Community Events Archive

This is the archive of the community events that the Burning Man organization organized and hosted through the years. So many years, so many events. Here’s a collection of events from years past.

Checkout the Flambé Lounge Archives:

  • 2010 – MEGA-Precompression!
  • 2010 – Burnal Equinox Flambé Lounge’opolis!
  • 2009 – Precompression Flambé Lounge!
  • 2009 – Burnal Equinox Flambé Lounge!
  • 2008 – Burnal Equinox and Precompression Flambé Lounge!
  • 2007 – Burnal Equinox & Precompression!
  • 2006 – Burnal Equinox, Sk’bowling #2 & The First S.F. Fire Arts Expo!
  • 2005 – Our 1st April Fools Sk;bowling fun and Flambé Lounge!
  • 2004 – The Vault of Heaven Mad Scientist BBQ and Astronomers Ball
  • 2003 – Beyond Belief Flambé Lounge!
  • 2002 – The Blue Ball, Flambé Island, & The S.S. Blackrock Launch Party
  • 2001 – The Seven Ages & Foolz Ball
  • 2000 – The Head Dress and HeART Attack Flambé Lounge

Thank you to everybody who put in the hard work to make these fantastic events happen, and to the participants who made them what they were. 

Media Coverage

The press sure do love Burning Man, and the media plays a large role in sharing Burning Man culture with the world (for better or worse, depending on the accuracy of the coverage). Browse the links on the right to read media coverage of Black Rock City going all the way back to 1996.

Did we miss something? To suggest any additions, please email press@burningman.org.

Also, here are some particularly good videos you might enjoy:

Burning Man: The Build by Matt Emmi

Mirage, Official Trailer by International Wood Culture Society

Burning Man: Art on Fire, Official Trailer by ROCO Films

Why Art Thrives at Burning Man – Nora Atkinson — TED2018

5 Things Cities Can Learn from Burning ManTIME Video, 2009

Burning Man Beyond the PlayaKQED, 2013 (Emmy winner!)

Burning Man – New Life in CitiesPBS NewsHour, 2013


 

Community Blogs

Bullhorn Man, 2000 (Photo by Quito Banogon)

The Burning Man community is nothing if not passionate — and vocal. Here are some blogs created and managed by members of our community that you might enjoy. Please note that while they offer great perspectives about Burning Man culture, these are not official Burning Man news sources. And given the ever-shifting winds of change, any one of these sites might be active, dormant or dead at any given time.

Have one you think should be added? Tell us!

Black and Burning Man

Burn After Reading

Burncast

Burner Podcast

Burners.me

Burn.Life

Burner Love

Consumption Blog (satire)

Destination Burning Man

Dust Culture

Peace, Love and Soup podcast

Queer Burners

Sunrise Burners

The Shroom (satire)

This is Black Rock City

 

 

 

 

 

Books about Burning Man

Since the 1997 release of “Burning Man” by John Plunkett and Brad Wieners, dozens of titles have been published about the event and the culture; there are now 32 books about Burning Man, and 140 with chapters or sections about it. There is also a rich body of academic writing about Burning Man.

If you working on a book that has, or is hoping to use, Burning Man content (i.e. images from the Burning Event in Black Rock City, the words “Burning Man” or “Black Rock City” on the front or rear covers, specific descriptions of BRC art pieces, or other intellectual property), you must start by filling out this form. Members of Burning Man Project’s Communications team will review your proposal and reach out to you with more info.


TURN YOUR LIFE INTO ART: Lessons in Psychomagic from the San Francisco Underground by Caveat Magister (Benjamin Wachs)

Burning Man Project, 2021, ISBN 9781734965926

Until now, very little has been written about San Francisco’s underground art scene and the magical, impossible, life-changing experiences it inspired. In Caveat Magister’s latest book, you’ll discover what “psychomagical” experiences are, and why they can have such a powerful transformative effect; why rag-tag groups of weirdo artists have been so good at peak experience design, and why wealthy corporations filled with equally talented people have done so poorly; where “magical art” connects with the work of Jung and the Humanistic psychologists to support personal development and mental health; how to create experiences that go beyond design and seem impossible – until you experience them yourself.


BUILT TO BURN: Tales of the Desert Carnies of Burning Man by Tony “Coyote” Perez

Burning Man Project, 2020, ISBN 9781734965902

An essential Burning Man origin story, BUILT TO BURN chronicles the wild uncertainty and creative chaos of the early days in the Black Rock Desert, when the event’s future was under constant threat and the organizers were making everything up as they went along. It’s a tale of struggle and survival, of friends made and friends lost, as Coyote and his misfit crew battle raging storms, crazed livestock, angry townsfolk and each other, locking horns with the real-life cowboys, Indians, outlaws and outcasts of Nevada’s high desert frontier.


MUTANT VEHICLES — Art on Wheels at Burning Man by Alexandra Lier

Speedseekers Productions, 2021, ISBN 9783000685576

One of the most amazing aspects of the Burning Man event is the Mutant Vehicles. A Mutant Vehicle is something wholly different than the cars you can find on any street in the world. All of them, by design, are unique creations…spawned from the imagination and workmanship of their creators. And Burning Man is the one place where more Mutant Vehicles congregate than anywhere else.

Artist, photographer, author and director Alexandra Lier picks up with her third title, Mutant Vehicles. In addition to her beautiful photographs, her passion for driving art and her skill as a interdisciplinary creative lends much depth to this book.This book is your ticket to a vicarious trek with the Mutants through stunning photography, film, sound, and augmented reality. Hop on and take a seat for a surreal ride across the Black Rock Desert.

Foreword by David Best; Futureword by Patrice Mackey (aka Chef Juke), Burning Man Project Department of Mutant Vehicle

INTO THE DUST: THE VIRGIN — A BURNING MAN STORY by Jack Lyons

Self-published, 2021, now available in paperback, eBook, and audiobook formats

Burning Man is just a hedonistic music festival, a decadent party for burnouts, druggies, and hippies. Or so Diane believes, until an unexpected invitation from her closest friend opens a door to unknown possibilities. Leaving her carefully ordered life behind, Diane accepts her friend’s invitation and immerses herself in the harsh, unfamiliar environment of Burning Man.

INTO THE DUST explores the question WHAT IS BURNING MAN? Why are people drawn to Burning Man, and what brings them back again and again? What actually happens at the maligned, misunderstood, iconic event staged in the middle of a Nevada desert? More importantly, what happens to the people who go?


Radical Ritual; How Burning Man Changed the World by Neil Shister

Counterpoint, 2019, ISBN 9781640092198

Author Neil Shister is a journalist and historian, but he’s also a Burner. He treads the line between participant and storyteller as he digs through the forces that have shaped the event, from self-governance to Google. The book focuses largely on the life of founder Larry Harvey, but it also looks at how the event has changed over time and how it’s gone from an outsider ritual to a heavily used symbol of the technocracy.


