How to Submit a Letter of Intent

If you’re interested in applying for funding for an art installation bound for the annual Burning Man event in Black Rock City, you MUST first submit a Letter of Intent (LOI), which will allow the Grant Committee to select which projects will be invited to participate in the full grant proposal process. 

The online form to submit a Letter of Intent is now open! 

To apply, please make sure you’ve read about the Black Rock City Honoraria program, check out the LOI Instructions and FAQ below, and then once the form is open you may submit a Letter of Intent via Burner Profiles. It’s mandatory that you submit your LOI through our online process; we will not accept applications via email or mail.

Preview of Letter of Intent Questions

All of the questions on the 2017 LOI form are available in a preview document (available as a Google Doc or a PDF), which you can use to draft your responses before entering them in the form.

Timeline

  • December 6, 2016 at noon PST: the online LOI application for our 2017 grant cycle opens
  • December 13: submit your LOI by Dec. 13 as an Early Responder and you will be notified earlier and have 7 weeks to work on the full proposal
  • December 22: notification for Early Responders
  • January 4, 2017 at 5pm PST: deadline for LOI submissions
  • January 12: notification for LOIs submitted after December 13
  • January 31 at 5pm PST: deadline for full proposals (accepted by invitation only)
  • March 2: selected grantees are notified

Late or incomplete Letters of Intent will not be accepted. No exceptions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why does Burning Man Arts use an LOI process?

A. We understand that submitting a full grant proposal can be time consuming. The LOI is a much shorter application, which will save everyone time and effort.
Also, before instituting the LOI process, we would receive applications each year that didn’t match our stated criteria. With the LOI process, if your proposed installation isn’t a good fit for the program you won’t have spent the time on a full proposal.
Q. When is the deadline to submit an LOI?

A. The last day you may submit an LOI is January 4, 2017 at 5:00 pm PST. If you submit an LOI during the first week it is open (by Dec. 13), you will be notified by Dec. 22 and, if invited, will have additional time to work on your full proposal. Note that late LOIs are not accepted. No exceptions.
Q. What's new in 2017?

A. We are committed to notifying artists of final award as soon as possible; to that end, we’re offering an Early Responder opportunity this year. Folks who submit their LOIs early will be notified sooner and will have more time to work on their final proposal. Also new for 2017 – we’ve added a question specifically for artists who are interested in creating the Temple. Please see the preview doc for the exact text.
Q. Who can submit an LOI?

A.

  • Individuals, artist collectives or groups, and established 501(c)(3) organizations are all eligible and welcome to apply.
  • Grants are for the creation of interactive artworks that are destined for installation at the annual Burning Man event in Black Rock City.
  • We fund art installations from artists across the globe. There are no geographic restrictions on who can apply.
  • If you’ve applied for or received a Burning Man (or BRAF) grant previously, you may apply again.

Q. If I don't submit an LOI by the deadline, is there any other opportunity for me to receive funding for my BRC art?

A. No. You must submit an LOI to be considered for funding. If you submit an LOI and you aren’t invited to submit a full proposal, we would still love for you to bring your art to Burning Man! Please check back in the spring to fill out the Art Installation Questionnaire, which will be open from February 23 through June 13, 2017.
Q. May I submit more than one Letter of Intent?

A. Yes! Our application system allows you to submit multiple LOIs if you have more than one project you are interested in sharing.
Q. Do I need to have a Burner Profile to submit an LOI?

A. Yes. Our art grant application portal is accessed through Burner Profiles. This allows you to have a secure record of all the drafted and submitted applications you’ve created. If you don’t already have a Burner Profile, from the landing page please click “Login” and you’ll be brought to an option to register for a new account. 
Q. I have a technical question or a problem with the form. Can you help?

