Each year, BRAF returns to the source of our inspiration, to that city where interactive art is everywhere you look: Black Rock City. We eagerly look forward to our stay on the playa as an opportunity to connect with our supporters, to inspire others to instigate interactive artworks in their hometown, and to educate about our mission and our projects.
Our primary function on the playa is to educate the public about what BRAF does, and to clarify the distinction between our funding and Burning Man’s funding. BRAF funds off-playa projects, all year long.
Once again, the outreach groups of Burning Man (Burners Without Borders, The Black Rock Arts Foundation, Black Rock Solar and The Regional Network) teamed up to create a unified presence on the playa: Everywhere!
Everywhere is housed under one large pavilion (which might look familiar… it’s one of the pavilions that surrounded the Man in 2007 and 2008!) In 2010, BRAF took the lead on redesigning the interior space of Everywhere, creating a design that illustrates the messages of the outreach groups. The interior space of Everywhere has the appearance of a large world map, with continents cut out of wood, set up at table height. BRAF scheduled a team of volunteers who assisted guests in creating miniature flags to be placed on the world map to represent their off-playa projects and endeavors. By the end of the week the map was jam-packed with flags!
For the last three years, BRAF has teamed efforts with the Artery, our playa neighbors, to provide a gathering space for participants waiting for the Artery’s daily playa-art tours. The art tours are incredibly popular, drawing a few hundred people each day. BRAF seized the opportunity to capitalize on the rush of art lovers to our neighborhood and used this occasion to educate the waiting tour guests about BRAF’s off-playa work. BRAF’s redesign of the Everywhere interior space was created with these guests in mind, offering them a shaded area to sit, a fun and easy art activity to participate in, and outreach group representatives to chat with as they waited for their tour.
The logistical issues of this mutually beneficial relationship with the Artery continue to improve. In 2011, BRAF and the Artery worked together to implement a new ticket distribution procedure. Each Artery Tour patron received a color coded ticket which corresponded to prominent signage, making it easy for them to find their group and gather in time for their tour. BRAF and the Artery also created more legible, prominent signs with clear, concise messages about ticketing procedures. This cleared up much of the previous confusion around ticket procedures experienced in years past.
BRAF enjoys our stay on the playa and creates and strengthens many meaningful connections with supporters of public art, but our real achievements in 2011 were off the playa. Year-round, we work hard to ensure that art and community-building continue to serve as tools for civic engagement around the globe. We know that art can build community and bring people together, and we believe that all communities, beyond Black Rock City, deserve art. More than ever, we are encouraged by our recent successes and invigorated to expand our programs and extend our reach into more communities worldwide.
Not only was 2011 a banner year for us, but we celebrated our 10th birthday! In the last 10 years, BRAF has supported:
73 grantee projects in over 10 countries!
103 projects in total!
More details on all of these projects can be found on www.BlackRockArts.org and on our blog at BlackRockArts.blogspot.com.
We are continually grateful for the extraordinary support and investment of our community. BRAF supporters share our vision of bringing people together and creating positive change through art. Because of your support, BRAF continues to pioneer new modalities of public art.
BRAF has made great progress in bringing the Burning Man ethos of art, interaction, and community “to the rest of the world, the other 51 weeks of the year.” But, we need your help to continue to fund, support and enable community-building, civic-minded, interactive arts projects and expand our reach to new regions.
There are many ways you can donate to BRAF. Direct donations can be most easily made from our secure website at www.blackrockarts.org.
You can also donate to BRAF when you purchase your Burning Man ticket – just check the box and add an amount to your ticket price.