Advisory Board

Melissa Alexander

bio coming soon…

Rebecca Anders

Rebecca is an accomplished sculptor and fire artist currently residing in the bay area. A graduate of Cornell University and a veteran of Junkyard Wars, she’s been an instrumental participant in the Flaming Lotus Girl’s monumental Burning Man projects and was part of the only all female team to receive a commission from Burners Without Borders and the National Parks Service to create large scale public fire art on Ocean Beach. In her spare time she has participated in a number of Bay Area art and performance organizations.

Darius Anderson

Darius Anderson is a California based entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of two California based companies, Platinum Advisors, LLC, a government relations and public affairs firm, representing over 150 corporate to non-profit clients on a federal, state and local level and Kenwood Investments, LLC, a private equity real estate development firm.

Platinum Advisors is a one-of-a-kind company where ingenuity, relationships and innovation came together to forge policy solutions in an ever-changing political and economic environment. Kenwood Investments is currently part of the Treasure Island Development Project, a $1 billion economic redevelopment of the former Naval Station Treasure Island located in the San Francisco Bay. Treasure Island is being heralded as one of the Country’s most “green” developments and was recently selected for recognition by the Clinton Climate Initiative as one of 16 worldwide master developments that are leaders in sustainability and by the American Institute of Architects for its prestigious Urban Design Award for Sustainability 2009.

In 2006, Darius acquired the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco, CA as part of a long range plan to transition the Aquarium to non-profit status under the leadership of The Bay Institute. Under Darius’ ownership, the Aquarium funded the first of its kind seven gill shark study in partnership with the University of California, Davis and developed a Climate Change Exhibit featuring land animals. In June 2009, the transition of ownership to The Bay Institute came to fruition and The Aquarium of the Bay is now a non-profit the remains committed to protecting the Bay and educating the public about sensitive marine issues.

Philanthropy is important to Darius, and he is involved in a variety of charitable activities. He serves as the Chair of the National Advisory Council at the Institute of Governmental Studies at University of California, Berkeley, is on the Board of Directors of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the George Washington University Graduate School of Public Management’s Council on American Politics and is Chair of the Sonoma Jazz + Festival. He is a passionate art collector and owns world-class collections of Cuban Art and both baseball and Jack London memorabilia.

Darius Anderson holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

John Perry Barlow

John co-founder and Vice-Chair of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and was the first to apply the term Cyberspace to the “place” it presently describes. John works actively with several consulting groups, including DiamondCluster, Vanguard, and Global Business Network. He has been, since 1998, a Berkman Fellow at the Harvard Law School. Previously, he owned and operated a large cattle ranch in Wyoming. In addition to writing songs with The Grateful Dead, he has written for Mondo 2000, The New York Times, Time, and, from its inception, Wired. He writes, speaks, and consults on the digital economy, the perils of excessive copyright protection, the intelligence agencies, and the spiraling decline of civil liberties. John lives in Wyoming, New York, San Francisco, On the Road, and in Cyberspace. He has three nearly grown daughters and aspires to be a good ancestor.

Melissa Barron

Melissa has survived being a woman born in the 1950s so she is now one freckle past a hair of primordial understandings. She has a multifaceted background with a BS from UC Davis in Environmental Planning and Management/Landscape Architecture (green before there was “Green”); she has traveled the world as a Pan Am flight attendant, was a designer clothing buyer at Nordstrom, and worked in marketing and advertising in both print and online media including W Magazine, Women’s Wear Daily (WWD), Gentlemen’s Quarterly (GQ), The New Yorker and She is fluent in the language of Corporate America but is also indigenous to creativity, freedom of expression and art in its many forms. She arrived late to the art party, unveiling her first interactive performance art piece, Crowning Glory, at Burning Man in 2007.

Brian Bastuba

Brian is President of Great Lakes Experimental Arts, Inc the sponsor of Lakes of Fire, the Great Lakes regional burn. He is one of the founding members of SPARC (the Society to Promote Arts and Recreation in the Community), in Detroit a non-profit formed in part to co-create the Temple of the American Dream with David Best, Motor City Blight Busters and Black Rock Arts Foundation. Brian is one of three Regional Contacts for Burning Man in Chicago, where he is currently working with the steering committee to create the Bold Urban Renaissance Network a NFP supporting arts in Chicago. Brian lived in the Detroit area for over 30 years before moving to Chicago in 2005. He is a Plastics Engineer, graduating from U-Mass Lowell, with over 18 years of helping people make stuff out of plastic. Preferred method of transport is via motorcycle.