The Scene That Became Cities: What Burning Man Can Teach Us About Building Better Communities by Caveat Magister (Benjamin Wachs)

North Atlantic Books, 2019, ISBN 97816231736

A practical and irreverent guide to Burning Man, its philosophy, why people do this to themselves, and how it matters to the world. Burning Man is a prototype, and its philosophy is a how-to manual for better communities, that, instead of rules, offers principles. Featuring iconic and impossible stories from “the playa,” interviews with Burning Man’s founders and staff, and personal recollections of the late Larry Harvey–Burning Man’s founder, “Chief Philosophical Officer,” and the author’s close friend and colleague–The Scene That Became Cities introduces readers to the experience of Burning Man; explains why it grew; posits how it could impact fields as diverse as art, economics, and politics; and makes the ideas behind it accessible, actionable, and useful.


Compass of the Ephemeral: Aerial Photography of Black Rock City through the Lens of Will Roger

Smallworks Press, 2019, ISBN 13.978-0-9778806-5-2

Nevada artist and Burning Man event co-founder Will Roger photographed the ever changing cityscape and transformation of Black Rock City as it changed throughout the years. The book contains a substantial collection of aerial photos as never seen before. A photographic collaboration between Will Roger and Burning Man architect Rod Garrett, Introduction by Burning Man co-founder Harley Dubois. Contributions from Independent scholar William Fox, Tony Perez and Archaeologist Alexei Vranich.


Art of Burning Man – Second Edition by NK Guy

Taschen, 2018, ISBN 3836550075

In this updated edition with fresh images, writer and photographer NK Guy presents 16 years of Burning Man art. His dazzling images record these participatory, collective, intrinsically ephemeral installations and happenings in the desert, which exist for no clearer purpose than because someone wanted to express something. The result is testimony to a realm far beyond the ego, commerce, and power play of mainstream cultural output. With a foreword by temple designer and artist David Best and a futureword by Marian Goodell.


Playa Fire: Spirit and Soul at Burning Man by Stewart Harvey

Harper Collins, 2017,  ISBN 978-0-06-256406-1

This photographic pilgrimage captures the creative power of Burning Man past, present and future; through the lens of award-winning photographer Stewart Harvey, Playa Fire features over 250 breathtaking photographs, many never seen before, and a privileged inside look at the creation and evolution of this historic festival. Drawn from his personal archives of over thirty years of Burning Man, Stewart’s panoramic photographs are accompanied by intimate stories, as well as family photos of the young Harvey brothers and their band of merrymakers. Foreward by Larry Harvey.


Dusty Playground by Zippy Lomax

Spring 2017, ISBN 978-0-9985794-0-5

“With images suffused with imagination and wonder, Zippy Lomax offers us a rare and intimate view of Burning Man, one seen through the prism of the event’s youngest participants – the children who come with their families to climb art installations, dress up with glitter and fancy goggles, ride around on motorized zebra unicorns, and build castles in the dust.” – Scott London


Burners by Nicholas King

Laughing Coyote Press, 2017   ISBN 978-0-9842999-9-7

Nicholas King’s sepia-toned black and white portraits reveal not only the diversity of the participants he photographs, but the diversity of human response to unconditional acceptance. He says,” I am honored by their trust in me.”


Black Rock City, NV: The Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man by Philippe Glade

Real Paper Books, 2016  ISBN 978-0-9837428-1-4

Five years in the making, Black Rock City, NV: The New Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man is the sequel of a sold-out and sought-after volume 1, published by Real Paper Books in 2011. This entirely new survey presents 200 images from recent years where vernacular and perennial solutions coexist along experimental and rule-breaking designs, with foreword by Zahid Sardar and essays by Burning Man co-founder Harley K. Dubois, Fred Bernstein architecture critic and AIASF architect Glenn Lym.


Waking Dream by William Binzen

Smith Andersen North Gallery catalog, 2016

This collection of photographs by William Binzen offers a rare slice of history when the site-specific works of Binzen’s collaborative and ritual-based Desert Siteworks (1992-94) helped transform the Burning Man event from its first weekend outing on the playa in 1990, into the widely acclaimed, week-long art event it later became.


Art on Fire Second Edition by Jennifer Raiser

RacePoint Publishing, 2016  ISBN: 978-1631062568

Burning Man: Art on Fire is an authorized collection of some of the most stunning examples of Burning Man art, now updated to include the most recent installations, through 2015.  Get lost in a rich gallery of images showcasing the best examples of playa art with over 200 photos by Sidney Erthal and Scott London, an introduction from Burning Man founder Larry Harvey, and a foreword by Will Chase.


Composing Temple Sunrise: Overcoming Writer’s Block at Burning Man by Hassan El-Tayyab

Poetic Matrix Press, 2016   ISBN 13: 9780986060069)

This is a memoir by musician Hassan El-Tayyab, who recounts his trip across the US looking for that elusive muse. He arrives in Berkeley and hooks up with a group creating a metal sculpture called Fishbug. They go to Burning Man in the Nevada dessert and here he writes the musical piece Temple Sunrise.


WBP-cover4x4 squareBurning Man – The World’s Biggest Playground by Peter Armenia

Worldview Publishing, 2015  ISBN 978-0-692-49808-8

A New York photographer presents the Burning Man experience to children via colorful photographs and simple explanatory captions; interesting to adults as well.


IMG_4836

Jewelry of Burning Man by Karen Christians, Christine Kristen (LadyBee) and George Post

Global Interprint, Inc., 2015  ISBN 978-0-9855284-1-6

This comprehensive book includes LadyBee’s 20+year collection of playa jewelry, the story of Oasis 47, a jewelry-making workshop and camp, and the stories of 52 makers who create and gift jewelry on the playa, with photos of the makers and their work. In addition to presenting the history of playa jewelry, this book illuminates the heart of the Gift Economy.


IMG_4835

Art of Burning Man by NK Guy

Taschen, 2015. ISBN 978-3-8365-5007-9

NKGuy, writer and photographer, presents 16 years of art on the playa, from 1998 through 2014, in this oversize book. In addition to his beautiful photographs, his breadth of on-site experience, and his skill as a writer lends much depth to this book. Introduction by David Best; futureword by Marian Goodell.


The Soul on Fire by Victor Habachy

Imprimersonlivre.com, Paris  2015

“This year, I was one of those lucky people to attend Burning Man. Words can’t really describe this experience which was quite affecting me, as is the case for most of its participants. Instead, I will let my photographs speak for themselves. I hope, through these pages, that you will be joining me on this journey and that you will be leaving this book with a taste of love and freedom.” -Victor Habachy


IMG_4839Playa Dust – Collected Stories from Burning Man, edited by Samantha Krukowski

Black Dog Publishing, UK 2014   ISBN 978-1-908966-64-3

This compilation of essays by authors who are part of the universe of Burning Man engages the many ideas and landscapes on its periphery, revealing the complex nature and range of this annual pilgrimage to the Black Rock Desert.


Art on FireBurning Man: Art on Fire, by Jennifer Raiser

Race Point Publishing, 2014 ISBN 978-1937994372.

Well-curated survey of Burning Man art with beautiful photography by Sidney Erthal and Scott London, with an introduction by Larry Harvey.


