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BWB NEWS 04/10/2020

BWB Spring Newsletter 2020

Having trouble reading the newsletter on our website– see the link version here:

Spring Newsletter 2020 There’s been an ongoing conversation at Burners Without Borders about how we seem to be living in a time when disasters and crises are piling on top of one another. This ‘new normal’ requires a different frame of reference and adaptation of our skillsets. Resilience is about agility, and our ability to change together. A BWB community member wrote a nice concept piece on this idea called ‘The Long Disaster’, we recommend taking some time with it.The sudden appearance and rapid scaling of COVID-19 is affecting more than just our physical health. It is affecting the global markets, how we interact, and our mental well-being.There are glimmers of beauty, Italians singing, new ways of virtual interaction, cooking lessons online, a focus on the most vulnerable, lots of bright spots of hope in this time to remind us of our humanity.In moments like these, the perspectives we take are vital to navigating the storm. The danger is real, and the precautions we need to take are disruptive (and effective). So how might we all use this moment to look for a deeper message about what is possible?In our stories about Black Rock City we sometimes characterize the desert conditions as a common enemy that brings us all together. Could this health crisis be the same thing for the global community? Entrenched global systems that seemed almost insurmountable and impossible to change just weeks ago are showing vulnerabilities. Air pollution hasn’t been this low in China for years, proof that fast action on a large scale is possible when people feel an emergent threat to themselves and their families.Panic is never our friend, but the unfolding pandemic is opening eyes everywhere in the world to the fragility of our global systems. People are getting why we need hyper-localized food networks, decentralized power systems, and robust health infrastructure. What sort of world do we want to dream as possible with this moment at hand? None of this is new. We’ve known our systems didn’t quite fit us, and we’re seeing their fragility in new ways.  The reality is stark, and we can’t turn away. Community preparedness and resilience is paramount in the days, months, and years to come– but that was always the case. More people are awake to it now.It’s comforting to know Burners are some of the best prepared for situations like this. The Burning Man Principles are great guideposts to think about the future. Let’s play the long-game and wield positivity and strength along with preparedness and civic responsibility. We’ve got the infrastructure, and we’ve got training. Now what are we going to do with it?——————————————————————————————————————In this newsletter we look at some community resources in response to COVID-19 which anyone can utilize, the response to the tornadoes in Nashville, the upcoming events at Fly Ranch and in the digital world. As always, you’ll find report-outs from regional BWB communities and more opportunities to engage with partner networks and projects.Stay connected and let us know what you’re up to in the world. Join the BWB Volunteers Worldwide Group for regular updates, check out our Global Slack Workspace and consider donating to BWB. We are community-led, and community supported. Thank you for being you.Resilience: Community Resources in Response to COVID-19Image by image by Monica TrinidadImage by Monica Trinidad

One amazing thing about a crisis is how community comes together and responds. Digital tools and collaborative documents make it easier than ever to crowdsource and share information. Together, we are pioneering these new tools so we can all be more resilient and agile in moments of crisis.There’s a lot of information out there, and not all community documents are created equal. It’s important to practice due diligence by checking your sources and trusting your collaborators. Be responsible with the information you distribute – false information is dangerous. Responsibly created community docs are a great way to distribute life-saving information in a peer to peer, free, and transparent manner. Here are a few created in response to COVID-19*:

Carona Camp: Join this BwB member created project. Based off the prinicples, and following the format of the Theme Camp Organizer’s guide. This team is forming a daily updated resource center with how-to’s and live support on all things Coronavirus. Join this virtual camp to support in all things COVID-19.

COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resources: This resource document centralizing a lot of  links for support accessible to freelancers and artists.

Coronavirus Planning March 2020 – The Hearth (Sharable): This resource document was created by a 7-person community house. It includes their personal resilience plan, plus links to resiliency kits and plans. This is a fantastic example of how folks are organizing themselves as a community resource, even on a household scale. Any co-living or neighborhood group can do the same to prepare as a community.COVID-19 DC Mutual Aid Tool-kit:  A series of links and resources on both COVID-19 and mutual aid concepts and execution.Mutual Aid Organizational Form Template: Here is a form you can copy to start organizing mutual aid in your community or local burner group. 
Open the document, click on the three dots in the upper right hand corner,select “make a copy”, it will create a new editable document (don’t forget to “rename it”). IT IS IMPORTANT TO MAKE A COPY or else you’ll be collecting information into a document shared publicly and not just for your group.If you’d like to continue this conversation, now may be a good time to join our slack workspace, where we’ll be sharing more resources as they come in. Are you a mutual aid/community organizer? Please get in touch, we’d love to support you. 