Christopher Bently

Christopher Bently is an environmentalist, musician, and green businessman focusing on sustainable practices related to all forms of life. His early years were spent playing and producing music professionally in many arenas. In 2001 he founded Bently Holdings, an environmentally conscious real estate holding company focusing on architecturally significant and historic buildings in and around San Francisco. Among his other companies are Kamalaspa, an Indian Ayurvedic day spa focusing on holistic healing and pampering, and Bently Biofuels which produces bio diesel for consumer and agricultural use. It was his first voyage to Black Rock City that revolutionized his life. The Playa is where he learned of a community based solely on gifting and love which created the philanthropist he is today. He advises and sits on boards of several organizations and uses his company as a vehicle to support non-profits that are aligned with his own interests. Chris is a very proud member of the communities of San Francisco and Black Rock City working to improve and maintain the spirit and integrity of both. In his free time Chris enjoys riding motorcycles and flying helicopters.

Susan Bernosky

Susan Bernosky, aka Sweetthang, was born in Columbus, Ohio, but doesn’t consider that home. Five states, one natural disaster and seven siblings later, she finally landed in Gretna, LA, which she prefers to claim as her roots. Eventually abandoning her brothers and sisters, parents and high school at the no-longer-innocent age of 17, she joined a cult, became a vegetarian and had a baby in California. Over the period of the next 20 years, in addition to preparing for the end of the world, she raised 3 children and honed her skills as a recording studio grunt, pharmacy clerk, motorcyclist, and insurance salesman. She learned two lessons from these experiences. The first: using intuition is not cheating and the second: there is no limit to what one has can accomplish.

In 1997 Sweetthang was gifted a ticket to Burning Man. She admits to being a spectator for a mere 1½ days. The next year she returned as a volunteer for the young Community Services department, Greeters. In 1999 she became the project manager for this department and remained so until 2004. After a year off she returned as a member of the Placement Team and then accepted her current positions with Burning Man in 2008. Concurrently, she started her scratch insurance business in 1997, which is now a thriving business with 5 employees. She thinks maybe her Gemini nature and life lessons account for the ability to play and succeed in two totally different sand boxes. Additionally she attributes her success in life to a triad “rules of thumb”: Love your family, take care of your body and live true to yourself….

As the Placement Project Manager, Sweetthang is responsible for the care and feeding of a team of folks that are mainly responsible for Registered Theme Camp Placement on playa and the communication and planning that is required most of the year to accomplish this task. They also manage additional placement needs prior to the opening of the event for the volunteers, staff and artists that create their home in Black Rock City.

David Best

David Best, a native of San Francisco, began going to the SF Art Institute at the age of six, and has been driven to create ever since. His work walks the fine line of the human experience: accumulated details, an assemblage, parts rendered whole. His work spans many mediums; consistently the ordinary is rendered fantasy. Recognized for the amount of his own energy he invests in his work, David is well-known for the series of Temples he and his crew have built as a part of the Burning Man Project – the intense and varied energy required for their manifestation and the subsequent incendiary release. His pieces can be found in the collections of the SFMOMA, Oakland Museum, and the San Jose Museum of Art.

Jessica Bobier

Jessica Bobier, aka “the nurse”, has been an integral part of what has led BRAF and Burning Man to where it is today. Her history includes being a member of the Media Team, the BRAF Executive Liaison during its formative years of 2002-2005, the Burning Man Office Manager, and much more. Her enthusiasm, joie de vivre, commitment and persistence in so many roles, from participant to volunteer, to staff member, have helped shape numerous aspects of the event and BRAF. Her charm, wit, and pluck will melt you as soon as you meet her.

Loren Carpenter

Loren is a computer graphics researcher and developer, co-founder and Senior Scientist of Pixar. He won an Oscar in 2000, one of three awarded for the invention of digital filmmaking. His 11 patents all encourage humans to express themselves and to relate to one another through imagination. Loren received a BS in Mathematics and an MS from the Department of Computer Science & Engineering, both at the University of Washington. He has attended Burning Man since 1995.