A. Please use the Contact Us function in Burner Profiles, and select Art Grant Application Support from the drop-down menu.
If you’re experiencing an error, it’s helpful to let us know what browser (Firefox, Chrome, etc.) and operating system (Mac, Windows) you are using.
Please note that the Burning Man office will be closed from December 24 until January 3 and we may be unable to respond to inquiries at that time.
Q. What are the technical requirements for submitting an LOI? Can I submit it from my phone?

A. Unfortunately we’re not yet set up for you to be able to submit via a mobile device, such as a phone or a tablet. Please use a computer and a recent version of a major web browser (we have tested the forms on recent versions of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer). You must have JavaScript enabled in your web browser. Usually this is on by default. 
Q. Will I have a chance to include images with my LOI?

A. Yes! In fact, we require you to submit at least one image which can be a drawing, sketch, photo, etc. You may also submit a video in addition to an image. If you have a maquette, please submit a photo of it. We will only be accepting physical maquettes at the full proposal stage.
Q. Can I start the LOI application and then come back to it later?

A. Yes. Once you log into your Burner Profile and start an application, after filling out the preliminary info about your project you will have an opportunity to Save & Continue. You can come back to your draft application via your Burner Profile anytime before the deadline to continue working on it. Note that incomplete or draft applications will not be accepted; you must submit the application for it to be considered complete.
Q. What kind of contract with Burning Man will I need to sign if my art installation is funded?

A. With the creation of Burning Man Arts, we reviewed and revised our artist contract; you can read more about the changes here.
Q. By submitting an LOI, am I obligated to create a full proposal if invited?

A. No. We understand that circumstances change, and you are certainly allowed to withdraw your LOI or decline the invitation to submit a full proposal.
Q. Does my art installation have a better chance of being funded if it's related to the theme?

A. No. We welcome proposals for art installations that are related to the theme or not related to the theme.
Q. My project is easily scalable. I'm not sure what level of funding to request.

A. Please estimate the amount it would take for you to realize your vision. If your project is scalable, you’ll have an opportunity to describe various levels of funding in the full grant application. Please read more about budgeting in the BRC Honoraria FAQ
Q. Can the expected budget change if/when we submit a full proposal?

A. Yes. We know concepts and budgets can evolve from inception to actual grant proposal, and we will ask more detailed budget questions in the full art grant application.
Q. Who will review the LOIs?

A. We have a committee who has a long history of being involved with Burning Man’s annual grant cycle. This committee leverages their personal experience of creating and managing art on playa.
Q. What percentage of LOIs will be invited to submit a full proposal?

A. In the 2016 grant cycle we received 510 LOIs and invited 222 to submit a full proposal. We aren’t aiming for a certain percentage; our goal is to be able to support artists as best as possible while having as much interactive, engaging art as possible.
Q. What can I expect if my LOI is accepted and I'm invited to submit a full proposal?

A. For Early Responders, once you are notified on Dec. 22 you will receive a preview document of the full proposal. The online form to submit a full proposal will be available on Jan. 5. For regular responders, you will be notified by Jan. 12 and will receive access to the online application form at that time. Either way, the deadline for full proposals will be on January 31 at 5:00pm PST.
The full proposal application will be similar to the 2016 grant application, with minor revisions for 2017.
To learn more about the process if you submit a full proposal and your art installation is accepted as an Honorarium, check out What To Expect.
Typically grantees receive their first funding in April, with a subsequent payment usually four weeks after the first payment. Burning Man retains a performance deposit which is paid post-event.
Q. If I am invited to submit a full proposal, how likely is it that I'll be funded?

A. This is difficult to define. Historically Burning Man has received about 500+ Letters of Intent, and has funded about 60 projects.
Q. Who do I contact with further questions?

A. Please be sure to read the Black Rock City Honoraria FAQ for more information about the grant program. You can send any other questions to artgrants@burningman.org. We’ll try to be as helpful as we can and answer each email individually. Please note that the Burning Man office will be closed from December 24 until January 3 and we may be unable to respond to inquiries at that time.