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 07/24/2020

BWB Summer Newsletter 2020

Check out the original newsletter here. The formatting is much nicer 🙂

Is it just us, or is time traveling super strangely these days? It seems like the months are rushing by, yet the days stretch on. Like we’re going a million miles an hour and yet hardly moving while we shelter in place. Depending on where you are in the world, it’s sure to feel different. Some of us are starting to get out there, while others are locking back down. Wherever you are, we hope you are taking care of yourself and have the support you need. Remember- when times get weird, the weird turn pro….but we still can’t forget about our selfcare.  

Not surprisingly this summer edition contains a lot of virtual happenings, as well as community response projects to not only COVID, but resiliency projects based on mutual aid and connecting with our neighbors. There’s still a lot of great things happening and we feel lucky to be connected to it.  

Be safe out there. It’s a marathon and not a sprint.As always, 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.

Upcoming: The Universes of the Multiverse- VirtualBRC
Little did anyone suspect how appropriate the Multiverse theme for 2020 would be. As we head further into summer we are reminded of what we might have been doing in a non-COVID universe….setting up camp meetings, going through dusty storage spaces and supporting our friends art projects. Many of us are missing the thought of our dusty city, but this is not a community to sit down and give in! NO!

We are the Multiverse- which means that Burning Man has become everywhere and all the time. The fine folks over at Kindling (Burning Man Project’s newest portal) have assembled 7 different ‘verses’ with lots of activity happening during the traditional BRC week.  Do you want to get involved?

How will you engage? Will you be on SecondLife, which has had an active BWB Chapter for years? Will you instead unplug, build a giant wooden woman and dance around it naked aside from a face mask while staying at least six feet away from a small group of your friends? Something else completely? We’re here to support- let us know what you’re planning:

Upcoming: Community Activation Call: Responding to Needs, Responding to Change | July 28th, 10a PDT

A Community Activation Call: ‘Responding to Needs, Responding to Change’
Tuesday, July 28, 2020 10a PDT / 12p CDT / 1p EDT / 7p CEST

Register here on Kindling 
or FB event.This conversation will feature Lorraine Tanner, Director of AfrikaBurn, speaking about The Dignity Project, a collaboration between AfrikaBurn and their local public improvement district to provide crisis sanitation facilities for the street-based community in Cape Town, as well as Stephanie Vyborny and Michelle De France of Austin, Texas’ Burning Flipside telling us about the Burner Art Safari, a socially-distanced, yet fully participatory, art tour experience.Learn how these Burner communities are taking their experiences from their regional events to the streets to address local needs amidst the challenges of COVID-19.This call is part of a series highlighting community projects from across the network and fostering conversations around the Burning Man Global Activation Areas. All are welcome to join, please share this free offering with your networks and friends.
The calls will be recorded, and available for future viewing.

Report Out: BWB Spring Summit

The BWB 2020 Spring Summit was incredible. As a community, we saw that our original plan to gather in person this past May wasn’t going to “Fly” (couldn’t resist, we love Fly Ranch), but that we had the chance to do something greater.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the first virtual summit. We had esteemed speakers, musicians, poets, artists, active audiences, donors, and amazing volunteers. The connectedness made this event truly transcend the sum of its parts. Thank you to everyone who participated. We raised $13,000, which is going towards the BWB granting programs, and we’ll have more news on that soon. Thank you to everyone who donated.

For those of you who couldn’t join live, or would like to re-listen, we will have those videos ready to go shortly. Please keep an eye on our YouTube channel.

Report Out: Community Roundup ‘Burners Respond’
In our last newsletter we reflected on the amazing ability of the community to come together in response to crisis. Since then, we’ve continued to be inspired by how our community has responded not only to COVID-19, but to the national uprising against systemic racism and police violence as well.Have you joined a Community Round-Up Call? This experiment in decentralized organization has been rewarding and energizing. We have had over 850+ participants join us. What began as a way to exchange information and present initiatives became a community space in its own right. We’ve had long-time Burners as well as participants experiencing their first interaction with anything Burning Man-related. We love it all, thank you for making this such a success!

The Round-Up Call has amplified 90+ community projects over the last 14 weeks. Special thanks to volunteer Jesse Gibson for creating this database to track projects. We’ve also published a tool-kit so that anyone can replicate these calls within their own communities. We encourage you to try it out, and let us know what you think.

