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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Monday July 15th 2024

This is the 40th Mayday!

Dear Neighbors!

On Sunday May 4, 2014, we will celebrate the 40th Mayday Festival””born from the Phillips Neighborhood! THANK YOU!  You make Mayday happen!

Last year at this time I wrote you an in-depth letter about our yearly and critical need for volunteers and monetary support. This year I write with gratitude for the massive response from you all, as well as a heart filled with so many memories from the past 39 years. Thank you!

Here is an invitation for the upcoming Community Planning Meetings, a call for your much needed donations to assure Mayday”'s continuance, and an invitation for you to submit your special stories/ photos /video clips from the past 39 years.


Every year we raise funds to have Mayday pay its way. In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre is the creator and producer of Mayday. Contrary to popular assumption, the City of Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis Park Board DO NOT finance this event. In fact we pay fees to both to enact Mayday. It is truly the generosity of many neighbors that makes Mayday happen. Mayday will cost the theatre nearly $140,000 this year. If each person or family or group who enjoys Mayday contributes, we reach that goal easily. This means 20,000 people contributing about $7.00 each! (or 2,000 people contributing $140 each or 1,000 people contributing $280. You get the idea!) WE CAN DO IT!!!.

Please send or bring your contributions to “Mayday/In the Heart of the Beast Theatre” at 1500 E. Lake Street, 55407. I am including our budget so you can share in how this huge public event happens financially with thrift, with responsibility to City and Park fees, and with the donated labor and joy of many many many people.

Mayday Community Planning Meetings 

WE VALUE YOUR INPUT! The Mayday process begins with the first Community Meeting on Tuesday Feb. 11 from 7-9pm. This first meeting is a “talking circle” to share ideas that will inform the theme and images of this year”'s Parade and Ceremony.

The second Community meeting is Tuesday March 25, 7-9pm when the Mayday staff will share initial plans for your feedback to add depth to the proposed theme and designs.

All ARE WELCOME! Both meetings are at In the Heart of the Beast Theatre, 1500 E Lake St.


Because it is the 40th Anniversary of the Mayday Festival this year, we are collecting stories from the past 40 years. If you have a Mayday moment you”'d like to share, please email Laney at with a short summary and that year”'s date, and any photos or video you might have.


You or your group can be part of the fun-loving crew that helps with Mayday Puppet building Workshops during the month of April, or assists with activities for the day of May 4.   For a list of volunteer opportunities, contact Margery at 612-721-2535 x 8 or

There are many ways to participate and great ideas are already coming our way! I will write with more exciting news next month including all the Public Workshop times. At this moment, the importance is to remind you of the upcoming Community Meetings, and our gratitude for your essential donations!

With joy””

Sandy Spieler 

Artistic Director, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre. For more info:  or call  612-721-2535

The 2014 Mayday Budget



  • 47 People contracted for Mayday”“$48,000.
  • (Honorariums for 22 full or part-time artists who lead the workshops, parade, ceremony and clean-up for 7 weeks, and 25 people who coordinate and run the festival)

9 Permanent HOBT Theatre staff ”“$45,000.

  • (12 weeks of full or part time work devoted to Mayday)
  • 150 Volunteers who help coordinate Mayday””$2, 200.
  • (for thank you tee-shirts and food)


  • Powderhorn Park Fee ($4,500.)
  • Traffic Police ($3,100.)
  • Parade and Park Security ($2,000.)
  • Recycling and garbage ($2,000.)
  • Sound system ($3,950.)
  • Portapots ($2,000.)
  • Truck rental ($2,000.)
  • Permits and licenses ($1,000.)
  • Misc ($2,550.)


  • Artistic and Festival supplies


  • Theatre rental for 2 months

OTHER : $10,100

  • Printing, PR, Documentation ($6,300),
  • Tee-shirt and Posters ($3,800)

TOTAL INCOME :$138,900

  • Individual Contributions $80,000
  • Business Contributions $13,000
  • Vendor, Information Table and Join -In Fees: $23,000
  • Theatre Overhead Allocations from the Minnesota State Arts Board- $17,900
  • Tee-Shirts and Poster Sales—$5,000

WORKSHOPS to make masks and costumes

You, your family, and friends can make masks, costumes, and other parade art by attending the FREE Public Workshops at In the Heart of the Beast Theatre throughout the month of April on Saturdays from 9-11 am and Tuesday and Thursdays from 7-9pm.

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