Zachary Coffin

Zach explores the interactive possibilities of kinetic sculpture. With an eye toward material, mass, precision and form, this search continues. Raised in Atlanta, educated at the Cooper Union and in love with San Francisco, he went to Burning Man in 1996 and every year since. His first commissioned Burning Man work was the Sisyphus project in 2000, bringing a 9 ton granite boulder to the event. He has been stepping on the scale ever since, building Rockspinner in 2001, the Temple of Gravity in 2003 and Colossus in 2005. He has built and installed large kinetic sculpture in the US and Europe and lives with his wife (Jill) and two kids (Sofia and Geronimo) in a big warehouse in Atlanta. He recently joined the heavy-equipment division of Burning Man DPW and has enjoyed the challenge of helping other artists push their gravitational limits on the playa.

Bill Codding

Bill Codding is a ‘Rocket Scientist’ by education, an IT consultant and former CTO, and a fire artist on top of it all. He has a BS and an MS in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell and Stanford Universities. In past lives he worked for NASA and helped start one of the pioneering internet infrastructure companies.

He has participated in Burning Man since 1994, building installation art for most of those years and serving as project manager for David Best’s temples. Most recently, he is the artist for the Burninator projects, and has installed his large scale fire art on the playa and in urban settings. Using scale and power, he likes creating fire art that evokes strong visceral reactions and forcefully engages the audience. He has also contributed film footage to several major Burning Man documentary films.

Jeremy Crandell

Jeremy is Executive Director and Board member of PlanetQuest, a non-profit promoting planetary discovery through net-mediated collaboration among professional and amateur astronomers. He is also Technology Manager and Board member for The Crucible, the Oakland, CA metal arts school. He co-founded and was product manager of Brightmail, an enterprise anti-spam service. He holds a BA in Political Science and Russian from Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. Jeremy has been going to Burning Man since 1998, and supporting arts and nonprofit organizations (especially sculptural and performing arts) since 2000.

David Martin Darst

David is a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley and Chairman of the firm’s Global Wealth Management Asset Allocation and Investment Policy Committee. He serves as Chief Investment Strategist of the Global Wealth Management Group, and was the founding President of the Morgan Stanley Investment Group. David is the author of five books, and writes extensively on asset allocation in the Morgan Stanley monthly publication Asset Allocation and Investment Strategy Digest and other publications, the predecessors of which he launched in 1997. David appears regularly on CNBC, Bloomberg Television, and in other media including Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, Fox, and The New York Times. David earned his BA degree in Economics from Yale University and his MBA from Harvard Business School, and he served as a visiting faculty member at both institutions for nine years. In April 2002, David was the moderator for Larry Harvey’s lecture “Viva Las Xmas” at Cooper Union in New York City.

Erik Davis

Erik is the author of The Visionary State: A Journey through California’s Spiritual Landscape, the cult classic TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Information Age, and a critical volume on Led Zeppelin’s fourth album. A frequent speaker and teacher at universities and festivals alike, Davis has contributed articles and essays to scores of books and publications, and posts regularly at He lives in San Francisco with his wife, and they first attended Burning Man in 1994.

Carmel Dunlap

Carmel is BRAF’s youngest Advisory Board member and is currently a student at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). She loves creating art with fabric, metal, wood and other random and exciting found materials. Carmel has created and hosted fashion shows, workshops as well as events at the Rock Paper Scissors Collective (Oakland, CA) and the Bioneers Conferences (Marin, CA). When Carmel is not furthering her leadership and creative skills with programs like the Future Leadership Institute (FLI) and The Mosaic Project, she loves to go on black and white film adventures, climb tree houses / buildings, collage paper creatures, re-craft old clothes, go running around lakes, and most of all travel and explore the crevices and volcanoes of the world.

Alan Eyzaguirre

Alan is currently at Apple Computer, where he works closely with key executives on major launches and managing new applications. Alan has founded several successful startups, worked in at Adobe Ventures and actively participated in cultural events like the Webby Awards. A Burning Man participant since 1996 and is a Lifetime Member of Burning Man.

Peter Durand

bio coming soon…

Linda Gass

Linda is both an artist and an entrepreneur. Her experience includes managing software development, business development, founding an artist owned gallery as well as being a practicing artist. She shows her work in galleries and museums internationally. Linda also serves on the board of the Textile Arts Council of the de Young Museum, and is the Southwestern Regional Representative for the Surface Design Association. She has served on the boards of the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles and the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship. She received her BS in Mathematics and MS in Computer Science from Stanford University.