This call, like Burning Man itself, is what we bring to it, and we encourage you to bring whatever you may be working on, thinking about, or interested in. We are now hosting the call twice per month, our next two calls are scheduled for August 12th and August 26th. If you are interested in the mechanics behind it, and would like to get involved in hosting the call, please email us at Otherwise, see you on the call!
Join the ongoing facebook event and follow BWB to get notifications about this call series.

Report Out BWBxEDU: Mutual Aid 101 + Business 101: Entities WTF

While peer-to-peer education online has always been a part of BWB we’ve accelerated the process during COVID-19. We recently published two very different trainings. As always, go to our 
YouTube Channel to see these latest releases.

Mutual Aid Panel 101:
This panel featured Ursa Lee, Joshua Carroll, and Michael Roytburd (Mystic) sharing their experiences with Mutual Aid organizing, how it works, and how it intersects as well as diverges from Burning Man culture. Mutual Aid is a voluntary reciprocal exchange of resources and services for mutual benefit, aka, neighbor helping neighbor, or “rising tides lift all boats.”  
Watch the Mutual Aid video here.

Pro-Tip: Check the video description for a timestamp table of contents. And check out these compendium mutual aid resources.

Business 101: Entities WTF?:
This training was given by BWB Advisory Board Member David Katz. David is an attorney who understands how opaque the world of business entities can be. What is a “nonprofit” anyway? David said he’s never had an audience engage with so many questions. This training is great for anyone curious about starting a legal entity (like an LLC or a nonprofit) or handling money. BWB’er and CPA Nick Farr kindly jumped in to answer some accounting questions, too, so there’s a bonus in there!
Watch the Business 101: Entities WTF? video here.

We have two new education series in the works. The first is a five-part series to support organizing and street-level actions. This series will include: first-aid and mental health awareness, Know Your Rights training, de-escalation training, how to have hard conversations, and a class on cultural competency.

The second series will be a continuation of the Business 101 training. David Katz has kindly offered to help us continue learning about how to make our movements legally sustainable. We don’t have dates yet, but wanted to let you know whats on the horizon.If you have any interest in getting involved or offering a course with BWBxEDU please send us an email at All of our trainers are amazing volunteers and these calls require technical support, chat moderation and other roles. We are happy to train anyone who would like to volunteer!

Report Out: Urban Restoration Street Cleanup + Mural Appreciation

Urban Restoration hosted a #BlackLivesMatter mural art appreciation and street clean-up in downtown Oakland, California in June. Around 40 community members joined from all around the Bay Area. Together, we collected around 12 large trash bags full of MOOP (Matter Out Of Place). We cleaned Frank Ogawa Plaza and along Broadway Avenue following a week of peaceful protests in Downtown Oakland. The goal was to bring the community together to make a positive difference and promote a culture of environmental stewardship.

Part of the day was meant to admire the artistry of the #BLM Movement. The large plywood sheets meant to protect shop windows made the perfect canvases for Oakland’s artists. From hyphy old-school lettering, to classically-trained painters, Oakland once again beautified The Town. There are heartbreaking odes to Breanna Taylor and George Floyd, colorful remembrances of Marsha P. Johnson, pleas for justice, demands for equal rights, and celebrations of Black Lives.  

Urban Restoration is a project with a mission to activate community, inspire civic engagement, and promote a culture of environmental stewardship. The vision is to be a radically-collaborative experimental playground where community members can connect with each other to implement new ideas in raising environmental awareness and becoming a positive force for change in our local neighborhoods.

Join the community page or like the Facebook page.Urban Restoration was founded by DPW volunteer Ladies and Gentleman. Ladies and Gentleman is an expert in trash, recycling and compost at festivals and events, and continues to contribute countless hours to help Black Rock City be more environmentally sustainable.

Regional & Project BWB Updates:

BWB Portland:
BWB-PDX has a new leadership team this quarter! Congratulations to the new leaders, and thank you to those passing the baton.In partnership with Portland Resistance Assistance, BWB Portland is helping to provide protesters and Black Lives Matter event organizers with meals, medical supplies, PPE, weather protection, and hygiene products. Additionally, team members are creating and distributing PPE through MakerForce, organizing city MOOP cleanups, and providing COVID relief grants through PDX Artist Assistance. We are always looking for new members who are excited to get involved with their local Burner community. Please contact if you’d like to attend an information session, join our group to learn about upcoming volunteer opportunities, or follow our page for community updates.

