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! The deadline is November 28, 2017.

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 2018 LOI form are available in a preview document (available as a Google Doc), which you can use to draft your responses before entering them in the form.

2018 Timeline

  • October 18, 2017 at noon Pacific Time: online LOI application for our 2018 grant cycle opens
  • November 28, 2017 at 5pm Pacific Time: deadline for LOI submissions
  • December 18, 2017: notification
  • January 16, 2018 at 5pm Pacific Time: deadline for full proposals (accepted by invitation only)
  • February 22, 2018: 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 November 28, 2018 at 5:00 pm PST. Note that late LOIs are not accepted. No exceptions.
Q. What's new in 2018?

A. We are committed to notifying artists of final award as soon as possible; to that end, we’re opening the grant cycle earlier this year and will be able to notify selected grantees several weeks earlier. Also new this year is that we’ve separated the Temple out from the honoraria into it’s own Temple Grant Program.  
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 late February through June 5, 2018.
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 (Safari, Chrome, etc.) and operating system (Mac, Windows) you are using.
Please note that the Burning Man office will be closed from December 25 until January 1 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 in 2014, 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 2017 grant cycle we received 550 LOIs and invited 334 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. Once you are notified on Dec. 18 you will receive access to the online application form. The deadline for full proposals will be on January 16 at 5:00pm PST.
The full proposal application will be similar to the 2017 grant application, with minor revisions for 2018.
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 payment in April, with subsequent funding 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 500+ Letters of Intent and has funded about 60 to 70 projects per year.
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 25 until January 1 and we may be unable to respond to inquiries at that time.