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 12/22/2021

BWB Winter Newsletter 2021

any trouble viewing this page? Read the original newsletter here 🙂

As we enter into our end of the year at Burners Without Borders we’re reflecting on the incredible capacity of the Burning Man community worldwide. During this time when plans, regulations, and expectations are constantly shifting our community continually demonstrates both resilience and care.

Whether it’s tackling big global issues like sustainability, opening up hard conversations about access and inclusion, or engaging in mutual aid to support communities in the wake of ‘The Long Disaster‘– Burners are showing up and doing it with as much creativity and levity as possible. This newsletter looks a little different than normal and we hope you appreciate this end-of-year snapshot we put together for you. 

If you’re looking to be philanthropic before the end of the year, please consider BWB as a place to give, we’re more reliant on generous donors than ever these days in the absence of Black Rock City.

Thank you for being a part of our community, and most of all, for being you.

A Note: Times are hard, and the holidays layered with COVID and everything else in the world is a lot to handle. If you, or someone you know, is struggling and needs support, know there are resources out there for all of us:
– National Mental Health Alliance (NAMI) Hotline (1-800-950-6264)
– National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255)

There are more specific hotlines out there for people who may want to talk to someone who is also LBGTQ+ and/or a person of color. Times are hard, and getting help is how we help support ourselves and our communities. Reach out. Let people know what you’re going through. We’re all in this together.
Burners Without Borders is a community leadership program, a platform for experimentation, and global network of do-ers.Sometimes it’s hard for even us in the office to keep up with what’s going on in the community. In an effort to experiment on how we share out activities- we’ve put together an end of year snapshot. Here are some of the highlights from 2021:
9 BWB Supported External Projects:
– Pedacito De La Tierra (Refugee and Migration Support)
– Recipes for Resilience 2.0 (Refugee and Migration Support)
– Great Give Back Challenge (Indigenous Issues/Sovereignty)
– Nixon Mural Project (Indigneous Issues/Sovereignty)
– Project Liberation (Indigenous Issues/Sovereignty)
– Antigua/Barbuda Emergency Relief Canada (ABERF) (Disaster Response and Preparedness)
– Paiute Wetlands Restoration Action Day (Permaculture/Regenerative Culture)
– Design Science Studio (Arts & Culture)
– The Feast Community (Food Scarcity and Access)Spotlight Project: Pedacito de la Tierra
Partnering with Alight, we produced a filmvirtual eventtool-kit and built an horno at a migrant shelter in Nogales, MX. 1,381 participants registered for Pedacito De La Tierra, and 13.3k viewers watched along on the live stream. The film has received 3 awards at film festivals and was shown at the Venice Biennale.Supporting Our Community of Practice in Disaster Response:
While disaster relief is not the focus of BWB these days, we contine to support our community showibng up and responding to crises around the globe. In 2021, BWB provided consultation on
5 Disaster Relief initatives: Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, Hurricanes in Antigua/Barbuda; Louisiana Hurricane response, Southern Border Humanitarian Crisis, North Complex Fire.
BWB supported the 27 Chapters and Working Groups who have remained active through the pandemic.We welcomed a new Working Group The Burner Amateur Radio Community or “BARC” which promotes training, licensing and comradery in the amateur HAM radio field. They focus efforts on bringing remote communications to areas in need, as well as furthering the 10 principles. Join them on FB or stay tuned for Ham Radio courses in the Burning Man HIVE next year.The Green Theme Camp Community, which grew out of the BWB Fall Summit 2020, supports participant projects aimed at achieving the goals outlined in the Burning Man Sustainability Roadmap.The Renewables for Artists Team (RAT) spun out of the Green Theme Camp Community and produced the ‘Solar 101 for Artists’ course on HIVE. Check it out!
We released an eight episode podcast Culturally Attuned, and an online course ‘Cultural Synergy’ in partnership with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). These offerings support those who are interested in learning it means to be culturally competent, and why it’s so important in civic work.110 participants joined our community conversation on ‘Working with Civic Institutions’ featuring Burners who work in both city and federal government levels. The call focused on how people in politics bring their Burning Man experiences to bear in civic spaces.The BWB Spring Summit brought together 90 community leaders in conversations centering land stewardship.
Happening Now: Kentucky Storm Response
Chainsaws and Demolition, photo by Karine Maynard
Kentucky is reeling from deadly, massively destructive tornadoes that struck the area on Friday, December 10th. Our hearts go out to those impacted, and we’re not surprised to see Burners responding to the needs at hand. So far 77 people have been confirmed dead. The early-stage responders are out there, and you can support them. We’re grateful for updates from friends in the field, and we have some ways to support the mobilized relief and mutual aid groups. Karine Maynard, a Kentuckian herself, was part of the first cohort of volunteers in 2005 who became Burners Without Borders. She responded to Hurricane Katrina, and is seeing parallels in this early stage of response. Families are sheltering where they can, and shock is still permeating the communities hardest hit. We hope you can support Karine’s community-based efforts in Kentucky (pictured above) or one of the other projects by BWB partners and affiliates listed below.