New Orleans Walking Pantry:
At the end of March, The Walking Pantry Project began providing nutritious food and critical goods to the local displaced/unhoused population. We officially stopped the program after nine weeks, but in practice we have only missed two delivery days since the last week of March! [this update dated June 2020] 

We received $340 in cash, and countless other physical donations. To date, all the spent funds have gone to food, toiletries, and clothing. Any remaining funds were redirected to a Burner project in Austin, Texas working to feed their community.
This project gave us insight and experience in how to operate  a direct assistance project during COVID-19, in one of the global hotspots.

Now that hurricane season is upon us, we have launched a new project to help the housing-insecure folks in our community, (and hopefully in your community as well, should a big storm hit your city!). Our Unhoused Hurricane Evacuation Kits GoFundMe is live. We’d love your help to reach our second and third tier goals!

BWB SecondLife:
Over the past few months the BWB-SL team has been RelayingForLife in SecondLife, which is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. This year we raised $403.64!

On June 6th-7th our team had an art installation at the side of the 44 sim Relay track, and we walked the track in honor of lives lost to cancer, celebrate survivors, and support the caregivers who so selflessly help others.

BWB Vancouver:
The BWB Vancouver Chapter has granted a total of $3000 CAD to the following extraordinary initiatives which have been doing good work:

Vancouver Makers for Emergency Response and Support, Seamsters Against COVID-19 and Mask up! DTES, WISH, Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, DTES Response initiative, DA’s Black Rock MOOPATHON, Rachael Anthony’s initiative making meals for people living in Oppenheimer Park, and COVID Emergency Tenant Responders.This summer BWBV is leading collection drives, beach clean ups, and more! We will be calling out for volunteers to help, so please keep an eye on our FB Page for posts on how you can be involved. Thank you!

Together We Grow:
The #TogetherWeGrow community gathers every Sunday morning to talk about plants, seeds, gardens, food, and rooting into the earth.  Experts and amateurs alike are invited to join our weekly gathering. We share tips, give garden tours, and are compiling a set of resources for folks who want to follow in our footsteps.  We’re also planning on having quarterly meals around the solstices and equinoxes. Check out this video we recently made about our journey so far.

BWB San Diego:
March-May: Burners Rebecca Nebert, Bladimir Hernandez and Beth El Vanderwerken collaborated to craft nearly 1000 masks. The masks were either donated to those in need on the front lines of the Covid pandemic, or sold to raise funds for organizations including: Burners Without Borders, Penelope’s Purpose, House of Music, and the Bobo Do Art Grant. Each organization received $450 for their cause.April-May: Burners Traci McKnight, Cameron Hattendorf, Krystin Railing, Erica Graham and Beth El Vanderwerken sang, read poetry, acted, hooped, taught drawing, chair dance and Tai Chi classes virtually to seniors at Vista Knoll Rehabilitation Center in North County, SD who were unable to leave their properties or receive guests.June-Present: Burners John Cardinale, Anthony D’Aula, Lisa Darr, Tasha O’Dell, Sara Cadenzas, the Heyming EVO clan, and Beth El Vanderwerken have been delivering CSA produce boxes to food banks and low-income senior homes in North County that are helping solve food inequity in collaboration with O’side Kitchen Collaborative.

Check out BWB-San Diego on FB here.

Opportunities // Get Involved

Do you love Slack?
Our BWB-Worldwide Slack Space is in need of more community management and design. We know this space has yet to be optimized, and we’re looking for the right folks to support us in the development.

Want to be a Slack Admin with us? – email us at bwb@breedlove

Solidarity Events for DA’s MOOPathon!
Maybe you’ve heard about DA’s Black Rock MOOPATHON? From June 26th to July 3rd he walked SR 447 from Wadsworth to the Black Rock Desert picking up MOOP and raising money for the Burning Man’s Sustainability Initiative.
The MOOPathon lasted 8 days and covered 90 miles. DA raised over $30,000 for sustainability projects, and really put the “fun” back in fundraising.

Feeling inspired and want to create a solidarity cleanup and Leave No Trace in your own community? Here’s a framework we built to set-up your own solidarity event. Let’s see how much MOOP this global community can pick up around the world!  LEAVE NO TRACE!