Cargo Cult by Karen Kuehn

Rogue Publishing, 2014

Photographer Karen Kuehn went to Burning Man in 2013 and photographed burners all over Black Rock City, asking them the question, “What concept would you bring to a new world to better humanity?” Her color photographs and quotes from her subjects beautifully capture the art, people, and community spirit of Burning Man.


Dancing with the Playa MessiahDancing with the Playa Messiah: A 21-Year Burning Man Photo Album, by George P. Post

Dragon Fotografix, 2012   ISBN 978-0985528409

A unique historical chronicle, featuring nearly 1,000 of George’s photographs from 1991-2011.
Available in our Marketplace.


Desert to DreamDesert to Dream: A Dozen Years of Burning Man Photography, by Barbara Traub

Immedium, 2011  ISBN 978-1597020268.

Barb’s photos from 1994-2003, with an introduction by Les Blank and an epilogue by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
Available in our Marketplace.


architectureBlack Rock City, NV: The Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man, by Phillipe Glade

Real Paper Books, 2011   ISBN 978-0983742807.

A compendium of the various innovative architectural styles of Black Rock City through the years.

 


People of Burning ManThe People of Burning Man, by Julian Cash and Jackie Cash

Self-published, 2011  ISBN: 978-0615469546

A decade of Julian’s playful, inventive portraits taken in a white tent on the playa.


Tribes of Burning ManThe Tribes of Burning Man: How an Experimental City in the Desert Is Shaping the New American Counterculture, by Steven T. Jones

Consciousness, 2011   ISBN 978-1888729290.

The author’s journey through Burning Man’s culture from 2004 through 2011.


Radical Burning DesertRadical Burning Desert – Seven Years of Burning Man Photography 2004-2010, by Tomas Loewy and Peter Ruprecht

Cool.pool.books, 2011  ISBN 978-0982792766.

Over 200 pages of photos spanning seven years in the desert.


Theater in a Crowded FireTheater in a Crowded Fire: Ritual and Spirituality at Burning Man, by Lee Gilmore

University of California Press, 2010   ISBN 978-0520260887.

“A model of academic writing – intelligent, concise and readable.” (Reno News and Review)


On the Edge of UtopiaOn the Edge of Utopia, by Rachel Bowditch

Seagull Books, 2010   ISBN 978-190649725.

A study of burning Man’s new types of performance, installation art, community and invented rituals that bridge ancient traditions to the 21st century.


Enabling Creative ChaosEnabling Creative Chaos: The Organization Behind the Burning Man Event, by Katherine K. Chen

University of Chicago Press, 2009    ISBN 978-0226102382.

“Chen has succeeded in writing an engaging ethnography of Burning Man and skillfully developed its implications for organizational theory and managerial practice.”(Rakesh Khurana, Harvard Business School)


Burning Man LiveBurning Man Live: 13 Years of Piss Clear, Black Rock City’s Alternative Newspaper, by Adrian Roberts

RE/Search Publications, 2009   ISBN 78-1889307183.

All 34 issues of Piss Clear, BRC’s alternative newspaper, from 1995 to 2007, with an essay by Malderor and introduction by Brian Doherty.


Burning BookBurning Book: A Visual History of Burning Man, by Jessica Bruder

Gallery Books, 2007   ISBN 978-1416928249.

“This is pretty much like the best Burning Man scrapbook, ever…” (Piss Clear)


Art in the DesertBurning Man: Art in the Desert, by A. Leo Nash and Daniel Pinchbeck

Harry N. Abrams, 2007   ISBN 978-0810992900.

Black and white photographs and text by Leo Nash, introduction by Daniel Pinchbeck. ”A loving tribute to the art of Burning Man.”


Inspired MadnessInspired Madness: The Gifts of Burning Man, by Dale Pendell

Frog Books, 2006   ISBN 978-1583941720.

“In part a nonfiction discussion of the Burning Man festival, in part a poetic romp through Nevada’s Black Rock desert.”


This is Burning ManThis Is Burning Man: The Rise of a New American Underground, by Brian Doherty

Benbella Books, 2006   ISBN 978-1932100860.

“Doherty captures the extraordinary spirit of the festival – its whimsy, its danger, its strangeness, its absurdity – as well as the  outrageous genius of its artists and players.”


61OkqqzxdyLAfterBurn: Reflections on Burning Man, by Lee Gilmore and Mark Van Proyen

University of New Mexico Press, 2005   ISBN 978-0826333995.

Essays by the editors and Erik Davis, Robert V. Kozinets and John F. Sherry, Jr., Katherine Chen, JoAnne Northrup, Jeremy Hockett, Allegra Fortunati and Sarah M. Pike.


Drama in the DesertDrama in the Desert: The Sights and Sounds of Burning Man, by Holly Kreuter

Raised Barn Press, 2002   ISBN 978-0972178907.

Holly’s photographs, with essays and poems by Dave Eggers, Larry Harvey, Daniel Terdiman, Rob Brezny, Mark Van Proyen, and others. CD of photos included.
Available in our Marketplace.


41KS9NM3MNLBurning Man, by John Plunkett and Brad Wieners

Hardwired, 1997   ISBN 978-1888869132.

The first book about Burning Man, with essays by Janelle Brown, Erik Davis, Larry Harvey, Kevin Kelly and Bruce Sterling; images by Barbara Traub, Stewart Harvey, Geoffrey Clifford, Gerry Gropp, Kevin Kelly and others.


Some of the many books that include Burning Man:

 

THE IMMEASURABLE WORLD – Journeys in Desert Places by William Atkins

Doubleday New York, 2018. ISBN: 9780385539883

In the classic literary tradition of Bruce Chatwin and Geoff Dyer, a rich and exquisitely written account of travels in eight deserts on four continents that evokes the timeless allure of these remote and forbidding places. Chapter 6, “Matter Out of Place – The Black Rock Desert, USA” covers the author’s visit to Burning Man in 2015, and also includes much interesting history of the Black Rock Desert.

 

in-real-life-279x418In Real Life: Searching for Connection in High-Tech Times by Jon Mitchell

Parallax Press, 2015. ISBN: 978-1-937006-90-7

Written by Burning Man’s publisher, chapter 6, “How to Disconnect” includes an in-depth essay about the author’s experience of the intersecting worlds of Burning Man and the technology industry and a discourse on the principle of Immediacy.

 

IMG_4838PLANET LED by Teddy Lo

ORO Editions, 2014. ISBN 978-1-935935-51-3

Chapter 6: ART includes a section on Burning Man by Louis Brill and Christine Kristen (LadyBee) featuring the authors’ essay on light art at the event, including the work of Jared Gallardo, Mark Lottor, Tim Black, Scott Gasparian, Jeremy Lutes, Chris Schardt, Michael Light and David Rattray. Also featured in Chapter 6 are Leo Villareal and Anakin Koenig.

 

From Bitcoin to Burning Man and Beyond: The Quest for Identity and Autonomy in a Digital Society, edited by John Clippinger and David Bollier

ID3, 2014. ASIN B00M7BMT04.     Features a thoughtful essay about Burning Man by Peter Hirshberg

 

 

The Days of Anna Madrigal by Armistead Maupin

Harper Collins, 2014  ISBN 978-0-06-219624-8       Anna and her family go to Burning Man 2012.