Got another community resource doc you think is great? Share it with us! 

*Remember, use critical thinking skills and do your research. These are some resources that we have found being circulated and some of us have found helpful, but they are purposefully in constant flux, so we don’t know what’s in there moment-to-moment. USE YOUR NOGGINS!Report Out: Nashville Tornado Response with Footprint ProjectBWB Partner Organization Footprint Project has dispatched two solar trailers and one portable power station to the Nashville area. They are being shuffled between North and East Nashville to provide solar power for communications, medical device charging, lighting and refrigeration. Footprint Project estimates they have provided direct access to emergency solar recharging for over 1,200 people since the tornadoes, and completely powered two temporary distribution centers. They are shifting focus to help mobilize more clean energy systems for Tennessee’s recovery and rebuild phases, and to help prepare for the next storm. 

Want to pitch in and give Footprint a hand? They are organizing new mobile solar stations for Southeast Emergency response. A list of needs can be found here.

NOTE  – We do not know how their operations have shifted in light of COVID-19. Storms don’t quarantine though, so let’s do what we can for people facing multiple crises right now. With your support Footprint Project can help local communities #buildbackgreener after every storm with #cleanenergy and #disasterresponseReport Out: Welcome New Team Member, Emma WeismanHello BWB Family!

I’m Emma, also known as Strong Arm on the playa. I have been working with Burning Man Project’s Government Affairs team as Government Agency Relations Manager over the last couple cycles and through the EIS process (hence the playa name, sometimes you have to muscle up). I began my intersection with BWB in 2010 when I moved to Port-au-Prince, Haiti to work with a disaster response team made up of BWB’ers and other international volunteers. Over time, we founded the Communitere family of disaster zone bases, maker spaces, and incubators. BWB was our constant thought partner, and without BWB funding it may never have happened at all. I’m thrilled to be working in service of this community in this new role.

I sit on the Board of Directors for Limitless Horizons Ixil, a scholar support, literacy, and language preservation nonprofit in Guatemala. I have a background in small-scale organic agriculture business, and social enterprise startups. I’m a recovered lawyer and I hate cilantro.

I’ll be doing a lot of work behind the scenes to keep us all connected as seamlessly and productively as possible. If you have questions or want to reach out, my email is I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
In Solidarity,
EmmaReport Out: NERT 2020 Civic Ignition Grantees AnnouncedCongratulations to the first 2020 Civic Ignition Grantees  We received 9 submissions with a total financial ask of $13,500. The grants were discussed in a consensus-based workshop with 30 participant leaders from the Northeast Region at a convening in Brooklyn, NY.We started with $1,500 as our seed fund, and we are very grateful for the anonymous contributions of $500 and $750 to increase our funding ability. Now, a huge CONGRATULATIONS to the NERT Grantees:Black Burner ProjectNothing About Us Without UsGardenState GuerillasOUR Crown HeightsClick here to learn more about all four of our grantees.

Want to HOST your own civic ignition grant? Anyone is welcome to host their own Civic Ignition Grant, and our online tool-kit is available. Please get in touch!Join Us March 25th: Community Conversation with BWB DetroitJoin us for our upcoming BWB community conversation! We will be gathering via Zoom to for a learning conversation with Danielle ‘Doxie’ Kaltz, a longtime lead of BWB Detroitand creator of the often replicated “Backpack Project”. Doxie has been organizing projects alongside, and in support of, homeless and underhoused populations in Detroit for many years.March 25, 5:30-6:30pm PST (FB Event)
You can join the hour-long conversation LIVE here: will also be posted on the BWB YouTube Channel for those who can’t make it.Upcoming: BWB Summits at Fly Ranch in May and June!YOU’RE INVITED!
TO: The Spring BWB Summit/Family Campout!
WHEN: May 8-10th, 2020 (Mother’s Day weekend)
WHERE: Fly Ranch, NevadaThis is our weekend to foster conversation, deepen connections, and explore the future of our Burners Without Borders community together. Express your interest in attending ASAP. You must fill out the form, but it’s NOT a commitment. Links to register and confirm your attendees will be sent in the next 48 hours, and only to those who have completed the interest form, so do not wait.*We are aware that many things are shifting concerning  COVID-19, gatherings and travel. We believe it is too early to make a judgement call about this event in May, but will make an announcement by mid-April. All tickets will be fully refundable in the event of a cancelation.*For those who can’t join us in May, we are also excited to share the dates for our *next* Fly Ranch convening: The Green Theme Camp Summit (co-hosted with Hotel California) will be held (hopefully) June 5-7th! Mark your calendars and look for more information soon.  Want more info?  Email:  bwb@burningman.orgRegional BWB Updates:BWB Georgia
BWB GA has plans to grow in 2020! They are taking submissions for urban and rural projects all over the great state of Georgia. No project idea or event is too small, so bring it all to the table. The goal for 2020 is to activate a minimum of six events and/or projects. That means at least five more events, clean ups, workshops, fundraisers and the like. 