Marian Goodell

Marian Goodell has been a member of the 6-person ownership structure of Burning Man, an interactive, participant-oriented, week-long event, since late 1996. Goodell has been Burning Man’s Director of Business and Communications since 1997; and in 2003 she added oversight of the Department of Public Works, the production team responsible for setting up and tearing down Burning Man’s event infrastructure in the Black Rock Desert.

In 1997 Goodell worked with Burning Man participants to create a Regional Network supporting their local communities, inspiring civic participation, and engaging people through Burning Man’s ethics and values. As of 2009, the Regional Network includes over 160 individuals in 125 locations worldwide.

Goodell holds a BA in Creative Writing from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland and an MFA in photography from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She has worked in sales and public relations, and was a project manager for a software development firm producing when she first arrived as a participant at Burning Man in 1995. Her first love and escape from work is her two sweet-tempered kitties, and her second is her level 80 fire-specced Blood Elf Mage.

Justin Gunn

A veteran of the television industry, Justin Gunn presently serves as Senior Vice President of Programming at Current TV. He was an instrumental force in creating Current’s Viewer Created Content division as well as, the online social news and media sharing platform where users contribute and define the news. A Burner since 1999, it wasn’t until 2005 that Justin came to Black Rock City as a filmmaker. In 2006, he returned to create TV Free Burning Man, an approach to televised coverage designed to put the power of the media in the hands of participants. With Burning Man itself a constant source of inspiration for many of the programs at Current, he remains committed to bringing the principals of participation and empowerment to all of his projects.

Dana Harrison

Dana retired in 1998 after finding that 18 years in executive positions in the financial services industry nourished her bank account, but not her heart and soul. She spent the next 8 years volunteering and then working for Burning Man year round as a Senior Staff member; developing an industrial building in Oakland into a live-work and performance space; and setting up and managing Planet Care, a group providing humanitarian and medical relief to refugees on the Thai-Burma border. Now, having wrapped up her other projects and stepped away from Burning Man duties to allow her to visit the glaciers of K2, she’s looking for her next focus and challenge

Jack Haye

bio coming soon…

Mark Higbie

Mark Higbie, a native of Detroit, Michigan, is the principal of Higbie Visual Partners, a strategic communications firm working with private equity and industrial clients nationally. Mark’s current business focus is communicating the climate crisis. Prior to arriving in California in 1994, Mark worked as a political operative in four national presidential campaigns, and served in two presidential administrations. Since developing his first roll of film in a make-shift darkroom at age eight, Mark has had a passion for image-making that’s led to a series of productions that present the transformative ethos of Burning Man. Mark attended his 11th event in 2006.

Peter Hudson

Peter Hudson, a self described autodidact (read uneducated), is a San Francisco visual artist who channels his technical and set design experience, childlike curiosity, and creative passion into life-size stroboscopic zoetropes. In 2000, Peter debuted his first major installation, Playa Swimmers at Burning Man. The Swimmers engaged festival participants to interact and experience the art on a variety of personal levels. The following year, Peter introduced his own idea of mobile art to the citizens of Black Rock City. Possession, a collection of six hands strategically placed on a model. That same year, Peter also installed his second installation, Four Way Stoplight. 2002 ushered in the large scale, stroboscopic zoetropes for which Peter has become known. Sisyphish, which depicts strobe-lighted swimmers in motion, has been installed in San Francisco, Nelson Canada for the Shambhala music festival as well as the Big Chill festival in Malvern England. At Burning Man 2004 Peter unveiled his second zoetrope of divers cascading from the sky into the play titled Deeper. In 2007, Peter was inspired to bring his most ambitious piece, Homouroboros, to the playa. The following year the Black Rock Arts Foundation funded bringing Homouroboros up to code and exhibited it in the 01SJ festival in San Jose California. The piece was subsequently featured at the Rothbury music festival in Rothbury Michigan, and the Mile High Music Festival in Denver Colorado. In 2008 inspired by Burning Mans ‘American Dream’ theme, Peter came up with a modern spin of the myth of Tantalus, which took on a much more political flavor than his previous works.