 

 

 

Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society by Carrie Galbraith and John Law, edited by Kevin Evans

Tales Of The San Francisco Cacophony Society is a retelling in period images and words of the history of the most influential underground cabal that you have never heard of. Rising from the ashes of the mysterious and legendary Suicide Club, The Cacophony Society, at its zenith, hosted chapters in over a dozen major cities, and influenced much of what was once called the underground. Flash Mobs, Urban Exploration, and Culture Jamming are a few of the pop culture trends that Cacophony helped kick off. Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, Burning Man and Internet social networking powerhouse Laughing Squid were informed and inspired by Cacophony. Burning Man actually began as a Cacophony event, the Zone Trip in 1990.

 

 

The Good Life Lab by Wendy Jehanara Tremayne

Storey Publishing, 2013, ISBN 978-1-61212-101-7

Tired of the high-pressure life they lead in New York City, Wendy Jehanara Tremayne and her husband Mikey Sklar migrate to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, where they build, invent, forage, and grow all they need for themselves. Wendy was a Burning Man volunteer and writes about how her experiences in Black Rock City motivated her to be self-sufficient and to live off the grid; there are references to Burning Man throughout the book.

 

Time – Great Places Of History: Civilization’s 100 Most Important Sites, an Illustrated Journey

Time, 2011. # 100. ISBN-13: 978-1603201964
Burning Man: Photo of Big Rig Jig, photo of Crude Awakening figures and short text.

 

 

Spectacle, by David Rockwell with Bruce Mau

Phaidon, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-0714845746.
12 page chapter on Burning Man, with 8 photos, essays by the author and an interview with Larry Harvey.

 

 

The Visionary State – A Journey through California’s Spiritual Landscape, by Erik Davis, with photographs by Michael Rauner

Chronicle Books, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-0811848350
6 page chapter, Temple Burn, on David Best’s temples and their spiritual significance at the event.

 

 

Black Rock, By Peter Goin and Paul F. Starrs

University of Nevada Press, 2005. ISBN-13: 978-0874175912
A chapter on Burning Man and several photos throughout the book.

 

 

Time, Space and the Market: Retroscapes Rising, by Steven Brown and John F. Sherry

ME Sharpe Inc., 2003. ISBN 978-0765610133.
Chapter 2: Bespectacled and Bespoken by John F. Sherry Jr.; Chapter 11: The Moment of Infinite Fire by Robert V. Kozinets

 

 

Yoga for People Who Can’t Be Bothered To Do It, by Geoff Dyer

Vintage Books, 2003. ASIN: B008AURBUO.
A witty travel book, including a chapter, The Zone, on Geoff’s trip to Burning Man in 1999.

 

 

Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism, by Daniel Pinchbeck

Broadway Books, August 2002. ISBN 0767907426.
Chapter 12: a Cybernetic Pulse Engine and chapter 13: Dr. Megavolt, take place at Burning Man 2000 and 2001.

 

 

 

Stories

Burning Man culture is the sum of the experiences of the people who take part in it. We’ve collected a diversity of perspectives on this grand experiment from participants and observers alike. The Burning Man community grows, and its culture spreads, through storytelling. We are all storytellers. Show us your stuff!

The Jackrabbit Speaks

The Jackrabbit Speaks doesn’t suck. (Photo by Steven Blumenfeld)

The Jackrabbit Speaks (JRS) is Burning Man’s official newsletter, sent to hundreds of thousands of subscribers. In addition to year-round information about the growing community and culture of Burning Man, it includes important up-to-date information about preparing for Black Rock City. We send posts no more than weekly, but usually bi-weekly(ish), and a little more frequently as the event nears.

Subscribe

Fill out this form to subscribe to the Jackrabbit Speaks:

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Submit a Post Request

Want to submit a post request for consideration? Fill out this form.

Explore the JRS Archives

See our archive of past issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I ensure the Jackrabbit Speaks isn't getting stuck in my spam trap?

A. Look up and follow the instructions on how to configure your junk mail folder or spam trap for your particular email service provider. Make sure that jackrabbitspeaks@burningman.org is allowed (or white-listed).
Q. How do I change which email address I'm subscribed with?

A. Unsubscribe your old email address, and subscribe your new one.

Q. How do I get my announcement posted to the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter?

 

A. Fill out our Post Request Submission Form, and the rabbits will consider your post for inclusion.

Q. Can I submit a post request by emailing you guys?

A. Nope. Well, technically you CAN, but it will be ignored and deleted. For real. So don’t. Use the form.

Q. What is an appropriate post for the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter?

A. The JRS is the primary mouthpiece for the Burning Man community. There are currently more than 220,000 subscribers on the list, and the last thing we want to do is waste their precious inbox space and attention span. Thus, we only include posts that are: of broad and diverse interest, relevance, and importance to that audience; accessible to Burners worldwide; hosted on a reliable platform (if online); accepted by our discerning rabbit editors. We reserve the right to post or not post anything.

Q. Will you post my fundraiser?

A. While there are a great deal of worthy Burner causes to support, we only have the capacity to publish projects that will have an impact on the Burning Man community at large, or ones that, in our opinion, are of special interest to the whole community. If your project doesn’t quite fit that description, consider submitting to your local Regional Network contact, or , you are welcome to submit your fundraiser for inclusion on our Support a Project page.

Q. What types of posts are appropriate for your Support a Project category?

A. We use this section to promote select fundraisers (see above), and call-outs for support through participation, material donations and volunteering for your project. Alternatively, we encourage you to post your project needs (or skills you’re offering) on our Spark system.

Q. Will you post my local event in Events & Happenings?

A. Since we write for a global audience, we unfortunately cannot share very regional, local, in-person events unless they are both accessible to our community around the globe and reflective of Burning Man’s culture and impact in the world. If your event doesn’t match that description, we encourage you to submit to your local Regional Network contact for inclusion in their lists, or hop onto the Spark system and find people looking to connect and collaborate across all fields of endeavor.

Q. Will you post my virtual event in Events & Happenings?

A. Maybe! If your virtual event is reflective of Burning Man culture in the world, adheres to the 10 Principles, and is accessible to participants in all timezones around the globe, feel free to submit it for possible inclusion in the Jackrabbit Speaks. And if you have an upcoming live, virtual event that you’d like to share even more broadly with the Burning Man community, Kindling could be just the place. Find out if your event qualifies by visiting the Kindling events portal. Events featured on Kindling are also routinely shared in the Jackrabbit Speaks.

Q. What types of posts are appropriate for your Participate category?

A. We use this section to promote the wide variety of on-playa and off-playa participation opportunities in our community. We love seeing the rich mix of offerings, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Black Rock Arts Foundation

BRAF-Logo-blackThe Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF) was founded by several of the partners who founded and produce Burning Man, with the mission to support and promote community, interactive art and civic participation.

The foundation received its 501(c)3 status in November of 2001. In 2014, BRAF joined with Black Rock City’s Art Department to create Burning Man Arts, dedicated to facilitating art everywhere around the world, including Black Rock City.