BWB GA is  growing in 2020, they want to partner with  BWB Chapters across the world to learn how they scale and how they impact their communities. Don’t be shy, connect! Contact Peaches: 
bwbofga@gmail.comBWB Sacramento
The Sacramento Region working group partnered with their local community experiencing homelessness. The guests and staff of the Mid-Placer and South Placer homeless shelters gifted free pour-over coffee service to the employees of Placer County and the city of Roseville. Guests and staff of The Gathering Inn chose the name “Bean Grounded” for the coffee service project.So far they have provided four of the single-origin coffee events. In November of 2019 The Gathering Inn received an additional $1,500 grant from the local community to support the Bean Grounded project. 

The Sacramento Regional BWB working group also supported a Save DACA Fundraiser and Panel Discussion on the challenges local Dreamers are facing. Over $1,500 was raised during the event to assist with the increased costs associated with the renewal of DACA applications, which allow young members of the immigrant community to maintain their legal status, which they need to continue living, working and contributing. Both ongoing projects were made possible by a BWB Civic Ignition grant that was awarded at last year’s Multi-Regional Summit.BWB SecondLife
On February 14th SecondLife BWB greeted visitors and built an art installation at the One Billion Rising event in SecondLife:
For the seventh year, the people in Second Life joined activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities, and people across the world to Rise, Resist and Unite as a show of unity, individual strength, and the need for change. This year OBR in SL saluted the work and courage of female heroes from across the world. BWBSL chose to highlight Rosie the Riveter to represent that WE CAN DO IT!

Ongoing Project (through June): BWBSL is ‘Relaying’ in SL! There is a RelayForLife team in SecondLife. They will  spend the next few weeks fundraising for the American Cancer Society. On the day of the event they will  honor lives lost to cancer, celebrate survivors, and support the caregivers who so selflessly help others. This will be their third year participating in this event.

Sat, June 6, 10am – Sun, June 7, 2020, 11am we run/walk the Relay track in SecondLife!
If you would like to join in and help BWBSL in SecondLife lease contact Mia Quinote (in SL), you can find the group in SL group search to read all our notices and invites.
Here is the team page link to make a donation to raise money for the cause.BWB NYC
Burners Without Borders NYC is a young working group, connecting New York’s artists and organizers.

“We Help, and we do it with a sparkle.  Projects include: bringing helping hands to established volunteer operations, collecting donations, initiating new charity drives, and creative fundraising.”

Ongoing Project: In Manhattan, Lauretta Prevost and others are regularly helping asylum seekers by watching rambunctious toddlers while their parents get help with legal paperwork. 
To join in, email Lauretta.

