After more than a year in our new digs, we’re finally feeling at home here in our offices on San Francisco’s Market Street. It’s been a year of incredible growth for the Burning Man organization, as well as for the Burning Man Project; our offices are buzzing with projects and workshops along with our regular day-to-day operations. We’ve brought several new people on board this year to support the work we’re doing both on-playa and in the office, and have managed to fill up our space quite nicely. We’ve made some great connections in our new neighborhood, and our location has really increased our visibility as denizens of San Francisco. In fact, we’ve found that participation in the events and workshops held at our headquarters has increased greatly, as we’re so much more accessible via public transit now!
In the past year we’ve also managed to transform our office into something looking much more familiar to our Community. The Art Department has scoured the archives and placed art and artifacts in our halls and meeting rooms, making a visit to Headquarters something of an art tour, and for many, a trip down memory lane. It’s wonderful to be able to show off so many years of collected art and history! Newcomers, guests, and longtime Burners alike enjoy walking our halls and seeing fantastic images of years past. We’ve named the meeting rooms mainly after event themes, so now you can call a meeting in Helco or Evolution! Staff members collaborated in making signs for the rooms, and produced them at the Tech Shop, just around the corner. We’ve hung drapes, put in window seat cushions, brought in matching chairs and new desks; it’s looking pretty spiffy around here!
Having more space means we’ve been able to hold more events in our office as well. For the first time ever, we were able to host the Regional Summit here at BMHQ, bringing Regional Contacts from all over the globe together under our roof for several days of workshops, classes and networking opportunities. A fabulous party capped the Summit, and Burners new and old were able to rub elbows with the Regional Contacts, finding that we all have much to learn from each other. And speaking of learning, we’ve been able to host groups from educational institutions as far away as Europe and as close as the Bay Area to hold workshops in our meeting rooms, through the guidance of the Burning Man Project. Other events have included movie screenings, craft parties, Black Rock Census counting weekends, Karaoke nights, and even a chamber orchestra concert! We’ve also held all of our All-Staff Meetings at headquarters in the past year, and had many neighborhood groups come in and give us presentations about their work in the neighborhood.
All in all, it’s been a year of really learning about our neighbors and our place in the scheme of things here in San Francisco. Our dreams of building an Urban Center are still percolating, and as we continue to settle in to our new home we’re finding more and more that we’re on the right track. Reaching out to the neighborhood has helped us find our footing, and given us inspiration to continue the work of bringing Burning Man culture back from the playa to the default world.
SF to NV Transpo 2012
Black Rock Trucking, aka SF to NV Transpo, is the logistics and transportation team for the Burning Man Project in San Francisco. Our primary responsibility is transportation between California and Nevada for the Burning Man event, however we are there to assist with any transportation needs that the Burning Man Project may have.
The 2012 trucking season began early with a transpo run to our Ranch property in Nevada in February. This would normally be unheard of, with the cold and the snow that is usually present in the high desert that time of year. The weather was so nice that we were able to make the delivery and unload the truck in jeans and a t-shirt. The delivery included a number of large items that were acquired in an auction in the Bay Area. Instead of storing them in San Francisco, it was decided to send them out to be stored in Nevada. When a museum in Reno offered to gift the display stands from a Tiffany lamp show that was ending, Black Rock Trucking coordinated all the logistics to get volunteers and a 53′ semi trailer there to pick up the pieces and transport them back to San Francisco.
We moved right into the event season in mid-July, with small truck runs to Gerlach and/or the Ranch property each weekend. There were multiple loads being picked up in San Francisco, the East Bay and as far away as Petaluma, CA. Items that were staged in Alameda, CA at the warehouse of one of our professional drivers and at the Burning Man warehouse in San Francisco included two dozen new (used) couches and chairs for the Café, lighting elements built in Petaluma for the Man Pavilion and used pallet rack shelving that eventually became a lookout tower at Recycle Camp.
The first of three semi trailers was taken to the Playa on August 10th to be staged at the DPW Depot. The final two trailers arrived on the Playa on August 18th, the first carrying the Greeter Pack publications ready to be collated. The second was packed full with the usual crates of Café décor, lighting & sound systems, Man Base lighting, The Artery, BMIR, the new sign for the Box Office, Black Rock Arts Foundation, Black Rock Solar, The Regionals and the rest of the Everywhere Camp, Gate Perimeter & Exodus, ESD, Media Mecca, Playa Info, Rangers, Recycle Camp and Tech; many of the Burning Man departments that make up the infrastructure of Black Rock City.
Black Rock Trucking stands by our mission: to be there, whenever needed, to safely transport extremely important stuff for The Burning Man Project. We thank the participants, the Staff and all of our Volunteers who made 2012 a tremendously successful year for the Burning Man Project.
Paul Schreer & Molly Vikart