In 2014, BRAF joined with Black Rock City’s Art Department to create Burning Man Arts, dedicated to facilitating art everywhere around the world, including Black Rock City.

Black Rock City has created a unique venue for art, and has rekindled one of art’s most valuable functions: connecting community members in creation, curiosity, and wonderment. At Burning Man, we observe how art brings people together, inspires participation and engenders meaningful connections between individuals. The art experienced at Burning Man invites individuals to interact with both the work itself and with their community at large.

BRAF was established to bring this modality of creating and coexisting with art to the rest of the world, with the vision that community-driven, inclusive, and interactive art is vital to a thriving culture. Through its Grants to Artists and Civic Arts Program, BRAF has worked with communities around the world to collaboratively produce innovative, relevant and pioneering works of public art that build community and empower individuals — and it will continue to do so as part of Burning Man Arts.

Black Rock Arts Foundation Founders

Harley K. DuBois
Marian Goodell
Larry Harvey
Will Roger
Crimson Rose

Black Rock Arts Foundation Board Members

Dave Aiazzi
Christopher Bently
Amber Marie Bently
David Best
Tracy Ericson Burton
Rachel Carpenter
Christian ‘Dicky’ Davies
Breanna DeGeere
Harley K. DuBois
Marian Goodell
Terry Gross
Freddy Hahne
Larry Harvey
Mark Higbie
Robin Hyerstay
Drea Lester
Phil Linhares
Nick Morgan
John Mueller
JoAnne Northrup
Joe Olivier
Christina Pettigrew
Rae Richman
Will Roger
Crimson Rose
Alix Rosenthal
Mark Sinclair
Jeremy Sugerman
Warren Trezevant
Mark Van Proyen

Black Rock Arts Foundation Staff

Melissa Alexander
Jessica “Nurse” Bobier
Kristin Hale Chamblee
Joe Meschede
Tomas McCabe
Eli Peterson
Leslie Pritchett
Josie Schimke

Black Rock Arts Foundation Advisory Board Members

Melissa Alexander
Rebecca Anders
Darius Anderson
John Perry Barlow
Melissa Barron
Brian Batsuba
Christopher Bently
Susan Bernosky
David Best
Jessica Bobier
Loren Carpenter
Zachary Coffin
Bill Codding
Jeremy Crandell
David Martin Darst
Erik Davis
Carmel Dunlap
Alan Eyzaguirre
Peter Durand
Linda Gass
Marian Goodell
Justin Gunn
Dana Harrison
Jack Haye
Mark Higbie
Peter Hudson
Dorka Keehn
David Koren
Laura Kimpton
Alexander Lloyd
Phil Linhares
Carmen Mauk
Affinity Mingle
Kay Morrison
Nabiel Musleh
Geoffrey Nelson
Peter Norton
Joe Olivier
Chris Paine
Maria Partridge
Mark Pincus
Bob Pittman
Jennifer Raiser
Kate Raudenbush
Rae Richman
Maureen Ryan
Peter Schurman
David Silverman
Aaron Sosnic
Jane Sullivan
Jack Sylvan
Mark Van Proyen
Leo Villereal
Kurt Wallace Martin
Mike Wilson
Deborah Windham
Ann Wolfe

Black Rock City Honoraria Program

The application process for our 2023 grant cycle will open in mid-October. Check back for details.

RadiaLumia by FoldHaus Collective (Photo by Eleanor Preger)
Every year Burning Man Arts issues a small number of grants for the purpose of partially funding artworks for installation on the open playa at the Burning Man event in Black Rock City. We look for work that stands on its own as a physical, sculptural installation, independent of performances or activities.
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).

It’s important to know that making artwork for Burning Man is very challenging, due to the difficulties inherent in creating anything in a harsh wilderness setting with unpredictable weather, high winds, and lots of playa dust. You’re definitely going to want to know what you’re getting into (and for this reason, we recommend that you attend Burning Man once before applying for funding). Read up on what it takes to attend, and make art for Burning Man here:

Being a Black Rock City Honorarium artist requires a significant time investment, including several mandatory meetings and the ability to adhere to firm deadlines. Please thoroughly read What to Expect before submitting a Letter of Intent.

General Grant Program FAQs

What is the process for applying for a grant?
The first step is to submit a Letter of Intent. For the 2022 grant cycle, the LOI opens on October 14, 2021 and submissions are due on November 16, 2021 at 5pm Pacific Time. LOI notifications will be sent on December 16, 2021 and selected applicants will have until January 19, 2022 to submit a full proposal. Late submissions, or submissions that have not gone through the LOI process, will not be considered. We will only review one version of a proposal, so make sure it’s your final version. If you have more than one concept you’d like us to consider, you are welcome to submit more than one LOI, and then potentially submit more than one art grant proposal if your LOIs are accepted.

What are your criteria for awarding grants?
Our selection criteria include:

  • Interactivity with participants and the environment. Interactive art transforms participants into active contributors to the creative process. A truly interactive piece is completed by participants’ engagement with it. Interaction may be achieved in a variety of ways. The artwork can be activated by people or nature, physically entered, can impart a gift or receive a gift, can act as a social environment or an environment for play. Be prepared for unexpected forms of interaction with your artwork. Occasionally, just encountering an artwork can be interactive if it’s spread out over a field of space to be explored. Some art objects are amazing enough on their own just to be perceived, but we’ve found that almost any artwork can incorporate an interactive aspect with some planning and creativity. 
  • Visual appeal. We value visual impact and beauty. The installation must be an artwork in and of itself. If you are proposing to install an interactive concept or activity that will be housed within a larger structure, the structure itself must be visually appealing as well.
  • The impact of your art. We want as many participants to see and enjoy your art as possible. This does not mean we only fund large art–in fact, we seek to fund a wide range of scale, complexity, and creative expression. We encourage low-tech solutions and we delight in simple but clever concepts. And, we select installations that can have a large impact. We prefer to fund installations that allow more than a few people at a time to interact, ideally during both day and night.
  • Diversity and sustainability. Burning Man Project cares deeply about Radical Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity (R.I.D.E.) and environmental sustainability. We are interested in supporting projects and teams that reflect these values.
  • The thoroughness of your proposal. We will not consider incomplete proposals. If you don’t submit detailed information, for example a thorough budget or descriptive images, it is difficult for the grant committee to fully understand or evaluate your project.
Who is eligible to apply to the grant program?
  • Individuals, artist collectives or groups, and established 501(c)(3) organizations are all eligible and welcome to apply.
  • 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.
  • We recommend that you attend Burning Man at least once before applying, but it’s not required; we do fund some artists who have not yet been to Black Rock City.
What kind of art do you fund?
The following types of art are eligible for an honorarium grant:
  • Sculptural 3D artwork
  • Art related to the theme, and art not related to the theme
  • Mobile art (sculptures that move and do not act as a mutant vehicle)
What kind of art does not get funded?
The following will not receive an honorarium art grant:
  • Performances, activities or workshops
  • DJs and amplified sound
  • Domes, tents, teepees, stages or prefabricated commercial structures
  • Artwork containing beds or other sleeping spaces
  • Murals
  • Mutant bikes
  • Mutant vehicles
  • Theme camps, or art installations placed in theme camps
  • Anything illegal in the state of Nevada or prohibited by federal law. While Burning Man is a private event, we are still governed by the laws of the state of Nevada and the event takes place on federal land.
How many grants are awarded?
Approximately 70 projects per year receive an honorarium. Note that Burning Man does not have an art endowment, so nearly all of the art you will witness at Burning Man is entirely paid for by participants themselves. Most proposals submitted to us will not receive funding.
I’d love to have my installation in my camp and get an honorarium for it. Is that possible?

