News Blog

You can keep up with the latest project developments from the people on the ground making them happen via the BWB Blog. We want to hear from you and welcome your comments.
BWB NEWS 02/16/2024

2023 Winter Newsletter

View this newsletter in its orginal formatting here!

As 2023 comes to a close, we’re thrilled to highlight the impact of our global community through our annual report ‘BWB by the Numbers’. Our network has come a long way since 2005, extending far beyond disaster relief, supporting community resiliency and grassroots initiatives across the world.Burners Without Borders relies on the support of generous individuals like you to fuel our mission. Your donation, no matter the size, is instrumental in supporting ongoing initiatives and launching projects that empower local leaders for a brighter and more resilient future. Consider making a year-end donation to contibute to BWB’s continued success.As we approach the new year, we wish you the best and look forward to the journey ahead. As always, thank you for being you!

– 16 BWB Chapters and 16 Active BWB Working Groups. For a total of 32 activated groups across the globe.
– 17 BWB grant projects completed across 11 different subject areas.
– Hosted 99 participants at Fly Ranch for the BWB Spring Summit working on 2 natural building projects.
– Engaged 22 projects through the BWB Project Proposal Form.
– Co-created with 110 campers to produce the BWB Esplanade camp in Black Rock City amplifying the civic impact of Burners. This year we activated as a resource hub for participants during the rainstorms.
– BLAST worked with 62 green theme camps for its second year in BRC.
-RAT mentored 28 artists and 4 theme camps supporting solar power to their projects for a second year in BRC.

While our full impact data isn’t available yet we can tell you that our network has activated at least 1,300+ volunteers towards 3,300+ hours of civic service and distributed $26,000+ in 2023

–We welcomed new Chapters/Working Groups this year:
Madison, Wisconsin and South Afrika.
 If you’re a community leader (or want to be), join us in contributing to our worldwide impact story. Connect with your local BWB group and become part of our global network!

Supporting the 2030 Sustainability Roadmap in Black Rock City:
Working with BLAST & RAT, along with the new Green Corridor, was a major success. Each program saw a huge increase in participation. These projects emerged from the Green Theme Camp Community (GTCC).
10 camps were placed in the inaugural Green Corridor, a sector in Black Rock City containing theme camps working towards the goals of the 2030 Environmental Sustainability Roadmap.
62 Camps were part of Burner Leadership Achieving Sustainable Theme Camps (BLAST). A 295% increase of participating camps rating their sustainable operations around: Power, Water, Food, Waste, Shelter and Transportation
 —28 artists and 4 theme camps mentored by Renewables for Artists Team (RAT), learning to use renewable energy. A 233% increase in participation from last year.

10 Supported Projects Across 7 Subject Areas:
Flood Relief in Bridgeport CA, Bridget Hardy (Disaster Response)
Facing America, -Glenn-Richardson (Arts & Culture)
Burner Gear Giveback, Hailey Armer (Housing and Homelessness)
Paiute Food Drive and Fundraiser, Comfort & Joy (Indigenous Issues/ Sovereignty)
Learn by Playing Toy Drive, Kitten Calfee (Indigenous Issues/ Sovereignty)
Iranian Bus Project, Bardia Seed (Women & Girls)
Maui Fire Relief, BWB Hawaii (Disaster Response)
Burners Responding to Hurricane Otis Mexico, Roberto Cerda (Disaster Response)
Footprint Project Responds to Mississippi Tornado, Jamie Swezey  (Environment and Sustainability)
Bridging the Divide (Israel and Gaza), BWB (Peace & Conflict)
The bread and butter of BWB are the projects we support and members create. Share your project with us via the BWB Project Proposal Form to see how we can support your impact.

In 2022 we funded 44 initiatives, distributing $45,000 in micro-grants. 2023 saw the completion of 17 of these grantee projects:
BWB Detroit Backpack Project, Doxie Kaltz (Housing and Homelessness)
NYC Backpacks For the Unhomed, Lauretta Prevost (Housing and Homelessness)
Burner Donation Barrel, Angela Gentry (Fundraising and Support)
The Garden of Mutuality, Jennifer Murphy (Community Development)
Tutus for Pride, Krista Gurko with Sacramento Valley Spark (LGBTQI+)
Abolitionist School Social Workers, Unlisted (Radical Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity)
Ikigai Explorers, Charlotte de Casabianca (Children and Youth)
Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Kakumiro District, Uganda, Businge Ponsious (Health & Wellness)
Radio Tower Repurposing & FM Repeater, Michael Sofranko (Disaster Response and Preparedness)
Haba at Pyramid Lake Paiute Museum, Jacob Mast (Indigenous Issues and Sovereignty)
Safety Third and BWB Regional Comms, David Loudermilk (Disaster Response and Preparedness)
Beauford Lane Community Art Gallery, Ngoc-Tran Vu (Community Development)
Immigrant Aid Print Project, Jessi Janusee (Refugee and Migration Support)
Artistic Expression for Indigenous Students in Guatemala, Joanna Drew (Indigenous Issues and Sovereignty)
Burner Biochemists, Gregory Sklar (Health and Wellness)
Bee Safe, BWB Colombia (Environmental & Sustainability)
Permaculture Design Course, Musa Munga (Refugee and Migration Support)

Hosted 3 BWB Worldwide Calls with 755 registered participants:Burners with BeesNourishing Resilience: Preparing for DisasterBWB Watch PartyThe BWB Spring Summit brought together conversations centering on the theme, “Listening to the Land”.

