Everyday, Burners Without Borders transforms communities through innovative disaster relief programs and community initiatives that make a lasting impact. 



Announcing Winners: Annual Community Micro-Grant Program 2018

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The Burners Without Borders Community Micro-Grant program started in 2008 and has awarded over $216,000 over the course of its existence.  Grants of $100-1,500 are given to projects aimed at creating positive impact in the world, by leveraging a relatively small amount of money against the mighty power of the community’s capacity to make a difference.

We received 340 submissions this year for the grant cycle from all over the world, addressing a myriad of social issues. The judging process was tough, but in the end, 24 projects were selected. This years projects ranged from makerspaces, permaculture and farming, educational workshops, and arts therapy programming. Thank you to all who applied to this years program.

Do you have an idea for a project in your community? You are invited to apply in Spring 2019. 

2019 Burners Without Borders Micro grant Recipients:

Indigenous Wisdom Permaculture Skills Convergence (Pine Ridge Reservation South Dakota)

The Indigenous Wisdom Permaculture Skills convergence at Pine Ridge is a radical, self-determined, action-oriented gathering where the indigenous Lakota community at Pine Ridge is expanding on last year’s successes. The week-long event includes natural building and food systems projects, ceremony, prepared food and culture-sharing while local organizers utilize the event’s energy to build towards permanent food sovereignty and the appropriate natural building infrastructure needed to support it.

Stay connected and learn more: https://www.iwpsconvergence.com/projects


Body-Mind Adventure PLAYscapes- A Community Impact Project (Asheville, NC)

Play is fundamental to optimal human development. Sadly, too many children are deprived of this vital birth right everyday. We are opening a trauma-informed “school” and after-school based in the art and science of empowerment with PLAY (authentic self-expression) at its core. Our goal is to involve the community (including kids) in designing and building our outdoor “PLAYscapes”.

Please see Facebook planning  group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/379223759236342/


Rhythmic Healing (Seattle, WA)

The Hawk Foundation for Research and Education in African Culture has built a reputation through schools, museums and and juvenile detention centers as a reputable source of culturally relevant music education and building healthy psychosocial relationships. We plan to host weekly drum circles in South Seattle on Fridays starting June 22nd. During these classes we will offer youth a fun cultural education that includes music and history that many children of African descent are not able to receive in Seattle. We will conduct these drum circles through the summer until the last week of August.

For more information: https://www.hawkfoundation.org/workshops


Code for Humanity (Nosy Be, Madagascar)

French colonialism ended in 1960, yet the Malagasy island of Nosy Be remains entirely reliant on exploitative French tourism practices to keep economically afloat. The continued French stronghold on the island’s industries prevents local entrepreneurial endeavors from gaining steam, let alone from connecting with the influx of wealthy tourists flocking to see lemurs and buy up land. Code for Humanity teaches local entrepreneurs web development and search engine optimization to grow their businesses and challenge the reign of French businesses operating on colonized land. We work to help Malagasy youth subvert generations of colonial economic oppression while using the internet to connect the numerous youth clubs that exist independently across the island.

To learn more about Code for Humanity: http://www.cfhinternational.org/


Our Streets: Community History for Neighborhoods (New Orleans)

We will conduct a series of at least five open-attendance community history workshops over the course of the six months, each in different neighborhoods spanning the city (most likely Uptown, Central City, Treme, Gentilly, Algiers). Each workshop would address the history of white supremacy and black resistance in the neighborhood in which it is situated, telling the narrative of how and when white supremacist monuments, street and school names arrived and what it would mean to creatively imagine a more-just city, even to combat gentrification and racial trauma through remaking and renaming a landscape that has been scarred by 300 years of white supremacist violence, segregation and oppression. This information will also be available in a booklet of research, free of cost to workshop attendees.

