Volunteer Leadership Council

(Photo by John Curley)

About the Volunteer Leadership Council


As our organization continues to expand in both size and impact, it is more important than ever to maintain and develop the spirit of volunteerism in every aspect of our growth, and to provide greater service and support to our hard-working Volunteer Coordinators (VCs) and the volunteer community at large. The Volunteer Leadership Council (VLC) was formed to support these efforts.


The Volunteer Leadership Council exists to champion the human spirit of volunteerism, creating a foundation for a culture of appreciation and empowerment within the Burning Man community and beyond.

Mission and Purpose

The VLC is an advisory body, grounded in Burning Man’s 10 Principles, that supports the greater Burning Man community by providing guidance regarding training, conflict resolution, resource sharing, and by identifying and sharing best practices in volunteer leadership.


  • To create a dialog that will ensure that the unique perspective of the volunteer is faithfully represented in larger decisions being made for the Burning Man Project and any other body in our network
  • To maintain and develop the spirit of volunteerism in every aspect of our global growth
  • To help strategize the future of volunteer programs
  • To provide critical support within our extended network
  • To ensure that volunteers feel appreciated at all levels
  • To ensure volunteer ethics inform decisions wherever appropriate as we evolve
  • To gather best practices around volunteerism from various BRC teams and the Regional Network and make them available to our community

Active Project Areas

  • Volunteer Appreciation
  • Documentation and Training


Current Membership 

  1. Affinity Mingle: Founding Member – Emeritus
  2. Diana Jiménez (Patches): Volunteer Peer Support VC / VRT MOD / Nowhere- (Spain Regional) Finance Coordinator and Fiscal Representative
  3. Dove Russo: DPW Volunteer / Regional Contact Emeritus
  4. Erica Williams: DPW Fluffers Manager
  5. Harley Dubois: Burning Man Co-Founder
  6. Helen Hickman: BRC Art Support Services Volunteer
  7. Kez Quin: Volunteerism Program Manager, Burning Man Project
  8. Kristy Hilands: Head of Participatory Culture, Burning Man Project
  9. Marcia Crosby: Black Rock City Community Services Manager / Cafe, Arctica, Temple Guardians
  10. Maryann Hulsman (orange): Founding Member / Everywhere VC
  11. Misa Rygrova: Gate Perimeter & Exodus Lead / Meta Regional  (Czech) Alumni / Burning Man Fellow Emeritus
  12. Terry Schoop – Black Rock City Community Services Manager / Department of Mutant Vehicles, Earth Guardians, Greeters, Lamplighters, Lost & Found, Playa Info, Recycle Camp & Volunteer Resource Team

VLC Nominee Criteria

In order to maintain a healthy and diverse council with balanced seats, the nominees should strike a balance of the VLC’s required criteria and qualities; not every person will need to have all qualities which will vary over time based on the current needs of the council.

The council will generally seek nominees who are able to envision the big picture and think strategically, have respect within the Burning Man community, have enough time to invest and participate, and hold at least five years of volunteer and Burning Man experience. There are a wide variety of necessary qualities to be considered as a candidate.

Contact Information


Volunteer Appreciation Research Project

The Volunteer Appreciation Research Project is an undertaking of the Volunteer Leadership Council. Over the course of one year, the project team interviewed volunteer leaders to explore team practices and cultures across the landscape of the global Burning Man community, to learn more about how they work, particularly in regard to volunteer appreciation.

Download the PDF version of the Volunteer Appreciation Research Project for on-screen viewing or printing.

PDF reading may require a download of the (free) Adobe Acrobat Reader, or (free) Foxit Reader (for Windows and Linux).