Welcome to the fabulous Gerlach Center in Northern Nevada!
Burning Man Project is bringing the spirit and magic of Black Rock City to the other 51 weeks of the year in Northern Nevada, with the creation of Gerlach Center.
Gerlach Center provides a framework to support our neighbors locally, and enables us to build a year-round rural community center that helps advance the goal of getting Black Rock City off fossil fuels. Our work to build a more sustainable nonprofit will begin in our own backyard: Gerlach and Northern Nevada.
Gerlach Center supports multiple programs and properties, including: Gerlach Center Events, Black Rock City Storage Program, Gerlach Workforce Development Center, The 360, The Oasis, and art on The 360 as part of the Washoe County ArTrail. There is a lot more brewing for the near future too, more information to come!
Learn more about “Why We’re Building a Permanent Hub for Burning Man Culture & Community” in John Curley’s Journal article, or read more about the future for Gerlach Center in this San Francisco Examiner article.
Take a virtual tour of Gerlach and the surrounding areas:
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The 360 is Burning Man Project’s newest experiment in community building. A makerspace property located just outside of Gerlach, Nevada, at the edge of the Black Rock Desert, The 360 provides lodging, space for workshops, events, storage, and community support for: theme camps; art projects; mutant vehicles; Black Rock City teams; storage; and independent creators of all kinds. The foundation has been built for The 360 to support the goals set by Burning Man Project’s 2030 Environmental Sustainability Roadmap (watch the Year Two Update here).
The Oasis is a central gathering and performance space for the Gerlach community—with shade, tables, a small stage, and room for local small businesses to sell their wares. Helping incubate new economic development activity is working: in 2021, we had pizza, ice, water, and snow cone sales throughout the summer. We look forward to continue partnering with additional small businesses in the future.
BRC Storage Program
As of 2022, the BRC Storage Program has moved to The 360—allowing groups to visit the property and use its facilities to work on projects, enjoy the desert, and spend time together. Perhaps most importantly, the number one request from storage program participants has been met: year-round access to the storage facility. With the move to The 360, the program has increased the storage space available and, for the first time, is now accepting mutant vehicles, trailers, and RVs for storage.
The program includes 348 containers and close to 50 mutant vehicles. In 2022, with the increased storage area of The 360, we were able to include almost 50 more groups in the container program. For these new additions alone, we reduced the distance cargo would have traveled, and the associated environmental impact, by over 30,000 miles—per year!
Gerlach Workforce Development Center (GWDC)
The Gerlach Workforce Development Center leverages the knowledge and experience inside the Burning Man community to help workers ‘skill up’ and inspire social change. Classes are offered throughout the year, and range from solar installation to rural economic development and everything in between. Many classes teach skills applicable to both regional employment needs as well as employment opportunities at Burning Man Project. Close to 50 people acquired new skills that they can use in the workplace and the workshop during 2022, and we are aiming to increase our course catalog—and our graduates—each year.
Courses offered not only provide marketable skills, they also support our other programs and initiatives by working hand-in-hand. Our sustainability goals will be best met when members of the community can not only learn the skills to work on the solar projects of Burning Man, but can also use their new skills to help other groups in the community make the shift to renewables. As we turn towards a more sustainable future, this program will help us evolve from desiring sustainability to teaching how to put it into action.
Gerlach Center Events
The small town of Gerlach hosts a large number of events throughout the year, across many of the Burning Man properties. Over a dozen events were held in 2022, and the schedule for 2023 will only grow from there! Burning Man Project seeks to promote events held by the local people of Gerlach while hosting events of our own that can bring people from across the globe together with the local community.
Since 2004, the annual Gerlach Town BBQ has been bringing the people of Burning Man together with the residents of Gerlach. In 2022, the local community began hosting an annual Pride parade in June as well as the classic Chili Cook Off and Race Days in October.
Trailblaze is a gathering of community members and makers creating art and infrastructure for Black Rock City and beyond.
In 2022, Trailblaze weekends hosted more than 100 theme camp organizers, mutant vehicle owners, art project leaders, volunteers, and Burning Man creators of all kinds creating art and infrastructure for Black Rock City and beyond. During these weekend-long events, participants collaborate on projects, contribute to the local community, learn new skills, and spend time getting to know their fellow makers. Initially, these events were created to offer an opportunity for inclusion for the broader Burning Man community. However, in the future, these events will be leveraged to provide a space for stewardship projects here on The 360 and beyond.
Gerlach is also host to environmental and sustainability minded participants that gather at the annual NetZero Black Rock City event to showcase and incubate sustainable technologies created by the Burning Man community. In 2022, over 50 participants built a custom solar-powered shade structure and participated in a variety of workshops, discussions, and ideation sessions around solar, transportation, composting and waste management, and so much more. Stay tuned for dates and information about the upcoming 2023 NetZero BRC event!
Makers Village weekends host opportunities for teams to work on more extensive projects and stay onsite, with dozens coming to Gerlach to build projects. Makers Village connects artists, theme camp crews, mutant vehicle builders, and BRC Storage participants with each other, while contributing to the development of a new Makers Village at The 360. Stay tuned for dates and information about upcoming 2023 Makers Village weekends!
THE FUTURE OF GERLACH AND NORTHERN NEVADA PROPERTIES
As we look to the future, we are excited about the projects on our mountain-filled horizon. The development here in Gerlach is a journey that will happen over many years, and it is one that will be influenced by the local community in Gerlach, the tribes around us, and the Burning Man community. We invite you to join us on this journey, to visit fabulous Gerlach, and to share your thoughts about what should come next. Please join us for an event here soon!
We are guests—Gerlach and our Northern Nevada Properties are on Numu (Northern Paiute) and Newe (Western Shoshone) land. At least four distinct Numu tribes have direct ties to the area. For around 73 miles of the drive along State Route 447 you will pass through the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation. You can support Pyramid Lake Businesses & Tribal Enterprises in Wadsworth and Nixon. The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum & Visitor Center is an excellent place to learn about the Tribe’s history and culture. We are learning and will continue to learn about this. There is more we can do to support Indigenous peoples, address settler colonialism within our culture, and support direct action. For more background see our land acknowledgment.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT GERLACH AND NORTHERN NEVADA