For the past 23 years, Peter’s day jobs have spanned the gamut from being a stage carpenter at the San Francisco Opera, featured in the 1991 documentary Sing Faster, to dressing sets for the hit TV crime drama, Nash Bridges, to designing a plethora of elaborate sets for Other memorable gigs include set work on the Robin Williams films What Dreams May Come, Flubber, and Patch Adams. While at the New York Film Academy in 1999 Peter tried his hand at filmmaking by adapting his brother Andrew’s short story “Apartment”, into a short film with a longer name, Apartment Shortage. Since then Peter has occasionally worked as a set dresser on such films as The Heartbreak Kid, Kite Runner, Four Christmases as well as the Oscar winning film Milk about legendary San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk. 2009 has had Peter working on two back to back TV pilots ‘Trauma’ and ‘Parenthood’ for NBC.

Dorka Keehn

Dorka Keehn is an award winning artist and the Principal of Keehn On Art, a public art advisory. She is also a San Francisco Arts Commissioner serving as chair of the Visual Arts Committee that commissions artwork pertaining to the Public Art Program, and reviews and approves all art in the Civic Art Collection and the Art Commission Gallery. Additionally, she is a member of the Arts Commission Civic Design Review Committee, which evaluates and has final purview over all construction or renovation of City-owned architecture, streets, and landscape design. In February 2014, Dorka completed her second collaboration with artist Brian Goggin on a permanent site-specific artwork, Caruso’s Dream, commissioned by Avalon Bay for a new highrise in San Francisco. Their previous collaboration, The Language of the Birds, the first solar powered public sculpture, was voted one of the best public artworks in the U.S. by Americans for the Arts. Dorka also led the fundraising effort for The Bay Lights, an 8 million dollar 25,000 LED light installation by artist Leo Villareal for the Bay Bridge, which was unveiled March 2013.

David Koren

David Koren is the founder and Executive Producer of FIGMENT, an annual participatory arts event on Governors Island in New York Harbor. He is also a board member of Action Arts League, the 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that sponsors the event. David has significant professional experience in marketing, the design industry, and in theatre. He is an Associate Principal and the Director of Marketing at Perkins Eastman, the largest architecture firm in New York, where he is responsible for providing overall marketing strategy, leading the firm’s business development efforts, and supervising marketing staff in the firm’s 13 worldwide offices. He is the author of The Architect’s Essentials of Marketing, a basic guide to marketing for architects, published by John Wiley & Sons and endorsed by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). In January 2008, David was named one of the “40 under 40” in Building Design & Construction Magazine. He is a graduate of New York University (BFA in Dramatic Writing) and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland (M.Phil. in Irish Theatre). He is a published playwright, and two of his plays are performed frequently around the United States and abroad.

Laura Kimpton

Bio coming soon…

Alexander Lloyd

A longtime Burning Man participant, Alex Lloyd is a member of the San Francisco Arts Commission, appointed by Mayor Gavin Newsom; and also serves on the board of SF Camerawork. Alex is a Venture Partner at Rustic Canyon, a venture capital firm. He was a founding partner of Accelerator Venture Partners, a San Francisco-based partnership that invests in and consults with early-stage technology companies. Alexander received a BA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School.

Phil Linhares

Phil was born in Visalia, California in 1939. He then embarked on a distinguished academic and curatorial career: California College of Arts and Crafts, BFA 1961, MFA 1963, Museum Management Institute, UC Berkeley/Getty Fellow, 1988; Director of Exhibitions, San Francisco Art Institute, 1967-1977; Director, Mills College Art Gallery, 1978 – 1990; Chief Curator of Art, The Oakland Museum of California, 1990 to present. Charter Member, Early Ford V-8 Club of America; Member of the Board: American Hot Rod Foundation, Claire Falkenstein Foundation. Resident of Oakland with wife, Sharon, and daughters Regine (17) Celeste & Gabrielle (14), 2 cats and a rabbit and two old Fords.

Carmen Mauk

Carmen is a gifted facilitator and catalyzer of transformation in human systems. She has collaborated with the Institute of Noetic Sciences and the Omega Institute to develop practices that support the conditions for collective wisdom to emerge in organizations. Currently Carmen is the project manager for Burners without Borders as well as Burning Man Information Radio.

