Participation is at the heart of the Burning Man experience in Black Rock City and around the world. Cultivating civic engagement is an objective of all of our programs. In the Global Network, we train community leaders to organize and instigate civic projects, while Burning Man Arts engages communities with opportunities for art experiences. For the annual event in Black Rock City, Black Rock Ranger training teaches participants to be civic negotiators and community problem solvers.
In 2014, we began the process of integrating Burners Without Borders (BWB) more deeply into the Burning Man organization. There are 17 active BWB chapters across the United States. Since its founding in 2005, BWB has cultivated 123 grassroots initiatives in 11 countries, primarily focusing on civic involvement and disaster relief — from fostering entrepreneurship in Haiti with marginalized artists, to developing an award-winning alternative currency system for Kenya’s poorest. BWB also encourages community involvement through two microgrant programs which offer small honoraria to jumpstart promising initiatives that make a difference.
By incorporating the important work of BWB (see this awesome infographic) into Burning Man Project, which was its most recent fiscal sponsor, we are ensuring the continuity and success of an organization that transforms civic responsibility and community service into practice. The combined learnings and resources of the two organizations offers opportunities for the civic engagement track at Burning Man Project to grow and offer further assistance to civic projects around the world.
In 2014 we also supported the expansion of Freespace — a nonprofit initiative to temporarily repurpose underutilized urban space for skill sharing, collaboration, and building community in underserved areas — to six cities around the world.
Thank you to all the people who engage, participate and work tirelessly for the betterment of our world!