There were 7 programming offerings:
Collaborative Arts and Learning Skills (Lorine Estelle Bay)
Indigenous Water Wisdom (Carmen Gonzales)
Regenerative Roundtable (Laura Day)
Earth Immersion: Nurturing the Land-Body Connection (Felix de Rosen)
Natural Building Techniques (Nicholas Salmons)
Collaborative Effigy-Building Workshop (Nick Palmer)
Haba Build with Pyramid Lake Museum (Ripple Project)

We hosted 3 days of a Black Rock City speaker series, with 17 events focused on sustainability, creating impact, and building community:
–Listen to the “Art as a Tool for Impact” panel, a collaboration with FarAway Projects, and offering insights into the artist’s role in creating global impact.
More recordings from this speaker series to be published soon!

What People are Saying….You guys (BWB) planted the seed in my head by asking what, if any, I am doing regarding the revolution in Iran. I would not have expected, in my wildest dreams, to have the project reach this wide of an audience! That was almost one year ago. Thank you!”- Bardia Saeedi (Project Lead, Iranian Bus Project)

 Joseph Miller, Indigenous Community Relations Coordinator for Friends of Inyo, wrote this blog article about his time at the BWB Summit for the Friends of Inyo website.

 ”The most important thing from the experience is that I fell in love with building. I feel that what I’m doing right now is a direct sequence from the grant experience. At the moment, I’m building a radically sustainable autonomous house and sharing it with other Burners and communities.
– Sergii Dumyk (BWB Grant Recipient & BRC Showerloop)
BWB San Francisco / Bay Area
BWB-Bay Areais holding our Holiday Soiree event at Asiento in the Mission on Friday, Dec 22 and we need your help in spreading good cheer!Enjoy music, food and drink while seeing some of the Bay Area’s favorite variety performers! All funds raised will be split between the  BWB Tenderloin Homelessness and the entertainers. Admission is free

BWB Vancouver 
“Christmas Isn’t Over” came together for our longstanding project held in Oppenheimer Park. This festive event includes music, freshly made grilled cheese sandwiches and warm soup served up with love.Our next event will be on Saturday, January 6th. ***We are accepting donations of toiletries, blankets, and warm clothes that are especially needed during the winter months***Everyone is invited. 

Connect with BWB-V

BWB Portland 
We supported The 2nd annual ‘All People’s Community Meal’ on Thanksgiving. Together providing chef-prepared meals to over 300+  families.These Burners are deeply committed to not just filling the bellies of those who would like a Thanksgiving meal, but establishing deep connections in the community with farmers and suppliers to provide the highest quality nutrition and joy possible!If you live in Portland and want to get involved: BWB Portland.

BWB Sacramento
We brought the principles of gifting & communal effort by providing meals to over 160 residents of the Mid Placer Permanent and Mobile Temporary Shelters.We served a hot breakfast that is a rare and appreciated treat! We’ll be back in action on December 24th. Contact BWB Sacramento.

Haba Build at Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum, Nixon NV

The Ripple Project collaborated with the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum in Nixon, NV to create an ethnobotanical garden highlighting ancient knowledge and language preservation. This past spring, with the help of a BWB grant and BWB volunteers, they built a haba, a traditional Pauite shade structure, along with picnic tables for museum visitors to enjoy. For a closer look at this project and its impact, check out the full article.
Prototyping the ShowerLoop at BRC 2023

Are you interested in more sustainable water systems? Read Sergii Dumyk’s firsthand account of prototyping this forward-thinking shower system at Burning Man 2023. Learn more about this system that has the potential to cut water consumption by up to 80% and tell us if the ShowerLoop inspired you! Read the full article here.Be sure to check out Sergii’s other work at 001 NGO & Sustainable Building in Ukraine!

BWB Community Members Highlighted:

“I really feel that we go to Burning Man to prepare for the world. That’s our one week where we get to build our resilience, build our capacity — emotional, spiritual, physical — to go back and serve in the world and give back.” Read more from Yasmine El baggari (BWB BRC) and ‘Dr. Tre‘ (BWB Hawaii) on community resilience.

So I think this is my deepest lesson, joy through service is the origin of everything. Read more from Charlotte Casabianca (BWB Bogota) sharing about bringing the culture back home to Colombia.

I’m proud of building the community…I like that I’ve cultivated this world for myself, by doing good and hanging out with people who like to do good stuff.” Read more from Liz Creme (BWB Corpus Christi) and Kat Nadel (BWB BRC) sharing about community beach clean-ups and the playa wide composting program.

Listen in as George B Reed III, Associate Director of Burning Man’s Off Fossil Fuels, talks about the progress we’re making towards a greener future. From composting organic waste for food cultivation to making renewable diesel from captured carbon, George shares stories from our community about not only preventing but reversing damage to the climate. Listen here.Consider Making a Donation to BWBBWB exists because of YOU.
Over the years, your participation and generous support have enabled this creative community to accomplish so much around the world.BWB is known for helping real people solve real problems. The unique gifts this community brings to the international stage are quickly transforming what people think is possible.To continue doing this important work, we need your help. Consider donating to the continued success of BWB. Any amount that you can give will go a long way in helping us to reach our goals.Stay ConnectedExplore the The BWB Ecosystem


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