Saturday May 21st 2022

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Posts Tagged ‘sandy spieler’

What”'s possible for HOTB, MayDay?

What”'s possible for HOTB, MayDay?

by TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN Bruce SilcoxHOTB has been a offering after-school and summer programs for kids at Little Earth, the Waite House, and Collaborative Village (a PPL project) for several years. About 150 kids are part of this year-round program that focuses on telling the stories of the Phillips neighborhoods and participants”' cultures. Along the way, children learn shadow puppeting, stilts, storytelling and more. In the Heart of the Beast Theater (HOTB) has already said farewell to two staff members, and by June 2019 it won”'t have any full-time staff left. But it isn”'t disappearing.  Executive Director Corrie Zoll is hopeful about the organization”'s future and believes it is full of exciting possibilities. “This is an extremely painful moment,” Zoll admitted. “At the same time, I”'m really looking forward to conversations with people about what is possible.” WHERE DOES THE MONEY COME FROM? HOTB announced in January its plans to significantly reduce its operations in 2019 and cut staff. Grants it had been counting on when the budget was made in August did not materialize.  HOTB relies on a variety of funding sources, including foundations, donations, and grants. Complicating things is that most of the funding available for arts is given to new projects. Programs that are ongoing are not typically given the grants that are available, Zoll noted. While Minnesota is lucky to have so much money available for the arts courtesy of the Legacy Amendment, it is not given to fund ongoing projects either. HOTB does receive some operating support through the Legacy Amendment, so it is ineligible for the festival support program for MayDay. Last year, HOTB had expected to receive a $30,000 foundation grant that it did not get, which meant that MayDay operated at a loss of over $50,000. This was covered by reserve funds but HOTB can”'t continue to do that. For about the last 10 [...]

1st Annual Bridging Festival was a Blast!

1st Annual Bridging Festival was a Blast!

By Dallas Johnson Our 12 hour event on 8/13 (two dozen activities moving through 10 sites) exceeded our wildest expectations. The active embodiment of an invitation, the majority of the day was hands-on and interactive. It was well attended and numbers grew with each stop along 24th St. From collecting the water at dawn, bringing the water together (w/ Sandy Spieler), Simone Speer”'s dance workshop at E Philips Park, singing quietly in a circle (with Louis Alemayhu at PCC), decorating parade regalia (w/ Heart of the Beast), marveling at the Somali Mall, the parade up 24th St (with three 12 foot puppets, musicians and our decorated umbrellas), a big crowd and Patrick Nolan”'s original poem at the murals unveiling (w/ artists Elissa Cedarleaf and Greta McLain), neighborhood skit honoring Muriel Simmons that ended in a spiral dance, party at Center for Changing Lives with art activities, seed balls, MPRB”'s kids”' games, live African music, The Alley-hosted storytelling, snow cones and fudgicles, my original song with Julie Allen”' ASL interpretation)”¦we showed how creative, welcoming, willing and visionary we are when we come together. (more…)

A New “Ringmaster” at In the Heart of the Beast Theatre

by Harvey Winje In the Heart of the Beast Theatre searched far and wide for an Executive Director to assume the role long and capably performed by Kathee Foran who retired last month.  The Board of Directors chose Loren Niemi.  Loren has a wide-ranging background that includes decades of involvement in local theater and literary circles.   Loren Niemi was the Tour manager and Ringmaster of HOTB”'s “Circle of Water Circus” in the summer 1983.  It was an extravaganza that combined HOTB”'s three venues””education, production, and events””in a tour from the Itasca headwaters of the Mississippi River to many towns along the River, culminating in a pageant near the Gulf of Mexico. Chances are best that Executive Director Loren Niemi and longtime Artistic Director Sandy Spieler will combine to be a dynamic duo of “ringmasters.”   They both have the ability to be in the spotlight just long enough to focus the attention of the “roar of the crowd” on the most important performers of HOTB---students in classrooms, actors on stage, or the audience as “actors” on community streets. Loren”'s unbridled enthusiasm tempered by professorial, stage, organizing, and administrative experience addresses the three venues of the theatre company. He states, “I  will use my strong belief in HOTB”'s transformative abilities to guide its resources,  build for the future, and advise on physical space needs as HOTB heads toward its 40th Anniversary in 2014.” (more…)

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