One of the BWB Project Leads Jonah Levy is also working to put a burner (himself) on the Queens County Committee, as a civic engagement project for the Queens County Committee For All coalition. Wish him luck!Would you like to organize a fundraising drive for an international environmental effort? Join in! Organizing a beach outing,and  collecting plastic trash?  BWBNYC will publish your call and come along! Thinking of doing something that’s so cool and creative no one has thought of it yet? Love it!BWB Colorado
New Leadership Announcement: Snax is  the new Lead for Colorado BWB. He is partnering with  Mark and they are seeking one more person to dive in and help lead changes in the Colorado community. Currently, they are focusing on talking to the community and getting insight into projects they want to see in the world. They are  looking forward to meeting everyone and sending thanks for being  on the team.Please reach out if you are in Colorado and are interested in joining BWB Colorado leadership.BWB Galveston
The #SeawallMuralProject is completing Phase 2 of the Gifting to the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico. This mural installation is 3 blocks long, has had over 250 painters of all ages participating and is sponsored by 61 Street Fishing Pier and Houston Burners Org. It is located in the tourist district of Galveston Island Texas at @ 61Street and Seawall Blvd.Sail Relief Team Gulf Coast Chapter has partnered with The Art Rising organization for the Reef Restoration Project. The Sail Relief Team is focused on relief, recovery, and resilience. Since 2017, it has facilitated disaster recovery missions for coastal communities and is currently seeking volunteers in Puerto Rico and Texas. Sailors, Divers and Builders of all skill levels are welcome! Scuba diving classes for volunteers in outplanting the art begin in April.Instagram and Email~ Gulf Coast Chapter President “Captain Shea”BWB SF/Bay Area
Curious to learn more about BWB in the Bay Area? BWBSF invites you to join virtually or in person for the first meeting of 2020! The focus this year is on the homelessness crisis.There will be presentations and discussion of three projects benefiting people who are experiencing homelessness in the SF Bay Area:Building shelters in partnership with local nonprofitsMaking and distributing care package backpacksDeveloping and fundraising for events and projectsHere’s the event on social media to learn more and RSVP.Opportunities: Community // Join a Project[WORLDWIDE]  Buckminster Fuller Institute: Trimtab Space Camp

A new online course from the Buckminster Fuller Institute is launching this week. Come be with others online and learn how to THINK BIG, be inspired by Gaian Systems with David McConville, lean into Ecology with Ganga Devi Braun, practice Rapid Prototyping with Tom Chi, and dive into Sense-Making with Daniel Schmachtenberger. [WORLDWIDE] LAGI CHALLENGE at Fly Ranch
The Land Art Generator Initiative and Burning Man Project have partnered to launch a multi-disciplinary design challenge—LAGI 2020 Fly Ranch—to create the foundational infrastructure of Fly Ranch.You are invited to propose your regenerative artwork in this stunning landscape. In 2021 selected design teams will be provided an honoraria grant for the purpose of building a functional prototype on site. Applications close May 31st!Want more details? On our last BWB Worldwide call we spoke about LAGI conversation with Fly Ranch Manager Zac Cirivello. Watch it here.[SAN FRANCISCO/RENO] Burning Man Job Postings
Interested in joining the fun, thriving, hard-working teams at Burning Man? Now’s your chance! Burning Man Project is hiring for a lot of positions right now (both permanent and seasonal)- check them out to see if one is right for you.Even More Resources for YouResource: How to be a Better Presenter [IDEOU]

We at BWBHQ are always on the lookout for resources to help our network of leaders continue to grow together. We know that sometimes the hardest part of your service work is figuring out how to tell folks about it. We’re happy to share this blog from IDEO U, with great tips about how to build the story around your work, and present it in a way that keeps people’s attention.Learn how to be a better presenter with IDEO U. Let us know what you think about the content!BWB Press & MediaLife is a Festival Podcast with BreedloveBurners Without Borders own Christopher Breedlove joined fellow BWBer Eamon Armstrong on his Life is a Festival Podcast. Speaking about BWB then and now, engaging in service, and highlighting several different inspiring Burner-run projects from around the world.
Check it out and let us know what you think!BWB Vision 2020

Did you know that Burners Without Borders has a Youtube Channel? Check it out for recordings of network updates, project reports, and more. Recently published pieces include a report out from Christopher and Molly about the BWB Vision for 2020.What We’re Reading: Sharing Center in Seoul, KoreaWe’ve always known that together we go farther.We love this example of a mutual aid space whose narrative is inextricably linked to their own ancient community values of barter, interdependence, and community-centered living. None of these ideas are new, and with the need for collaboration and peer support growing every day, it’s a great time to reflect on traditional community values. What can we learn, and how can we apply them to today?
Sharing Centers: Using Ancient Values to Solve Modern ProblemsConsider Making a Donation to BWBBWB exists because of YOU!  Over the years, it has been your generous support and participation that has enabled this creative community to accomplish so much around the world. BWB is known for helping real people solve real problems by daring to experiment, iterating quickly, and doing so in the harshest and most challenging environments. The unique gifts this community brings to the international stage is quickly transforming what people think is possible.To continue doing this important work, we need your help. To donate to the continued success of BWB, click here. Any amount that you can give will go a long way in helping us to reach our goals.
Thank you!Stay Connected with BWB:- BWB on Facebook
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– BWB Soundcloud
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 Learn how to make your own BWB Project


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