No. We fund art that is placed on the open playa, so as many citizens of Black Rock City as possible can enjoy it.

Who reviews Honoraria applications?
We have an art grant committee that has a long history of being involved with Burning Man’s annual grant cycles and award processes. This committee has extensive personal experience in creating and managing art on playa. For 2022 we look forward to diversifying our committee membership to better reflect Burning Man Project’s commitment to Radical Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity (R.I.D.E.).
If I don’t submit an LOI, is there any other opportunity for me to receive funding for my BRC art?
No. You must submit an LOI by the deadline to be considered for funding.
Does my art installation have a better chance of being funded if it's related to the theme?
No. We welcome proposals for art installations that are related to the theme or not related to the theme. If your concept isn’t related to the theme, please don’t stretch to find a way to connect it to the theme.
Where can I find a full list of the questions on the LOI and full proposal, to understand what’s required in the application?
Please visit How to Submit an LOI to find a link to the preview of the questions on the Letter of Intent. A preview of the full proposal is available as well.
If I am invited to submit a full proposal, how likely is it that I'll be funded?
This is difficult to define. Historically Burning Man has received about 700+ Letters of Intent and has funded about 70 projects per year, so approximately 10% of submissions are selected to receive funding.

Grant Program Timing FAQs

When may I apply for a grant?
You must first submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) if you’d like to apply for funding for an art installation at BRC. The LOI process for 2022 opens in the fall of 2021. There is a timeline available here.
When will I know if I’ve been awarded a grant?
If you have submitted an LOI and are invited to submit a full proposal and then submit the full proposal, we will notify you by early March. If you are awarded an honorarium, we’ll ask that you not share the news widely until we release a public announcement several days later.

LOI-specific FAQs

Why does Burning Man Arts use an LOI process?
Submitting a full grant proposal can be time consuming. The LOI is a much shorter application, which will save everyone time and effort. 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.
When is the deadline to submit an LOI?
The last day you may submit an LOI is November 16, 2021 at 5:00pm Pacific Time. We strongly recommend submitting before the day of the deadline. If you have technical issues submitting on the day of the deadline, we may not be able to assist you and we aren’t able to make exceptions to the deadline. Note that late LOIs are not accepted.
May I submit more than one Letter of Intent (LOI)?
Yes! Our application system allows you to submit multiple LOIs if you have more than one project you are interested in proposing.
Do I need to have a Burner Profile to submit an LOI?
Yes. Our art grant application portal is accessed through Burner Profiles. 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. Please note that we cannot accept grant applications via email; you must first submit an LOI via Burner Profiles and, if accepted, then submit your grant application via the link in your LOI acceptance email.
Will I have a chance to include images with my LOI?
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. Your images can be as simple or complex as you need them to be; the goal is to help the Grant Committee fully understand your proposed concept. If you have a maquette, please submit a photo of it. We only accept physical maquettes at the full proposal stage, and even then we recommend submitting a photo or video of it.
Can I start the LOI application and then come back to it later?
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’ll get an email with a unique link that will bring you back to your LOI where you left off so you can come back to your draft application 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.
By submitting an LOI, am I obligated to create a full proposal if invited?
No. We understand that circumstances change, and you are certainly allowed to withdraw your LOI or decline the invitation to submit a full proposal.
What percentage of LOIs will be invited to submit a full proposal?
In the 2020 grant cycle we received 743 LOIs and 355 completed 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 funding a full range and collection of interactive, engaging artworks.
What can I expect if my LOI is accepted and I'm invited to submit a full proposal?
Once you are notified on December 16, 2021 you will receive access to the online application form. The deadline for full proposals will be on January 19, 2022 at 5:00pm Pacific Time.

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.

Financial FAQs

If I receive an honorarium, how much will I receive?
This varies with particular projects. However, grants normally pay for only a portion of production costs. Artists should be ready to seek out and show proof of other methods and sources of funding. As a matter of policy, we also prefer that you develop various kinds of non-monetary or in-kind resources to help support your project. We believe that such an effort on your part encourages collaboration and cooperation within our extended community.
How much money should I ask for?
Our annual budget for art on playa, including the Temple Grant, is $1.3 million. We typically fund approximately 70 honoraria art projects. Grants over $20,000 are rare. Due to the number of proposals we receive we are not able to negotiate potential changes for each application.

The full proposal form includes a link to a Budget Template which will help you articulate and calculate all the possible costs of creating your project, as well as provide you with a clear understanding of which expenses are eligible for Honoraria funding.

We strongly recommend that you request partial funding, since Burning Man typically funds 40-60% of the total budget. You’ll have an opportunity on the application to specify the amount. For example: tell us that your project will cost $40K and that you’re asking us for $20K, and that you’ll fundraise the balance. Another option is to provide budget tiers on the full proposal, for example, a small, medium, and large version of your project at corresponding prices. Please be clear what each tier would include.

What expenses are eligible for funding?
The Budget Template we provide explicitly lists which expense categories are eligible and ineligible. For quick reference, here are some general expense categories and their eligibility:

ELIGIBLE:

  • Materials and supplies, including tools, consumables, hardware, fuel, and Leave No Trace supplies
  • Transportation of your art installation to and from the playa
  • Speciality services such as welding, laser cutting, etc.
  • Build space rental

INELIGIBLE:

  • Burning Man tickets
  • Artist and crew flights/transportation
  • Crew food
  • Camp supplies
  • Artist fees
  • Ground anchors (we provide these, but you are required to provide hardware and cabling to secure your piece to the ground anchors for stability)
  • Post-event expenses such as storage
  • Legal expenses such as LLC formation or insurance

My project is easily scalable. I'm not sure what level of funding to request. How should I proceed?
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 using the tier options in the full grant proposal.
Should I include the cost of event tickets in my proposal?
If awarded a grant, we will provide tickets for you and your core crew to attend the event. We’ll work closely with you to identify how many are needed. There is no need for you to include ticket costs in your proposal.
What about including the cost of fuel for my flame effects and generators?
It’s very important that you include the estimated cost for fuel for any flame effects or generators used as a part of your installation. The estimated number of gallons for these items should be part of your budget. Please use cost estimates for fuel that relate to rates normally experienced in the time of year that Burning Man occurs — for instance, the cost of gasoline typically increases in the month of August.

*Note that there is NOT a power grid available for honoraria artists to use; you must supply your own power source.

