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Burning Man participants visiting Burners Without Borders on the playa this year had the opportunity to walk out with unique screen prints, an idea BWB is using in Haiti to help local artists recover following the devastating earthquake that hit the country in 2010.
“The screen printing techniques we used on the playa are the same ones being taught to Haitian artists as part of a program BWB initiated with Jakmel Ekspresyon Community Arts Center – an organization providing marginalized artists with the space and facilities to express themselves through their art.” said Carmen Mauk, Executive Director of Burners Without Borders. “The goal of the program in Haiti is to fill gaps left in businesses after the earthquake and to provide the training for these artists to become successful entrepreneurs.”
The 7.0 earthquake devastated the local economy and Mauk saw screen printing as a way to help local artists and residents generate money to support their families. BWB created a program that provides training in art and the fundamentals of running a successful business. The program included training on design, screen printing and professional development. This program is the first of its kind in Haiti. There are 17 artists involved with the program.
In Black Rock City, participants could choose from basic designs that included the Temple and many other art pieces from Burning Man past and present.
“The artists who run the screen printing also have a unique way of layering the prints so everyone walks away with a different art piece to call their own,” Mauk said.
Burning Man Project and Transition US are presenting “The Gift: From Economy to Cosmology – How Sharing and Giving Can Transform Our World,” a special evening with author and speaker Charles Eisenstein and guests.
The October 28 event takes place at the Sunflower Center in Petaluma, begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by a talk at 7 p.m.
The gift and sharing economy is becoming an important component of our culture, the economic consequences are profound, signaling a transition to a new economic era. Beyond the economy, this movement is part of an even bigger shift in our concept of self, nature and cosmos.
Following the reception, Eisenstein will give a presentation, followed by a panel discussion including artists David Best and Joshua Coffy and moderated by Julia Bystrova of Transition’s Heart and Soul Outreach.
The evening is a benefit for Transition US and Burning Man Project. Like BMP, Transition US is working around the world to educate and build community in the spirit of a more sustainable and just society.
There is no set cost to attend, just a contribution based on your value received. Donations are fully tax deductible. Organic wine and healthy snacks will be available for purchase. To reserve your space, visit The Gift. Your donation will be divided between the organizations. You may also choose to attend and make a donation at the door, space permitting.
The Sunflower Center is at 1435 McDowell Blvd., Suite 100 in Petaluma.
Stuart Mangrum is Burning Man Project’s Education Director. This is the second in our ongoing series of profiles of the people who make Burning Man Project a success.
Stuart has been part of the Burning Man community since the early 1990s, when he founded the playa’s first daily newspaper, the Black Rock Gazette. A member of the San Francisco Cacophony Society, he was drawn to the idea of creating a pop-up city in the desert, unburdened by history or context. “When I first met Larry Harvey,” he recalls, “he posed an intriguing question: what are the absolutely essential elements of city life? We agreed very quickly that there were three: bathrooms, a good cup of coffee, and a newspaper.”
After that initial experience Stuart became a year-round volunteer, serving as Burning Man’s communications director from 1993 to 1996. In addition to publishing the Gazette, he helped establish Burning Man’s first radio station, first online communities, and first live webcast.
His professional career in the default world has been long and varied, including positions as an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Air Force, a training manager for a global real estate company, and a vice president at one of Silicon Valley’s first interactive agencies. He has held executive positions at several technology start-ups, and ran a successful consulting business focusing on marketing and training programs. Then, in the summer of 2012, he got an unexpected call from his old colleague Larry Harvey.
“It was like Tom Sawyer all over again,” he laughs. “Another fence to be painted.” He worked with Harvey on the 2013 theme, “Cargo Cult,” and quickly found himself back in the thick of things. In addition to co-writing the theme manifesto and participating in the design of the Man base, he hired on as a consultant to help develop an education and training strategy for Burning Man Project. In July, he shifted to a full-time role.
“This is an exciting time to be part of the Burning Man world,” he says. “It’s like a start-up again. How do we deal with global growth? How do we teach the Ten Principles, and stay true to their spirit as we cross cultural and linguistic boundaries? How can we continue to serve as a catalyst for positive change in the world?”
When he’s not asking Big Questions, Stuart enjoys wilderness camping, cooking, brewing, and literature. He lives in San Francisco’s East Bay with his wife Paizley, another longtime burner.
Bear Kittay serves as Social Alchemist and Ambassador for Burning Man Project, visiting burners around the world, capturing their stories and sharing information from other groups creating positive change around the world.
So far Bear has attended AfrikaBurn in South Africa, KiwiBurn in New Zealand, Nowhere in Spain, and visited burners in Australia, Maui and London. He has represented the Project at the SXSW premiere of Spark, at a festival on human rights in Croatia and at a social innovation festival in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Leaving Burning Man and traveling across the Pacific to meet burners in Maui and Asia was tremendously inspirational. In Maui, the burner community calls itself Source and has been collaborating with TEDx, exploring what Burning Man and TEDx can accomplish together. This is a trend emerging throughout Burning Man’s global network – burners looking to new models of how to organize community by working with other groups.
In Korea, Chung “Shin” Shinyeob not only organizes KoreaBurn, but also manages an art space in Seoul for learning and performing fire arts. Shin says his inspiration to organize a burn event is to inspire Koreans to pursue their creative passions in a society where people are under tremendous pressure to achieve career and commercial success. He hopes – through Burning Man – Koreans can find their creative spark.
In Japan, burner Todd Porter also organizes TEDx Tokyo and also started Impact Foundation, an organization that received a significant grant to build an innovation ecosystem to implement new initiatives to help the Tohuku region recover from the tsunami that struck the region in 2011. The goal is to implement the initiatives across Japan and globally.
The Burning Japan event brought together 275 participants and reflected the creativity, attention to detail and embrace of Burning Man’s 10 Principles made it one of my favorite events. The Japanese have five different words for gifting and in many ways Burning Man culture shares its roots with Japanese tradition.
Their effigy was a beautiful Phoenix and their temple was an incredibly detailed miniature bonsai temple that burned after the Phoenix on the tip of the Chiba Peninsula.
Following Burning Japan, I traveled to Australia to meet with festival promoters and give a presentation on Burning Man as part of Deakin University’s Arts Participation Incubator on “Participatory Arts and the Future of Festivals.”
From the conference, a group of us traveled to Burning Seed, a six hour drive north of Melbourne. This year’s event nearly double to 1,100 participants and I met many Australian burners attending for the first time who were blown away participating in a Burning Man event infused with Australian culture.
The event included a “Welcome to Country” ceremony where everyone stood in a large circle and introduced themselves to each other. The organizers spoke briefly and introduced an Aborignial leader, who shared the history of the land we had gathered on. At the end of the ceremony, each of us took branches from a native bush and tossed them into a fire, symbolizing the burning of a painful past and making way for a hopeful future.
Burning Man culture is alive and thriving around the world. This thing keeps growing and evolving.
Next stop – Lithuania.