News + Stories

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Burning Man’s Profit to Nonprofit Transition Draws Fire

ignite.me‘s discussion of Burning Man’s Profit to Nonprofit Transition.


Scarf it Down with Burning Man Project

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Burning Man Project is offering an awesome grey cotton scarf to thank $150 donors to its end-of-year fundraising campaign. It’s a really soft, cuddly, stretchy, organic cotton fabric lovingly screened with the BMP skyline logo.

It’s versatile, unisex, machine washable. Its heathered, dark grey color navigates the line between goth/fashion editor/Gate, Perimeter and Exodus basic black and smoky/sultry/ashes-of-the-Man-at-Sunday-sunrise charcoal. You can wear it as a turban, a dust mask, a shawl, a sarong, a belt, or wrap it around your neck. As scarves go, it’s pretty great. But it’s mostly great because it’s a thank you GIFT for a crucial $150 donation. The scarf is 18 x 80 inches.

Burning Man Project’s purpose is to bring the lessons and values of the playa to the larger world. Through events, discussions, demonstration projects, and a growing platform of online learning, we are gearing up to share the Burner ethos with the broadest possible audience. All of this takes funding beyond the price of tickets to Black Rock City. So we are embarking on a new era, asking the Burner community to join us on this year-round adventure. We are inviting your involvement in making Burning Man Project into a worldwide force for participation, inclusion, and expression. And yes, we are asking for your donation.

So what does all of that have to do with a scarf? This is the first time we have used a gift as part of a donation campaign. We are treading lightly, understanding that the topic of money has special significance for the Burner community. But we need to function as a nonprofit to do this work in the world. And we want to show you our appreciation, so you can show the world you want this venture — and adventure — to succeed.

So accept our invitation, make a donation of $150, and let us gift you a scarf (or 2014 calendar, if you prefer.) Make a donation of any size, and receive our tremendous thanks and enthusiasm. Here’s the link.  And here’s to a great 2014 for you, for Burning Man Project, and for the world.


Youth Education Spaceship (Y.E.S.) extends Las Vegas stay

The Youth Education Spaceship (Y.E.S.) – a collaboration by artist Dana Albany, kids from San Francisco’s Tenderloin and Hunters Point neighborhoods, Burner families, Burning Man Project and several like-minded organizations has landed in Las Vegas.

Y.E.S. is a mobile spaceship classroom and collaborative art project that gave the kids experience creating and exhibiting their creation, which has gone on tour to Burning Man, the Exploratorium, Hunter’s Point Open Studios, and Maker Faire in San Mateo.

Downtown Project, working with Burning Man Project, helped bring Y.E.S. to Las Vegas, where it opened to the public at the Learning Village November 15, with a variety of family friendly programming including spaceship tours, mosaic workshops with recycled materials, wiring and interactive robotic demos. The spaceship has taken up temporary residence at Zappos headquarters.

Burning Man Project collaborated with Black Rock Arts Foundation, Black Rock City, The Crucible, Exploratorium, and Maker Faire to work with Albany and the kids to build a 10’x 12′ space ship from repurposed and found objects.


Crowdfunding: Trends in the Sharing Economy

Burning Man Project hosted a free panel discussion on trends in the sharing economy in early December. Crowdfunding and the sharing economy reflect our principles of gifting, communal effort, civic responsibility and decommodification, and we brought together Kate Drane from Indiegogo, Daniel Miller from Fundrise, and Harry Pottash from Kiva to talk about the future of crowdfunding.

More than 50 people turned out to discuss the state of crowdfunding, the challenges they’ve faced, and new ideas on how this movement can be used to empower underprivileged projects through the democratization of fundraising.


A Fond Farewell to our Volunteer Coordinator, Rebecca Zito

rebecca & MB

We are deeply grateful for Rebecca Zito’s leadership over the last year as our Volunteer Coordinator.  Rebecca is brilliantly creative, resourceful, savvy and pure joy to be around.  One of the highlights of 2013 was the Valentine’s event she planned at Glide here in San Francisco.  They describe themselves as a “radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles or poverty and marginalization.”

Through a worldwide coordination of crafting events, Rebecca worked with volunteers to create 750 valentines.  These were hand delivered by San Francisco Project volunteers while we served meals at Glide on Valentines day.  A beautiful chain of events on so many levels.  And to think that valentines were crafted as far away as Turkey.

Rebecca leaves us as she dives deeper into her career in urban economic development and community relations.  She started volunteering for the Project in 2012 and will continue to add her joy and perspective through the legacy of work here and the life she leads as an example of a deeply engaged citizen of the world.  Thank you Rebecca!