In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater (HOBT) seeks funding for a new community outreach project, Light Up Lake Street (LULS). LULS is a new program that was developed as an effort by HOBT to address crime and safety concerns and to use the power of art to effect lasting change in our community. Early efforts with this work have been well received by our community.
Over the past year the section of East Lake Street in Minneapolis where HOBT is located has witnessed a surge in crime. An increase in violence and commercial sex and drug trafficking negatively affects our staff, volunteers, patrons, and community members. Light Up Lake Street was developed as a response. HOBT has partnered with the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police Department to fix broken streetlights, clean up problem properties and add temporary cameras to the area.
HOBT partnered with Southside Community Health Clinic to offer free health and STD screenings and Mobile Loaves and Fishes Minneapolis and Sisters of Camelot to provide free meals. The most recent LULS event was hosted on September 14 and served 120 people. Southside Health Clinic signed eight people up for MNSure and administered eight STD/HIV screenings and sixteen blood pressure tests. Mobile Loaves and Fishes and the Sisters of Camelot served all 80 meals they had prepared, gave away all forty pairs of socks and every toothbrush and tube of toothpaste they had.
HOBT has a history of addressing community concerns. HOBT, in collaboration with the community, produces the Annual May Day Parade and Festival in Powderhorn Park, a free event that is attended by over 50,000 people. May Day is conceived and created through a series of community meetings where the community gathers to discuss the issues they are facing and use the conversation to create a unified theme for May Day. The puppets and floats created are then built at free community workshops by HOBT staff, artists, and volunteers.
Funded by Twin Cities, MN (December 2016)