Can the expected budget change if/when we submit a full proposal?
We know concepts and budgets can evolve from inception to actual grant proposal, so we understand if there is a small change in funding request from the LOI to the full proposal, however significant budget changes are not acceptable. You will be asked to provide a detailed budget in the full art grant application and we have an optional budget template that can help you fully articulate your expenses.
When and how will I receive money?
This will vary slightly from project to project, based on when each artist submits certain deliverables. You will be asked to sign a contract prior to receiving any funding. In general, artists receive an initial payment of 55% of the total award within 2 weeks of signing the contract, and a second payment of 30% of the grant 30 days after the first payment. We withhold a performance deposit (typically 15%) until after the event to ensure that you comply with Leave No Trace and to serve as a credit account to cover the cost of certain resources you may purchase on playa such as water or fuel. Note that the funds you receive for your honorarium are taxable and require a 1099 tax form that we will provide to you.

Event FAQs

Who is responsible for keeping my installation safe?
Burning Man Project believes strongly in Radical Self-reliance; it’s one of our 10 Principles. Ensuring your artwork does not physically harm anyone is a key responsibility of the artist. Rangers are on playa to help participants, not guard art, so it’s important that the artist creates safeguards for maintaining their art.
I want to burn my art piece at Burning Man. That’s guaranteed, right?
We know it’s Burning Man, but it is not guaranteed that you can burn your artwork at the event. There are a limited number of slots for Level 1 Open Fire (sculptures burned in place on playa) burn events, due to the environmental implications and the resources needed to manage each burn. 

If you are interested in burning your project, on the full proposal you can indicate that and share your alternate plans if you don’t burn the piece, including your plans for disassembly and removal from the playa post-event.

Do I need to buy insurance for my art installation on playa?
Burning Man Project does not require insurance. However, some artists have sought to obtain insurance to cover their work on playa. We do not yet have any information about what might be available for the upcoming event cycle and we will notify you if we become aware of relevant opportunities.

Note that this is different from obtaining insurance to cover your volunteers and/or build space pre-playa; please consult with your insurance agent or broker regarding these types of policies.
Does Burning Man provide heavy machinery I can use?
Although we prefer that you remain completely self-sufficient, our Art Support Services team can assist you with heavy equipment if needed. We work closely with artists to identify what equipment works best and what’s available.
Should I take pictures of my artwork?
Yes! You will need to submit at least one final image of your work on playa. At the event, hundreds of photographers, amateur and professional, may also photograph your work. These appear in our Image Gallery and in the art listings on our website. Burning Man is also covered by an international array of media. Burning Man Arts and the staff at Media Mecca help connect these journalists with artists.
Can I do art sales on playa?
Black Rock City is a fertile meeting ground for artists and patrons of the arts. Although vending is strictly disallowed at the event, artists at Burning Man are free to encounter potential clients for their work in an environment free of agents, dealers or any of the other professional intermediaries who normally interpose themselves in the creative process. Burning Man is a radically unmediated environment and can yield unique opportunities.
How does my art get placed on playa? How do I find my location?
We work with artists to identify where ideally their art installation should be placed on the open playa. We strive to support the artist’s goals and place their artwork where it best serves their artistic vision, while also taking into consideration the landscape and the full experience of participants. Ultimately placement is at the discretion of the Art Department. Once you arrive on playa, our volunteer staff will let you know your placement and take you to its assigned location.
 

Other FAQs

What other benefits or help can I receive from Burning Man?
Aside from the essential spiritual satisfaction gained from creating your work, as well as showing it and sharing it with tens of thousands of very enthusiastic people, Burning Man can also furnish you with other opportunities. We are willing to provide you with support materials if you wish to approach outside agencies or suppliers for assistance. Installations, funded or not, will be featured on our website and other social media  and in our Black Rock City gate handout, the WhatWhereWhen guide. And when you receive an Honorarium, you join a thriving community of artists who share resources, guidance, and advice.
What kind of contract with Burning Man Project will I need to sign if my art installation is funded?
Please read more about What to Expect Upon Receiving a BRC Honorarium. Specifically around the contract, we reviewed and revised our artist contract in 2014 with the creation of Burning Man Arts; you can read more about those changes here.
I have a technical question or problem with the form. Can you help me?
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 24 through January 1 and we may be unable to respond to inquiries at that time.

What are the technical requirements for submitting a form? Can I submit it from my phone?
Unfortunately, we’re not 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.
Who do I contact with further questions?
After fully reading the FAQs and other art materials on this website, you can send any other questions to artgrants@burningman.org. Please note that the Burning Man office will be closed from December 24 through January 1 and we are unable to respond to inquiries during that time.

If you are interested in applying for a grant, please see our Letter of Intent submission guidelines.

Civic Arts Program

The Civic Arts Program is Burning Man Project’s engine for generating more engaged citizenship, more livable communities, and more participatory art in public spaces around the world. It’s the way we share a crucial idea we first learned in Black Rock City: There is no line between artistry and citizenship.

The Dreamer by Pepe Ozan in Golden Gate Park, 2007 (Photo by Melitta Tchaicovsky)

Civic Arts takes the metaphor of Black Rock City — a temporary, experimental redesign of city life that inspires us and gives us practice sharing tools, lessons and possibilities — and applies it to stimulate new projects and partnerships to try to make more places like that.

We work to generate opportunities for people to connect with the spirit of their aspirations for the places where they live, cultivating there the same sense in which we refer to Black Rock City as “home”.

This section contains detailed information on all Burning Man Civic Arts projects.

Current and Recent Projects

The Temple at Patricia’s Green by David Best, San Francisco, 2015 (photo by Gareth Gooch)

 

More About the Program

Burning Man Project, a nonprofit organization, is best known for its annual event in Black Rock City, where over 30 years of community-engaged experience has led to remarkable capabilities in collective art processes, increased connectivity through creative interventions in public space, and a self-reliant and ingenuity-based culture. That work, incubated in Black Rock City, is spreading worldwide, suggesting many possibilities for creating inviting civic spaces that enhance livability.

In 2005, the Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF) initiated the Civic Arts Program as new model for public art placement. It was born when Mayor Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Arts Commission encouraged BRAF to collaborate with the San Francisco’s Hayes Valley community and artist David Best to create an interactive Temple in the mode of the ones Best created at Burning Man. The Hayes Valley Temple quickly became a cherished focal point for the community, providing a beautiful space that inspired connection, dialog and civic pride. The Temple became our model of how artists, city officials and community members can collaborate to create meaningful public art work — art that addresses the specific needs of, reflects the unique character of, and serves a connective function for the community. BRAF became a program of Burning Man Project in 2014.

Since then, Burning Man Civic Arts projects and collaborations have blossomed into the many projects you’ll find in this section, and there are exciting new projects in the works.

Burning Man Arts

Through art grants, mentorship, and art management programs, Burning Man Arts supports the creation of impactful, interactive artwork around the world and in Black Rock City, home to the seminal Burning Man event. The mission of Burning Man Arts is to change the paradigm of art from a commodified object to an interactive, participatory, shared experience of creative expression.

Burning Man Arts acts on the belief that community-driven, inclusive and interactive art is vital to a thriving culture. Get inspired and get involved!

