Burning Man Project’s inspiration comes from many sources. One of our most enthusiastic supporters, David Darst, recently sent along this encouragement. Darst is an avid Burner and author, and head of Morgan Stanley’s Investment Strategy division. He advises:
• Be kind to everybody you meet.
• You can’t live a perfect day until you do something for someone who will not be able to repay you.
• Listen if you want to be heard.
We love how simple and profound these admonitions are. And they are completely relevant to our mission of sharing Burning Man culture in the world. Here are some of the ways we are taking Darst’s ideas to heart.
Our mission is enormous, but our budget is not. As a start-up nonprofit organization, our resources are limited to what we can raise with charitable donations. So we are making hard choices about what we can reasonably accomplish. We are focusing our attention on three areas where experience has shown have the biggest impact with our volunteers and funds: Civic Involvement, Education, and the Arts. As a nonprofit, these efforts are not designed to be repaid, but refined and multiplied.
We are teaming up with the Black Rock Arts Foundation in Fernley, Nevada and the Downtown Project in Las Vegas. Locally, we are paying close attention to our neighborhood at Sixth and Market, working with like-minded nonprofits on a children’s art initiative, volunteering to serve meals to the homeless on Valentine’s Day, and collaborating with One King’s Lane, a local tech startup with shared values.
And we are eager to listen. Wherever Burners and idea-makers are gathering, we are firing up the tea kettle and asking for a chat. Right now, we are collecting ideas at KiwiBurn in New Zealand and connecting with friends Down Under. We are trading ideas with enlightened businesses, checking in with thought leaders in London and New York and Istanbul, soliciting best practices from nonprofits and foundations. If you have some inspiration or ideas for us, we’re more than ready to hear them, learn from them, and share them, too.