Year-round, the Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF) works 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. To date, BRAF has funded over 110 projects, worldwide. To learn more about what BRAF accomplished around the world in 2013, see our year-in-review: http://blackrockarts.org/2013/12/year-in-review-2013.
Each year, we return to our 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 build support for our projects and programs. BRAF supports, produces, and funds off-playa projects around the world all year long, but the week of Burning Man is our best opportunity to connect with many of the current and potential members of our broader community.
Once again, several Burning Man outreach and affiliate groups (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 continues to serve in illustrating 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.
The Everywhere team of volunteers worked with visitors to create paper shipping tags (in keeping with the Cargo Cult theme), which were anchored to weights and placed on the world map, representing off-playa projects and endeavors that are showing up around the world. By the end of the week the map was jam-packed!
BRAF enjoys our stay on the playa and creates and strengthens many meaningful connections with supporters of public art, but our real achievements in 2013 were off the playa.For the last four years, BRAF and the other Everywhere groups have assisted 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 capitalizes on the rush of art lovers to our neighborhood by welcoming and educating the waiting tour guests about BRAF’s off-playa work. The Everywhere interior space was designed 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.
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 online donation form at donate.blackrockarts.org.
Eli Peterson, Program & Development Associate, Black Rock Arts Foundation