MayDay History

The spring of 1975 was our first MayDay Festival. Our original impetus for this Festival was quite simple. We wanted to give a gift to the community that was supporting our theatre, and to create a celebration that would bring people together out of their homes at the end of winter.

The Vietnam War ended just 2 weeks before the event and our little procession was exuberantly joyful. We were a group of 50 or 60 people, an Earth puppet, a Water puppet, several birds, two accordions, and many banners. When we got to the park, we raised a Maypole puppet and hosted a few small performances and some MayDay speeches.

Nowadays, the organizing work of the festival is a year-round task. Each February we host our first public brainstorming sessions, when we invite all to share ideas and images towards developing the specific theme for the year. The thoughtful themes of the past years echo the pulse of our south Minneapolis neighborhoods, and as such, the chronology of themes tells a peculiarly imaginative history of the times.

Mayday Through the Years

  • 2012: The End of the World as We Know It
  • 2011: Caws to Unite!
  • 2010: Uproar!
  • 2009: Our Common Treasury - Dig It
  • 2008: A New Bridge -
    Infrastructure for the Future Beings
  • 2007: Somos Agua - We Are Water
  • 2006: The Time is Now!
  • 2005: Where Do We Go From Here?
  • 2004: Leap!
    Into the Wondrous Possible
  • 2003: This Is Our Child
  • 2002: MayDay! MayDay!
  • 2001: Prayer for the Flowering of Compassion
  • 2000: Divining Economy-
    Calling Forth Our Common Wealth
  • 1999: Somos Uno
  • 1998: Sing!
  • 1997: May Abundant Blessings Flow
  • 1996: Be A Bridge
  • 1995: Gorgeous Fever of Consciousness: Honor Your Senses
  • 1994: Seeds:
    Awesome Vessels of Power
  • 1993: Let The Sleeper Wake
  • 1992: I Am Another Yourself
  • 1991: Return To Turtle Island
  • 1990: Wheels of Change Ever Whirling
  • 1989: Voices of Trees
  • 1988: When the Dragon Speaks
  • 1987: We May Be Family After All
  • 1986: Corn
  • 1985: Our World Home
  • 1984: 10th Anniversary
  • 1983: Water #2
  • 1982: Water #1
  • 1981: In Honor of Change
  • 1980: The Year of the Child
  • 1979: Wake Up!
  • 1978: Changes
  • 1977: Seasons
  • 1976: Noah's Ark
  • 1975: The First MayDay

Mayday Posters

Mayday poster 1983
1983
Mayday Poster 1985
1985
Mayday poster 1986
1986
Mayday poster 1989
1989
mayday poster93_160
1993
maydayposter94_160
1994
mayday poster 1995
1995
mayday 1996 poster
1996

Created By

mayday poster 1997
1997
mayday 1998 poster
1998
mayday 1999 poster
1999
mayday 200 poster
2000
mayday poster 2002
2002
mayday poster 2003
2003
mayday poster 2004
2004

Sandy Spieler

MayDay 2005 Poster
2005
MayDay 2006 Poster
2006
mayday poster 2007
2007
mayday poster 2008
2008
MayDay 2009 Poster
2009
MayDay Poster 2010
2010
MayDay Poster 2011
2011
MayDay Poster 2012
2012