OPPORTUNITY: Paid Positions with Get Us PPE – APPLY BY JULY 27
Back in March, BWB joined a coalition of individuals and organizations to form Get Us PPE, which has now grown to the largest independent collection of data around COVID-19 related PPE needs in the United States, and an official nonprofit. We are excited to amplify this opportunity to join their team as they onboard a few roles:Executive Director (full time, salary range 90-110k)
Ombudsperson (hourly, part time)For the full listings visit the Get Us PPE homepage.

Digital Content Manager Position Open
Burning Man Project has recently opened the Digital Content Manager position. Please read on for a summary of the role, and follow the link to see the full description and to apply. Burning Man Project’s Digital Content Manager is responsible for maintaining the nonprofit’s presence and storytelling efforts on a growing suite of digital content channels. This includes Burning Man Project’s primary website, blog, weekly e-newsletter, publication on Medium, and various social media accounts.

Even More Resources for You

Mutual Aid Resource: Leveler
Leveler is a tool for peer-to-peer wealth distribution. It’s a way to connect folks who have money to donate to people who have been impacted financially by current events, and who have opted in to receive donations. The Leveler team has built a version specifically for the Burning Man community.

If you are in need, or if you have some to spare, check it out… and spread the word. The more people who see it, the more people we connect, the more we can help each other out. A lot of folks out there could use a gift of money right now, the event production world has been hit hard.

Mutual Aid Resource:  BRC AID
BRC AID is a mutual aid project for the staff and volunteers of Black Rock City. Volunteers from BRC Gate have built this site, and are asking you to join and co-create this system. BRC AID is a cross-departmental collaboration of BRC staff and volunteers working to create a centralized tool to offer and receive emotional, logistical and material support as we attempt to survive together in the default world.

Cool Unaffiliated Resource: Student Funding Opportunity The Invisible College
The 1517 Fund is making $50k investments in idea/R&D-stage teams with one catch – at least one team member can’t have graduated from college. Check out their page to see some of the impressive work they have supported, and the non-monetary resources this unique accelerator has on offer. BWB is just the messenger on this one, but let us know if you apply or if you receive funding for your project.

BWB Press & Media

The Burning Man LIVE podcast is available wherever you get your podcasts!Meet the people who make Burning Man happen, beyond the desert and out in the world. Artists, activists, and innovators. Builders and Burners, freaks and fools. BWB’s very own Tom Price and Christopher Breedlove kicked-off the pilot episode ‘Creative Solutions to Mass Destruction’.

Art Activation: ‘Supporting Artists in Dynamic Times’
Watch this video discussion with Joe Meschede (BMP’s Civic Arts Coordinator) interviewing the founders of Rbhu Engineering, Ali Lahijanian and Selinda Martinez, and BUILDING 180’s Meredith Winner. They explore the unique initiatives each organization instituted to support artists responding to both the COVID-19 pandemic as well as their efforts to support Black Lives Matter.

Ecosystem Activation: ‘Sustainability Roadmap Year One Report’
Watch this video discussion with Burning Man Staff and Community Members as we look at the sustainability roadmap that Burning Man published in 2019 and talk about what we said we’d do, what we’ve done, and what we’re looking to do next. We cover the three main goals of the roadmap: Handle Waste Ecologically, Be Regenerative, and Become Carbon Negative. You can also check out the written year one report here on Medium.

What We’re Listening To: On Being with Resmaa Menakem

“On Being” is a wonderful interview program hosted by Krista Tippet. We are sitting with her interview of therapist and trauma specialist Resmaa Menakem, titled “Notice the Rage, Notice the Silence.

At BWB we know that self-care is an important practice to sustain energy towards a better world. The body stores trauma for a long time, which can impact our behavior for years (and even generations). Our team members have been loving this podcast interview with Resmaa Menakem- therapist, trauma specialist, and author of memoir + workbook: My Grandmother’s Hands. Resmaa Menakem shares practices using old wisdom and very new science about our bodies and nervous systems, and all we condense into the word “race.”

Consider Making a Donation to BWB
BWB is funded through BRC ticket sales and donations. In a year 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. 
It has been your generous support and participation over the years 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, to iterate, and to doing so in challenging environments.The unique gifts this community brings to the international stage is quickly 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 let’s us know our work has impact.
Thank you!
– The BWB Team


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