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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Friday March 1st 2024

Stay or Go?

HOBT seeks community

input, stories, as it faces difficult decision

By Lindsey Fenner

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre is reevaluating its occupancy of the Avalon Theater at 15th and Lake in Midtown Phillips. HOBT, founded in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood in 1973, produces the annual MayDay parade and festival, stages original productions at the Avalon and throughout Minnesota, and collaborates with community through artist residencies and workshops.

The theater company has made the historic Art Deco theater its home since 1988. However, badly needed repairs and updates, and lack of space, will force HOBT to make the difficult decision in the next year to stay in the Avalon or find a new home.

HOBT is in the early stages of this process, and is seeking community input in making its decision. About 60 community members attended a community listening session on May 17, and approximately 300 people have completed an online survey on the theater company”'s website. The survey asks for stories about participants”' experience with the Avalon, and HOBT Executive Director Corrie Zoll is hoping for more: “We already have more than a dozen pages of wonderful stories, and hope to share these when we can. Please keep them coming!”

The community can give feedback through a survey at, emailing HOBT Executive Director Corrie Zoll at, or by writing to HOBT, 1500 E Lake St, Minneapolis, 55407

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