**A reminder from Karine: stick to cash donations (no clothing!)**
“Small towns are getting overwhelmed with clothing donations. Women and children are left to unload trucks as men are out with the chainsaws and getting tarps on roofs. What they need is cash for fuel to keep the chainsaws and trucks running and items that can’t be found on shelves in central Kentucky. Volunteers cost the local economy fuel and food too, which is an expensive trade at the moment.”
Ways to Support Relief Efforts In Kentucky:
Photo: MOOP removal is one of many Land Restoration projects at Pyramid Lake
Maynard Mutual Aid
Two awesome Burners Without Borders OG’s, Karine and Matt Maynard, were among the fortunate Kentuckians whose homes and lives were spared in the mega-tornado last week. They’ve launched into action, filling their trucks with supplies, tarps, bedding, and other relief items to give to their less fortunate neighbors.
Among their other good works, they have supporting neighbors in need of oxygen and are purchasing, distributing, and training folks in safe handling of chainsaws. As well as fundraising and directing resources to the community. Donations are going directly to goods  and delivered by these community members and the resilient local network.

Venmo: @karine-maynard

Solar Power from Footprint Project
The Footprint Project arrived in Kentucky on December 16th. They are deploying in partnership with SmartAID, and have begun assessments in Mayfield and Princeton. Needs include:1. Partners with turn-key mobile solar generators in the Southeast or Midwest Regions that could be rapidly mobilized, please contact, or fill out our Solar Asset Intake Form.

2. If you have leads to loose solar and battery equipment donations please reach out. Here is a list of Emergency Donations we accept. Loose equipment donations will be used to assemble new community mobile solar generators for future disasters in the region.

3. If you live within a ~50 mile radius of the impacted area, we may need assistance with setting up microgrid solar arrays. Please email

4. As always, if you or someone you know needs emergency solar energy for a disaster response mission, please fill out our Mobile Solar Energy Request Form. We’ll do our best to provide you with clean power.(pictured: solar panels going up for University of Kentucky temp offices, photo by Jamie Swezey)

Support Community Food Access (GAP)
Grassroots Aid Partnership responded quickly. They hit the road 30 hours after the storm. With the help of Dr. Dave and the Foamy Homies, GAP brought a kitchen trailer to serve meals in Nortonville, Earlington, and Bowling Green, Kentucky. With a mix of healthy food, comfort food, and some eyebrow-raising music, they lift spirits and feed folks who havn’t had a hot meal in days. Thousands of hot meals have been provided, along with packaged foods and other donations. GAP’s tornado relief is ongoing, so check in with them to see how you can help. In addition to donations, GAP is also seeking to connect with other relief organizations in the area.
Connect at and follow social media @grassrootsaidpartnership
BWB Regional Updates

BWB-Second Life (SL)
BWB-SL came together in December to volunteer at the Christmas Expo in Secondlife in support of the American Cancer Society’s childhood cancer research and service programs.

On January 15th, BWBSL will register as a RelayForLife team in SL. This will be their 6th year as a team, and you can help by joining them or participating in SL. Then on February 14th BWBSL will volunteer, and build an art installation at One Billion Rising, a global campaign to end violence against women and girls. Everyone can join and make a positive difference in the virtual world! WE CAN DO IT!!

BWB Sacramento Region
BWB Sacramento has had an active year and are currently supporting three projects:The Costa Rican Down to Earth Coffee Harvest Project supports 15 to 20 Costa Ricans who are unemployed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, in memory of Matias Zeledon.The Lambano Group project is providing assistance to the community of Bududa Uganda,located in the Mt. Elgon coffee-growing region of Uganda.A collaboration between Burners without Borders, Connected By Our Humanity, and California Dreamers are helping two schools in the border town of Perquin, El Salvador/Honduras.All of these projects are ongoing, locally driven, and in need of your support. Learn more about getting involved in all three initiatives here, and consider a donation today.

BWB Sacramento community grieves the loss of Matias Zeledon, who partnered with the Burning Man community to support small coffee farmers suffering from the economic impact of Covid-19. Matias passed away from pancreatic cancer earlier this year. May his memory be a blessing.

BWB Vancouver
BWB Vancouver had a busy December! Last weekend they were boots on the ground in the community, with a large street clean up. Many dressed in their finest burner gear, and the locals thanked them as they went along! They had three collection drives, and made micro grants to help those doing great work for people in the at-risk community in the DTES [downtown area], and to the Wet’suwet’en Land defenders. BWB Vancouver supports our Indigenous friends in the struggle against colonial violence.

BWB Detroit
BWB Detroit is creating supply-filled backpacks again this year. This is the fifteenth year of their Backpack Project and delivering supplies to houseless community members. They accept Venmo donations via a new nonprofit serving as a fiscal sponsor.  If you can donate any amount to help purchase supplies please do, and know that it makes a difference. Tax deductible letters are available for your donation.To donate, please use Venmo and search for @NPV373 (New Path Villages) under businesses. New Path Villages thanks you!!!
[Napa, CA] Participatory Sculpture Unbound at Napa State Hospital

Burner Tracy Feron is building an incredible art project with, and for, the patients at Napa State Hospital, and has invited the Burner Community to learn more.Tracy and her team are in the process of building hundreds of paper mâché winged hearts over the next three months. They will be installed in the psychiatric hospital as part of a 60-foot sculpture of liberation: Unbound (pictured above).