Affinity Mingle

Affinity Mingle has been a Burner since 2000, got legally married on the Playa in 2001, was the wedding coordinator and then the training coordinator at Burning Man before coming to the Black Rock Arts Foundation as the Social Media Coordinator. She blogs, she tweets, she flickrs and facebooks. She is an ERISA attorney, was on the Board of Directors of the Western Pension and Benefits Conference and an intern with the Human Awareness Institute for 10 years, loves living in San Francisco and is a craft dilettante.

Kay Morrison

Kay has spent the last 10 years in the nonprofit and arts administration worlds. She is a founding board member and former President of Ignition Northwest, a membership based non-profit organization created to foster radical self-expression, participatory art, and sustainable community through regional events, art grants, and information sharing and education for the Burner-based community in the Pacific Northwest. Outside of the administrative realms, Kay is a world traveler, a metal worker, a writer for Just Cause Magazine, and a die-hard Seattleite.

Nabiel Musleh

bio coming soon…

Geoffrey Nelson

bio coming soon…

Peter Norton

Peter Norton was formerly a prolific author helping introduce people to the inner workings of personal computers, and was the author of Norton Utilities, Anti Virus, etc. He’s now happy to be an over-the-hill has-been. Peter has been collecting avant garde and generally wacky contemporary art for decades and serves on the boards of various straight art museums such as the Museum of Modern Art. He prefers the art on the playa.

Joseph Olivier, P.E.

Joe Olivier is the founder and principal of Facilatech, an engineering firm that specializes in energy conservation for large facilities. In joining the BRAF board, he is continuing his parents’ tradition of actively supporting the arts. Joe attended his first Burning Man in 2000, and has been one of the builders of the Man since 2002. He credits Burning Man with giving him the impetus to start Facilatech so that he would have the ability to take time off of work to volunteer for the organization. Joe holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Tulane University.

Chris Paine

Chris Paine is a filmmaker, activist and 10 year veteran of Black Rock City currently living in Los Angeles.
Chris’ Who Killed the Electric Car? premiered at the Sundance Film Festival before its release by Sony Pictures in 2006. The film screened around the world to become the most successful documentaries in recent years.

Previously, Chris was executive producer on Faster narrated by Ewan McGregor about the world’s fastest motorcycle race, and No Maps For These Territories about cyberpunk author William Gibson with U2’s front-man, Bono. Chris also produced for the MTV series BUZZ and assisted writer/producer Michael Tolkin on the feature films The Player and The New Age. His first Sundance production was the 1995 short Mailman.

Television appearances include The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (2006), Sundance’s The Green (2007), and The G Word on Discovery (2008).

Chris also founded Internet Outfitters in 1994, one of the early players in web 1.0. The firm went public as AppNet in 1999. His earlier company, Mondo-tronics, provided materials for the Mars Pathfinder mission. In addition to BRAF, Chris supports the Rainforest Action Network, IMPRO, the Wildlife Learning Center and Plug-In America. Chris studied film with Jon Else, acting with Sanford Meisner, and international relations at Colgate University in New York.

Most recently Chris has launched a green event space Marrakesh House ( as well as a blog for his 2011 film (

Maria Partridge

Maria Partridge is a painter and art professor living in Reno, Nevada. Her work has been shown in galleries and museums throughout the country and is in national and international private collections. Four years ago, she was one of those people who admired the art of Burning Man but not the idea of survival camping. But she made it to the playa, and was lucky enough to receive an art tour hosted by Crimson Rose. She’s since worked her butt off helping to bring playa art to the city of Reno in BRAF’s name. This has resulted in two temporary art installations in downtown Reno: The Mangrove, September – November 2008; Celtic Forest; Book of the Raven, June 26 – December 1 2009; and the permanent installation of Tree Spire by Tabasco and the Iron Monkeys, September 2009 in Whittaker Park. Maria has also curated two photo shows in Reno: From the Playa to the Parks – BRAF Paves the Way in 2008 at the McKinnley Art Gallery, and From the Playa to the Runway – The Art of Burning Man and Burning Man – The Other 51 Weeks of the Year, both in 2009 at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport and both featured the other outreach organizations of Burning Man as well.

