She is in a band called the Corn Potato String Band and another band called Roochie Toochie and the Ragtime Shepherd Kings. She makes puppet shows with a group called The Dolly Wagglers. She works with an organization called CMAP in Detroit and has worked with theatres around the country such as Bread and Puppet Theatre from Vermont and the Banners and Cranks Festival.

Esther Ouray has been creating, performing, celebrating, and teaching with In the Heart of the Beast since 1980. As puppeteer, actress, director, dancer, and choreographer, she has been blessed to engage in creative work locally, regionally, and internationally. She has cavorted with other performance companies as well in the Minneapolis area -among them are: At the Foot of the Mountain, Barebones Productions, Illusion Theater, and Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts. Esther is presently a company member of Zamya Theater Project. She has been the recipient of grants from the MN State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, Rimon, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Puffin Foundation, and Arts on Chicago and Pillsbury House Art Blocks.

Junauda Petrus is a creative activist, writer, playwright, and multi-dimensional performance artist who is Minneapolis-born, West-Indian descended, and African-sourced. Her work centers around Black wildness, Afro-futurism, ancestral healing, sweetness, spectacle and shimmer. She has received a Givens Foundation fellowship, Jerome Travel and Study grant, Many Voices Mentorship with the Playwright's Center, Naked Stages Residency at the Pillsbury House and a 2016 Jerome Film grant to write and direct, "Sweetness of Wild" an experimental and poetic episodic film series about Blackness, queerness, biking, love and coming of age in Minneapolis, with cinematographer, Mychal Fisher. Petrus was selected as one of 2016's "Artist of the Year" by City Pages. She is the co-founder with Erin Sharkey of Free Black Dirt, an experimental arts production company.

Mary Plaster is a Minnesota-raised, world-traveled, mixed-media artist and facilitator based in Duluth since 2000, where she is founder/artistic director of All Souls Night, held in early November since 2008. Mary is an associate with HoBT and a collaborator with Barebones Puppets and Children of the Wild. Career Highlights include: Parliament of World Religions, The Cosmic Mass, Ordway International Children’s Festival, Austin, MN ArtWorks, Duluth Children’s Museum, MN Ballet, and Burning Man, with Minneapolis Jungle Theater and Children’s Theatre Company internships. A HOBT/MayDay fan/kindred from its start, Mary first joined art staff in 2008 and spent that summer with the Bread and Puppet Theatre in VT.

Peter Schulze is a life long creative and has been active in the public art community since 2010 when the seed was first planted as a vounteer for a Mayday build. His experience as a carpenter and builder along with a background in science has served the community well. Volunteering in every Mayday build since and participating in the ceremony for the last 5 years as a member of the Sun Flotilla, he also participated in Barebones Puppets' Halloween Extravaganza (2010 - current), Northern Spark (2013 - present), and The Art Shanty Projects (2013 - current). He also has worked as an exhibit designer at The Works in 2015. He has collaborated with teams of artists to bring you the Pedal Bear and his companion The Seal Bike, The Illuminated Reef and currently serves on Barebones Productions Board as Co-Chair.

Erin Sharkey (Production Manager) Erin Sharkey is a writer, producer, educator and graphic designer based in Minneapolis. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University and is, with Junauda Petrus, the co-founder of an experimental arts production company called Free Black Dirt. Erin has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Walker Art Center’s Untitled, Brooklyn Quarterly and Paper Darts. Erin is a 2016/17 Loft Mentor Series winner in creative nonfiction and was a 2016 VONA/Voices Travel Writing fellow, 2015 Givens Foundation for African American Literature Emerging Writers fellow, a Givens Foundation cultural producer-in-residence as well as a Coffee House Press in the Stacks artist-in-residence at the Archie Givens Sr. Archive at the University of MN, where she now is helping to promote Umbra Search, a digital search tool for African American memory.

Sandy Spieler (MayDay Director) Sandy‘s work includes tiny suitcase shows, , main stage productions, public art commissions, streetscape designs, residencies/collaborations in communities, schools and universities, and 30 years of work about Water. She’s one of the founders of In the Heart of the Beast Theatre and Mayday. She currently wonders what it means to enact a “theatre of inter-being.” Sandy holds an MA of Cultural Performance from Bristol University England, studied puppetry arts at Bread and Puppet Theatre and at NYU. She’s grateful for supportive awards over the years including two UNIMA-USA Citations of Excellence and the 2014 “Distinguished Artist of the Year” from the McKnight Foundation. Her website:

Part Time Artists / Workshop Assistants

Angie Courchaine
Queen Serena Black
Lindsey Samples
Marc Berg
Amm-Ra Seka
Sam VanTassel
Dee Henry Williams

MayDay Interns

Ben Weil
Madison (Madi) Ballis

Workshop Staff

Lucinda Anderson, Mask Room Coordinator
Marcelo Araujo, Mask Room Coordinator
Bart Buch, South High Coordinator
Shelley Chinander, Sewing Room Coordinator

Workshop Assistants

Michael Katch
Andi Kuenning
Edie Meissner
“Repo” Sharon Meister
Pasha Milbrach
Alan Olson
Celia Swanson

Phillips Project MayDay Artists

Jeong Ae Neal
Nicole Amaris
Amy Ballestad
Bart Buch
Seth Eberle
Madeline Helling
Angela Olson
Laurie Witzkowski

Festival Staff

Steve Ackerman, Site Director
Lucinda Anderson, Green Team
TBC, Merchandise Booth Coordinator
Journey Gosselin, Food Vendor Coordinator
TBC, Merchandise Booth Coordinator
scottie hall, Volunteer Coordinator
Max Haynes, Workshop, Ceremony and Parade Photographer
Clarence Jones, Southside Community Health Village Organizer
Kathy Klink, Green Team
Lewis Mundt, Merch Booth Coordinator
Pat Parnow, Festival Site Coordinator
Daniel Polsfuss, Ceremony Videographer
Lacey Prpic Hedtke, Festival Coordinator
Mark Rausch, Park Traffic Coordinator
Mary Rivard, Join In Section Coordinator
Katherine Glover, Parade Coordinator
Anna Schmitz, Radio Coord./Info Booth Coordinator Assistant
TBC, Assistant Volunteer Coordinator
Dixie Treichel, Entertainment Coordinator
Rachel Wandrei, Food Vendor Coordinator
Alison Heimstead, Sun Flotilla Coordinator
Tracy Yue, Feast Chef

Interpretive Services

Gretchen Toay, ASL Interpretation

Tabloid Production

Laurie Witzkowski, Editor
Beth Holmes, Graphic Design
Susan Hagler, Ad Sales
Holle Brian, Ad Layout
Content and illustrations provided by Parade and Ceremony staff.

Poster Design

Sandy Spieler