To keep in touch with Take Em Down Nola and The Peoples Assembly of New Orleans: https://www.facebook.com/TakeEmDownNOLA/



Treme Community Dispatch (New Orleans)

The Treme Community Dispatch will provide emergency supplies and assistance to residents of the Treme Community and beyond during the upcoming Hurricane season.  The city of New Orleans has demonstrated a repeated pattern of negligence by not servicing water pumps after the major flooding caused by hurricanes. Power lines are often down and people do not have access to stores.  BWB is narrowing its focus to provide emergency supplies such as sandbags, flashlights, canned goods, etc to the Treme community.

For more information: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1067484619994553/


Mujeres Sembrando La Vida and Yo’onik Community Learning Center Second Floor Building Project (Zinacantán, Chiapas, Mexico)

The goal of the Yo’onik Community Learning Center is education and economic empowerment. We focus our work with the children and youth and women, of Zinacantán and surrounding villages. Our activities include classes and workshops in: basic education tutoring, alternative technologies, nutrition, life skills, as well as other classes and workshops that benefit the members of the community.  The center is located in Zinacantán, Chiapas, México. With a second floor, the center can expand the spaces for classes and workshops, store merchandise, house the finishing machines that commercial orders require, and set up an office.

For more information: www.natik.org/partnerships/chiapas/yoonik-learning-center/


Harvesting Brotherhood: Chinese Moon Festival in Mexico (Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico)

In the spirit of bridging the perception of Chinese immigrants in our city and celebrating Chinese culture, this project will immerse our community in the organization and celebration the Chinese Moon Festival.

Despite China being Mexico’s second economic partner, the city of Torreon is historically known for being particularly distant and even hostile to Chinese immigrants. Local children and their families will learn how to make and prepare Chinese lanterns, handcrafts, moon-cakes and other traditional food, and then spread their products with the general audience in a participatory festival full of art, legends, acupuncture and music.

For more information: https://www.facebook.com/hermandadeducativacat/



BarberQue (Chicago)

BarberQue- a mashup of the words barber (haircuts) and barbeque (a grilled feast typically slathered in barbeque sauce)

BarberQue is an event that will bring together people from all walks of life to share a meal and to share their unique perspectives. The event will positively impact the lives of homeless people in Chicagoland with a day of hair cuts, clothing, a family style barbeque, and sharing of social service resources that can improve quality of life.  Barberque is not only meant to positively influence the lives of the homeless, but create connections and bonds between all human beings.

For more information:http://barberque.org 


sex KiKi (Chicago)

Queer The Air is a sex KiKi docu-web series centered around interviews with queer POC and covers everything from gender identity and relationships to body image and self-care. Giving a voice to those left out of mainstream conversations around LGBTQ+issues, intimacy, and pleasure.
For more information: https://www.sexkiki.net/


Ascential Language & Arts School (ALAS Ometepe)  (Omatepe, Nicaragua)

Ascential Language and Arts School (ALAS) is a mobile, pre-professional performing arts school offering progressive ‘art-ademic’ education.  We combine traditional and contemporary syllabi to form a complete “living” dance curriculum that is tailored to fit the objectives of the community we serve.  As students become further skilled at combining movement and sound, they study and utilize arts terminology, dance, language, history, anthropology, music/songs, science, math, theater, anatomy, physiology and spatial perception as tools to compliment their learning.  In addition to the physical curriculum, courses will include discussions on various topics, community outreach notions, design proposals and implementation of special projects which aim to generate forward-thinking artistic individuals who enjoy and admire artistic culture.
We are expecting over 300 students this tour are predicting over 500 people to be in attendance for the final projects presentations in December 2018.

For more information: http://www.ascentialdance.com


Resilient Hubs! (Berkeley/Oakland CA)

The NorCal Resilience Network’s Resilient Hubs combines the power of community with the urgent need to transform homes, schools, community gardens and neighborhood centers into permaculture-inspired, regenerative places that are “ready for anything” – better prepared for droughts, natural disasters, climate change and other stresses in our community. “Resilient Hubs” is an exciting new model that uses a community-based approach to helps transform our homes and neighborhoods into vibrant, regenerative places. Our vision is to create a network of homes, schools and neighborhood centers that are “ready for anything” – better prepared for natural disasters, climate change and other stresses in our community.

