BRAF Goes to the Burning Man Regional Leadership Summit

Josie, Black Rock Arts Foundation
affinity and Tomas in between sessions at the Regional Summit

Several weeks ago, Tomas McCabe, BRAF’s Executive Director, BRAF’s Josie Schimke, Program and Development Assistant and I, affinity, BRAF’s Social Network Coordinator, (and registrar for the Summit) had the privilege of attending the Burning Man Regional Leadership Conference here in San Francisco. It was exciting to be with people from across the globe who were looking forward to being here to learn and share information about being a Regional Leader. We were thrilled to meet many people that we had corresponded with but never met.

There were brainstorming sessions, social networking, public relations, conflict resolution, event production, building community and a host of other lectures and workshops, all with the goal of creating a stronger regional network. Tomas, Josie and I learned a lot during the weekend, but our favorite part was when 2 separate regional groups, that were BRAF grant recipients in 2008, got up to tell the stories of how they brought public, interactive art to their regions. I am going to tell you more about those stories in a different post but first I am going to tell you what the Jack Rabbit Speaks had to say about the Regional Leadership Summit:

We recently finished up our 3rd annual Regional Network Leadership Summit …Nearly 100 attendees (including Regional Contacts and other leaders from local communities who were welcomed as invited guests) from across the country and the globe joined us at Burning Man Headquarters for a weekend full (and we do mean FULL) of discussion, brainstorming, collaboration, presentations, creativity, and socializing — all about how to take their experiences with Burning Man and share them with the rest of the world all year long. The place was downright packed, and the vibe positively electric with ideas arcing across the room, and people connecting to collaborate on projects larger than the sum of their parts. Imagine a really boring conference…only you’re all talking about REALLY COOL STUFF, and everyone around you is incredibly interesting, it’s actually NOT BORING. Through workshops, roundtable discussions, and a whole lot of socializing in the halls, the themes of leadership and connecting our participatory culture were explored, expounded upon, and examined. If you’re curious to hear more, ask your local Regional Contact, if you have one in your area, whether or not he/she went. It was great to have a nice jolt of inspiration right at the Burnal Equinox, when the apex of our annual cycle’s orbit takes us the “farthest” from the playa.

photos thanks to: and

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