Mark Pincus

A new-media entrepreneur, Mark founded, supportsoft (NASD: SPRT) and freeloader. His best-known project is Tribe Networks, a popular social-networking and web marketplace. He graduated from Harvard Business School and University of Pennsylvania. Mark has attended Burning Man since 2002; but because of his passion for the Telluride Film Festival (which occurs over Labor Day), he didn’t see the Man burn until 2005.

Bob Pittman

Bob Pittman is a member of New York based Pilot Group. He was the programmer who led the team that created MTV and has served as CEO of MTV Networks, Time Warner Enterprises, Six Flags Theme Parks, Century 21 Real Estate and AOL Networks. He was also COO of America Online, Inc and later AOL Time Warner. He began his career as a radio announcer and programmer. He has served as chairman of both the poverty fighting Robin Hood Foundation and the Public Theater in NYC. Bob never finished college, but hopes his kids don’t find out until they graduate.

Jennifer Raiser

Jennifer “Coco” Raiser is a self-avowed dilettante, combining roles as a corporate manager, magazine writer, party-goer and parent with varying degrees of success. Currently she is known for her monthly “Gala ‘Bout Town” column for San Francisco’s Nob Hill Gazette magazine, although she is also author of numerous (less frivolous) articles, interviews, essays and a book published by John Wiley and Sons. She also works with her family property management and investment firm. For fifteen years she put on the black suit as CEO of three luxury retirement communities, with prior stints as a management consultant and marketing executive. She has worked in advertising, brand management, and major donor fundraising. She has also served on a number of community and nonprofit boards, most recently the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the Junior Statesmen of America. A four-time Burner, she religiously spends the last week of August ensconced in her leopard upholstered Airstream trailer, the Coco Cabana. With her brother Phillip Raiser, she collaborated on the production of Babylon Tower, a ten-story steel structure/art piece at BM 2008. Jennifer holds a BA in English Literature and an MBA, both from Harvard University. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, two teenagers, three flat-coated retrievers, and a superabundance of costumes.

Kate Raudenbush

Kate is a sculptor and photographer who works within themes of social commentary, history and mythology. Utilizing materials of laser-cut steel, acrylic, wood, mirror, sound and light, she shapes her designs into interactive, enveloping environments that are given more meaning with each participant’s interaction. Her sculpture is in the permanent collection of the Nevada Museum of Art, and includes publicly and privately commissioned works for the likes of BRAF, the Cultural Commission of Redwood City, CA, the All Points West Music Festival and Alex Grey’s CoSM Art Sanctuary. A Burner since 1999, Kate has also won five consecutive honorarium commissions for large-scale interactive sculpture from Burning Man.

Rae Richman

Rae has more than 15 years experience providing strategic consulting to organizations of all sizes, including family and corporate foundations, leading nonprofits and a wide range of Fortune 500 global corporations. Rae currently serves as the Director of the Bay Area office of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and manages grantmaking programs that impact communities in the US and globally. Prior to joining RPA, she had her own consultancy for values-based organizations specializing in corporate social responsibility, organizational development, and strategic planning. During that time, she served as the facilitator of the annual 6-day retreats of both the Black Rock City LLC Board and the Burning Man Senior Staff. She received her BA from the University of Virginia and her MBA from the UC Berkeley/Columbia University Executive MBA program.

Maureen Ryan

Maureen (Mo) Ryan is an amphibian biologist in Bellingham, WA. She is a former wilderness guide and is in the process of completing a PhD in population biology, with a focus on amphibian ecology, from the University of California, Davis. Mo is also founder and president of the Darby Foundation, a non-profit whose mission is to support vibrant civic communities and biologically diverse wild spaces. Mo has participated in Burning Man since 2004, and contributed an art installation in 2006: a series of steel sculptures depicting the winter inhabitants of the playa – delicate fairy and tadpole shrimp whose dry eggs in summer can withstand fire. She is most excited about the transformational possibilities that emerge when communities connect through interactive arts and engagement with the biological world.

Peter Schurman

Peter builds organizations from concept to reality to long-term stability, most recently as founding Executive Director of He is a late bloomer as a Burner, first attending the desert event in 2005. For Peter, the event’s freedom and community spirit are essential American values, and he believes BRAF may hold the key to connecting with people everywhere who share those values. “We could be the core of the national community our country so desperately needs.”