One of the most crucial community resilience strategies is to strengthen social cohesion among neighbors and community members so that it’s easier to work together during emergencies.

For more information: https://www.norcalresilience.org/resilient_hubs


Girls Journalists on the Move (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

Tanzania Journalists alliance is starting a journalism and media-training program for a group of 10 women, aged 15-21 to be trained on reporting, writing and create digital journalism content. Twice per week, the girls will be trained for free by Tanzania Journalists Alliance editors and media mentors. This will go for four weeks, which means they will have 8 classes.

After that, the girls will be engaged to two major media houses in the country for practical application. Their reports will raise awareness of community health issues and activate change in local neighborhoods.

For more information: https://envaya.org/tajoa


Glinotherapy for children with special needs (Ukraine, Poltava)

Glinotherapy is a project that will provide an opportunity to reach completely unoccupied citizens of Poltava and Poltava region – young people with disabilities. There are centers for children with disabilities in the city, and there is no institution for youth with developmental disabilities from 18 years of age or older. And such art therapy will help people solve internal problems, self-realization.The problem of Ukrainian cities, including Poltava, is the lack of centers, educational institutions for youth with developmental disabilities after 18 years of age. The goal of the project is to involve young people with disabilities in glinotherapy as a means of solving internal problems and self-realization, because clay therapy is not only a form of creativity, but also one of the methods of psychotherapy.

For more information: https://www.facebook.com/caritas.poltava


Street Theatre (Nairobi city, Kenya)

Kabuor Theatre believes that theatre is potentially the most effective method of communicating development messages to grassroots communities, when the shows are created by members of the community. Kabuor Theatre Group’s shows are created by the children themselves and genuinely reflect their own ideas and experiences. For the performers – all ex-street children – participation in the troupe stimulates creativity, provides a sense of belonging and solidarity, and encourages them to come to terms with their experiences, communicates their ideas and feelings to others.The children stopped abusing glue and other drugs, adjusted well to living and working together, and are committed to the idea of performing.

The project also provides its audiences with information, ideas and motivation that will help them to reflect and address the underlying causes of violence against children.

For more information:http://kabuortheatre.org/


The Garden Classroom (Philippines)

The Garden Classroom of AGREA is a program formed with the mission of enhancing the quality of life for elementary students by turning barren and forgotten school gardens of the Philippines into blooming centers for learning. We dream to design schoolyard gardens that will not only give students critical outdoor access to hands-on knowledge, but also living classrooms for lessons on food cultivation, healthy eating, inter-school farming collaboration, and environmental care.

For more information: http://www.agreaph.com/the-garden-classroom



Guardians of the Vibe (Portland, Oregon)

Guardians of the Vibe is a project birthed from the Portland music and festival community. Our literature and workshop programming focus on inspiring conscious bystanders, consent education, non gendered language, and fun! We believe that together we can create a socially mindful safety web to help protect and inform one another through the power of words and action.

For more information: www.guardiansofthevibe.com


Mictlan Arte Urbano (San Miguel de Allende, Mexico)

Collaborative urban arts and residency in an underserved urban neighbourhood of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  Bilateral workshops and maker space to build public art in the outskirts and less ‘loved’ parts of San Miguel de Allende.

Follow along here: www.lacalacafestival.org


The STEAMM Initiative: For Refugees In Need (Greece)

The STEAMM Initiative: For Refugees In Need is a program spearheaded by our non-profit organization Full STEAMM Ahead, and is an educational initiative designed to help educate Syrian refugee children and their families living in Greece. At this time, there are over 60,000 displaced refugees (many of them children) living in Greece. The educational philosophy of STEAMM revolves around the merging of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math and Mindfulness to produce a more well-rounded educational experience. The STEAMM Initiative will provide a platform to encourage refugee children to recognize their own potential through hands-on STEAMM workshops run in a warm and nurturing environment.