The team is working with 65 rehabilitation therapists at Napa State Hospital, and aim to reach the whole hospital population: 1200 patients and 2300 staff. The sculpture grows over a four-month period in their recreation hall and then it will be reinstalled outside of the hospital for public view. The hearts range in size from 9 inches to 9 feet (they grow larger as they fly to freedom).
Learn more, volunteer, and get involved.

[Phillipinnes] Response to Super Typhoon Odette (Rai)
On December 16th Super Typhoon Odette/Rai slammed into Mindinao, and ripped through the Vasayas, causing damage in and beyond Cebu, Cagdianao, Leyte, Bohol, Negros Oriental, Siargao, and Palawan. An estimated 1.2 million people have been impacted. Impacts include severe flooding and loss of communication infrastructure and power. As of December 19th, only 9% of power had been restored to the 227 municipalities that lost power, and over 488,000 people are considered internally displaced. Another weather event is expected to move through the area December 24th and 25th. If you have any funds that you can spare – a little in dollars and euros can go far in the Philippines – please send them via PayPal. Jen Garcia, a poet and educator in Tacloban, Leyte is the person on the other end of the account below. She is a community organizer doing everything she can to help support a coalition of local response groups engaging in mutual, local aid. You can reach Jen on Facebook, and follow her organzing efforts there- if you message her, say “Emma Weisman sent me”.

Please donate via Paypal: Send your Paypal donation to Jen Garcia and Firie Jill Ramos by using email address: – make sure to write FOR RPC LEYTE (KIWA PAG-UGOP) in the notes line.Questions? Reach out to

[Global] Liter of Light
Liter of Light is a Filipino-born global grassroots solar lighting movement and longtime partner of BWB. They just partnered with the University of Santo Tomas (UST) for a large-scale solar art installation to raise awareness and call for action on the ongoing climate crisis. While responding to Typhoon Odette, they’re using the opportunity to make a statement about the impact of climate change and major natural disasters on communities. Read more about their story, and consider making a donation to support solar lighting for those who need it. 

[REMOTE] BWB Needs a WordPress Volunteer
Are you a WordPress whiz looking for a way to get involved? We are working on some new website projects, and would love to put your skills to use. Please email if you’re interested in hearing more about what we need. 

[REMOTE] RVs Without Borders
Are you interested in joining a cross-specialized coalition of responders creating housing opportunities for folks in Kentucky? A community inspired by the RVs Without Borders model is coming together to prototype locally driven solutions for families who are in need of housing now.Get Involved:
– Got a (nice) RV to donate?
– Are you an operational/logistics/promotional person ready to get involved?
Donate or learn how to get involved here:
Facebook Group

[GERLACH, NV] You’re Invited: Gerlach Workforce Development Center Winter CoursesThis January the Gerlach Workforce Development Center (GWDC) is excited to invite you to participate in our open-learning community. From January 14 to 25, 2022, we are offering three in-person courses, all taught in Gerlach by skilled professionals and experts in their fields. This season we’ll be learning about solar power, welding, and economic development. All adults are welcome to sign up for one or multiple courses. For those who live out of town and are interested in attending, a limited number of reservations will be available for lodging at the Gerlach Estates at a rate of $35 a night.Learn more about all classes and register here
BWB Press & Media

Ecosystem Activation: Burning Man & Carbon Dioxide Removal
In 2019, Burning Man Project committed to a 10-year Environmental Sustainability Roadmap. One of our 3 main goals is to ‘Become Carbon Negative’. Take a listen to our recent Carbon Dioxide community call for updates from sector leaders and projects tackling Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR).

BWB is on Telegram
Burners Without Borders is always seeking the best communication strategies to stay in touch with our global community.

In 2022 BWB will experiment with this announcement only messaging group. You are invited to iterate with us. Follow this link to explore with us. We will share updates, participation opportunities, and emergent responses:
What We’re Listening To

As the calendar year winds down, we’ll be honest, we’re ready for a new year. All things must pass, and 2021 is no exception.

Get on our level with the 50th anniversary remaster of All Things Must Pass by George Harrison.
Consider Making a Donation to BWB
BWB is funded through BRC ticket sales and donations. Following two years without ticket sales, we are more reliant than ever on the generosity of those who have the means to share.BWB exists because of YOU. Your generous support and participation over the years enables this creative community to accomplish so much around the world. BWB is known for helping people solve real problems by daring to experiment and iterate in challenging environments. The unique gifts this community brings to the international stage are transforming what people think is possible. Thank you for all the contributions you bring, money is just one way to support BWB.To continue doing the work, we do need your help. 
To donate to the continued success of BWB, click here.
Any amount that you can give will help us each our goals, and lets us know our work has impact.
Thank you!
– The BWB Team


Comments are closed.