David Silverman

David started drawing at age 4 and has learned little since. He was successively animator, director, and supervising director of “The Simpsons”; co-directed DreamWorks’ “Road to El Dorado” and Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.”; and was story consultant to Blue Sky on “Ice Age.” He attended the University of Maryland, then received an MFA in animation at UCLA. David has been to Burning Man five times since 2001, and wonders how to give the art a wider audience. For fun he plays the tuba, most recently the fire tuba.

Aaron Sosnic

bio coming soon…

Jane Sullivan

bio coming soon…

Jack Sylvan

Jack Sylvan is a burner, a bicycler, a bureaucrat and a believer. Jack is the Director of Joint Development in the Mayor’s Office of Economic & Workforce Development where he manages public/private real estate development projects for the City. For the past 7 years he has managed the redevelopment of Treasure Island. Jack is a believer in large-scale public art that engages community, inspires viewers and participants and provokes perspective.

Mark Van Proyen

Mark Van Proyen is a San Francisco-based artist and art critic who is Associate Professor of Art History, Painting and Digital Media at the San Francisco Art Institute. He has exhibited his paintings and digital prints internationally (most recently in Beijing, China), and is a Contributing Editor for ARTWEEK magazine. He also writes regularly for Art Criticism, Bad Subjects, Art Issues, the New Art Examiner and Art in America. He earned his Master of Fine Arts Degree from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1979. He is also a programming consultant for the Western States Arts Federation.

Leo Villareal

Leo Villareal is an artist, living in New York City. whose light sculptures have been exhibited in galleries and museums from Taipei to Toulouse and across the U.S. He has attended Burning Man since 1994 and is one of the founders of Disorient. He studied installation sculpture and video at Yale University and went on to the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University, specializing in virtual reality, simulation and interactive television.

Kurt Wallace Martin

Kurt is a consultant and entrepreneur who works to help people and organizations reach their ultimate potential. After graduate studies and work in environmental education, Kurt joined the Ford Motor Company where he helped launch and the Sync product. Later Kurt started Steel Surf Studio, which guides colleges in building interactive “Smart Lounges” that cater to the high-tech needs of students. A sometimes award-winning screenwriter, game designer, and cyclist, Kurt is a Burning Man Regional Rep and helped bring the steel Roaster Coaster to the playa. He was a founder of Sparc, the 501c3 that worked with BRAF on the Detroit Temple of the American Dream project, which he coordinated. His daughter communicates well with animals, including her kilt-wearing father.

Mike Wilson

Mike Wilson is an executive at the forefront of new media development, publishing, film and videogame production, and Internet marketing. A pioneer and leading expert in development and marketing to the computer- and video-game audience, he takes pride that every game industry company he has been a part of is still in existence and most are thriving. He produced the acclaimed documentary film “Burning Man: Beyond Black Rock.” Now Mike is threatening to shake up the games biz again in 2006 with a project known only as “The Second Coming.”

Deborah Windham

Deborah Windham M.D., known as “Dr.Deb”, has created works of art for the playa and participated in Temple Crew and DPW. She has been an active supporter of BRAF for 5 years because of her belief in linking community with interactive art as a way of transforming the world through connectiveness. She is a performance and mixed media artist, mother, family practice physician, singer, and dancer. She attended the University of Southern Mississippi as a theatre and dance major. She then went on to get a “real” job, obtaining her B.S. in Biology at the University of California, Irvine. She graduated from UCLA medical school and did her residency at Harbor-UCLA County hospital, serving as the Medical Director of the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center at Eisenhower Medical Center and as a member of the Riverside county sheriff’s Sexual Assault Response Team.

Ann Wolfe

Ann M. Wolfe is Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, Nevada, where her scholarship is focused on art and environment with a particular focus on the American West. She has authored numerous essays and books, including Suburban Escape: The Art of California Sprawl, Chris Drury: Mushrooms|Clouds, Michael Light, Some Dry Space, and Michael Sarich: Like, Love, Lust. Wolfe has degrees in art history and museum studies from Santa Clara University and the University of Southern California. She served as the Assistant Curator at the San Jose Museum of Art from 2002-2005 and has worked in various curatorial capacities at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, the Crocker Art Museum, and the de Saisset Museum in Santa Clara. In 2007, the Nevada Museum of Art was the first U.S. art museum to purchase a commissioned Burning Man sculpture, Guardian of Eden by Kate Raudenbush, for its permanent collection.