For more information: https://www.fullsteammahead.org/home.html


Recycle Rainbow (Texas)

Recycle Rainbow is an interactive art installation where participants build a large design from reused plastic bottle caps. It’s main purpose is to entertain and educate kids and adults about litter-awareness, recycling, environmental stewardship and community involvement. The project can be transported to other sites, sets up fairly quickly and is perfect for art fests, street fairs and other community events.

For more information: http://www.re-crafter.com/recycle-rainbow.html


Community Garden Planters and Large Scale Sculpture (Philadelphia)

The Open Kitchen and Sculpture Garden is building raised planting beds and a large scale sculpture for this community garden which already hosts a wide range of activities in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. Participants from the community will learn basic carpentry and farming skills, as well as cement art-making.

For more information: https://www.facebook.com/pg/theopenkitchensculpturegarden/photos/?ref=page_internal


Creative Space in Tallinn ((Estonia)

Creating permanent creative space for Estonian Burners community. To bring art/creativity/technology and burners mindset into everyday activities and creating a platform for new ideas; also to increase civic activities/projects.

For more information: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1609514032619063/


Previous Grant Program Information:

BWB is excited to announce the launch of our 10th annual community micro-grant program, and you are invited to apply! To date, BWB has provided over $190K in grants for over 100 projects that have made a positive impact around the world, by leveraging a relatively small amount of money against the mighty power of the community’s capacity to make a difference.


Applications Due: June 4, 2018 at 11:59pm PDT

Grant Awards: $100-$1,500

Link to Online Application: https://goo.gl/forms/eQ9x6anBcaju1h9z2
(If you have any issues with the online form- please email the address below and we’ll send you a simple word document application)

Through BWB’s grant program, we are committed to jump-starting creative, civic projects that both grow community and make a positive impact. We know that real change starts at the grassroots level and healthy communities emerge from citizens participating in actively creating the kinds of communities they want to live in. BWB prides itself on accomplishing a lot with very little money by engaging the power of community and innovative problem solving to make a difference.

BWB hasn’t got to where we are at today by creating a lot of restrictive rules. BWB is about giving ourselves permission to evoke the wildest parts of our imaginations to tackle issues we care about. Really, the sky is the limit. You are encouraged to collaborate with members of your community and dream big! What do you care about? How can your community creatively address a particular issue to make a positive impact? What elements can you invite in that will make it engaging and fun?

WHAT WE DON’T FUND: Paying salaries or stipends or art projects that lack a community, civic engagement component.  Fundraising Events.  Capital Campaigns.

If you are looking for inspiration to create your own project, check out the 2017 award winners2016 award winners to get an idea of the types of project we fund.

In an attempt to help you consider whether or not your project is suitable for our grant program, we’ve provided a list of questions our judges ask when revewing submissions.  These questions are not hard-lines, but rather touch points and things to consider.


  • Does the project’s mission/goals fit with BWB’s? Is it civic/community service minded (vs. art for art’s sake)?
  • How well does this project leverage volunteer resources and community resources against a relatively small injection of money?
  • Does the project seem reasonable/feasible given the budget, timeframe and volunteers who are available to complete the project?
  • What experience does the project leader have in organizing projects? How much support will they require from BWB to make the project successful?
  • Is this project likely to get funded from a different donor? Is our grant important for this project’s existence?
  • What other funds need to be raised for this project to be successful?
  • Will this particular grant money make a significant impact to the project?
  • Will there be any income from this project? If so, how will the profit be used in service of the community?

Community Engagement and Impact

  • Is the project interactive and participatory? Does it engage the broader community beyond the grant recipients? Does the project bring together a variety of stakeholders or communities?
  • How many people will this project touch and in what way?
  • How will this project affect the community over time? What is the life of the project after the grant has been given and the initial project is completed?
  • Is the community inviting this project and is there a demonstrated need for this project?
  • How will the impacts be measured? What is the quality of the impact vs the quantity?
  • How does this project promote community leadership?
  • Is the execution of the project engaging and fun for volunteers?


  • How does the project engage creative ideas or processes?

Questions? bwb@burnerswithoutborders.org

> How to create a Project.