The Culture

A unique and distinctive culture emerges from the Burning Man experience. Rooted in the values expressed by the 10 Principles, this culture is manifested around the globe through art, communal effort, and innumerable individual acts of self-expression. To many, it is a way of life.

Larry Harvey

The Founders (Photo by Karen Kuehn)

 

Any thoughtful exploration of Burning Man’s philosophical and historical roots must consider the ideas of Larry Harvey and his five partners in Black Rock City, LLC: Harley Dubois, Marian Goodell, Michael Mikel, Will Roger Peterson, and Crimson Rose. This group collaboratively led Burning Man from 1998 to 2013, when Burning Man became a nonprofit. These days, each of the six founders have varying levels of involvement in the operations of Burning Man and their collective influence continues to be felt in many ways throughout the community. In this section we have assembled some representative writings, interviews, and speaking engagements. Additional writings can be found in Historical Publications.

Black Rock City History

Black Rock City 2009 (Photo by Scott London)

Black Rock City 2009 (Photo by Scott London)

You could easily spend hours, if not days, digging through the Burning Man historical archives. Of course, these are mere artifacts — written and photographic echos — of the deep and rich cultural history of a community that can only be truly understood through the collective experience of its participants. But barring that, this collection serves as a solid starting point … and there are some amazing things to be explored.

There are the annual event archives from 1986 to the present day; the Afterburn Reports, which chronicle the events and activities that went into creating Burning Man each year; the MOOP Map, which show the results of our Leave No Trace efforts through the years; Census Reports which show the demographics of our community; Black Rock City Maps, mapping the evolution of our city’s layout; and our archive of theme camps, the cultural fabric of Black Rock City.

The other key part of Black Rock City’s story is our Art History.

Global Art Grants


Burning Man Project greatly values the Global Art Grants program. However, with the dynamic nature of the current times, we are postponing an announcement on the program status until we’re able to have a better sense of when we can reignite the program. We look forward to sharing an update about the 2022 grant cycle as soon as possible.

We have created a new email discussion list where RFPs and other opportunities for artists are shared on Fridays. To join that list, please email .

 

Mission Statement 

Grantee “The Music Box” by the New Orleans Airlift featuring Swoon, 2010. (Photo by Tod Seelie)

This program funds highly interactive, community-driven works of art that prioritize community involvement in their development, execution and display. We fund art that is accessible to the public, civic in scope and prompts the viewer to act. We like art that can be experienced in more ways than visually – art that is touched, heard or experienced as well as viewed. We prioritize funding art that involves the audience in its conception, creation and presentation. This program’s impact is driven by a willingness to take risks and be the first to give a grant to a project or to work with artists and projects that other funders might avoid, as well as a focus on community-driven processes that have effects far beyond the artwork itself.

 

About Burning Man Global Art Grants

Burning Man has a long and rich history of granting seed money to new and emerging artists around the world. To date, we’ve granted over $950,000 to help fund 202 projects in 34 U.S. states and 34 countries.

As a nonprofit, part of the mission of Burning Man Project is to facilitate and extend the culture of Burning Man into the larger world, and one way we achieve this is by providing a spark of funding for artists to bring interactive, community-driven creations to locations all over the globe.

Global Art Grants support artists and makers who create art outside of the annual Burning Man event in the desert because, as Caveat Magister so nicely put it, “Burning Man isn’t a ‘place you put art’ – but a ‘context in which art is created.’“ It really is true you don’t have to have been to Black Rock City to be a Burner, and the artworks, art spaces and events created with the support of the Global Art Grant Program are a great example of this.

 

Global Art Grants Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Will this grant fund art destined for Black Rock City?
A. No, this grant program DOES NOT fund any work for the annual Burning Man event in Black Rock City, NV. A separate LOI is needed for requesting an honorarium for an artwork at Black Rock City. More information about the BRC Honoraria program is available here. While we have given grants to projects that have also appeared in Black Rock City, in these rare cases the Global Art Grant funds were used for off-playa display of interactive artworks only.

Q. Will this grant fund art destined solely for a Burning Man Regional event?
A. No, this grant program does not fund projects destined solely for a Regional event. One of the core goals of the Global Art Grant program is to move art into public spaces, where everyone has access to view the artwork free of charge. We are unable to fund projects that do not fit this criteria.

Q. What types of projects does the Global Art Grant Program fund?
A. We support projects that envision creative ways to increase interactivity and community engagement. We look for projects that not only allow audiences to participate with the final product, but ones in which the community itself drives the conception and creation of the project. We fund projects by artists and makers who have brilliant, perhaps even wacky, ideas who have yet to find anyone else willing to take a chance on them.

Q. What are your criteria for awarding grants?
A. Please review our funding criteria here.

Q. How many grants are awarded?
A. We typically fund around 15-20 projects a year and receive as many as 300 Letters of Intent (LOI).

Q. How much money should I ask for?
A. Our grants range between $500 and $10,000, and we most commonly award between $3000 and $6000. Many of our grantees receive funding from other sources, aside from this grant. Applying for partial funding or a matching grant to funds you’ve received from other sources is encouraged. While we typically fund only a portion of a project, we do occasionally fund 100% of a project’s budget.

Q. What should I expect if I’m awarded a grant?
A. The payment schedule for each grant is specific to the project and based on the timeline submitted in the application. Burning Man is committed to working with each artist and/or artist group to arrive at a schedule that best suits the needs of the artist(s) and the project. Usually, grants are awarded in two or three payments over the course of approximately a year, with the first payment sent on the signing of a grant agreement and each subsequent payment being contingent on a report of the project’s progress.

Q. Do I, or my organization, need to have a fiscal agent or fiscal sponsor?
A. Because the Burning Man Project is a 501(c)(3) public charity itself, neither individuals nor organizations need a fiscal sponsor to receive this grant.

Q. What is fiscal sponsorship?
A. Fiscal sponsorship is an activity by which a public charity facilitates tax-deductible donations to a project by providing financial and some programmatic oversight of projects that serve a public benefit but do not have their own non-profit status. This allows participating artists to receive tax-deductible contributions and potentially open up other sources of funding, hopefully easing the burden of fundraising.

For more information on fiscal sponsorship, visit the National Network of Fiscal Sponsors and the Fiscal Sponsorship Directory.

Q. Do awardees have to pay taxes on Global Art Grants?
A. Grant awards such as this are often considered taxable income to the recipient, at least in any amount in excess of the project’s costs. We will send both you and the IRS a form 1099 documenting the grant payments. We cannot offer any tax advice or information. Please consult a tax professional if you have any tax questions.

The 10 Principles of Burning Man

Burning Man co-founder Larry Harvey wrote the 10 Principles in 2004 as guidelines for the newly-formed Regional Network. They were crafted not as a dictate of how people should be and act, but as a reflection of the community’s ethos and culture as it had organically developed since the event’s inception.

Radical Inclusion
Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.

Gifting
Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.

Decommodification
In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

Radical Self-reliance
Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on their inner resources.

Join the conversation in the 10 Principles blog series.
Join the conversation in the 10 Principles blog series.

Radical Self-expression
Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.

Communal Effort
Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.

Civic Responsibility
We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Leaving No Trace
Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.

Participation
Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.

Immediacy
Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.