Year in Review – 2014

Black Rock Arts Foundation – Year in Review

Burning Man Arts – To the Future!

2014 marked the culmination of Black Rock Art’s Foundations thirteen years of hard work and growth. After much planning and preparation, BRAF joined forces with Burning Man’s Art Department in July of 2014 to create the new program, Burning Man Arts. The new program will operate under the management of Burning Man Project.

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Black Rock Arts Foundation – Newsletter – September 2014

In this issue:

  • The Artumnal Gathering: Tickets go on sale September 15!
  • Last chance to donate to Burning Man art projects
  • Thanks for visiting us at Burning Man!
  • Sunset Piano Opus 3 Upcoming Events
  • Artist Update
    • Michael Christian’s Bike Bridge in Gerlach, Nevada
  • Attention Artists! Grant Applications available October 1, 2014
  • Grantee Updates
    • Symphony in D Minor artists’ new project

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Black Rock Arts Foundation – Newsletter – August 2014

In this issue:

  • Burning Man projects still need your donations. Help make them happen!
  • Celebrate BRAF at Burning Man
  • Sunset Piano Opus 3 Upcoming Events
  • Save the Date! The Artumnal Gathering is November 22
  • Visit Soma in San Francisco
  • Artist Update
    • Kate Raudenbush
  • Attention Artists! Grant Applications available October 1, 2014
  • Grantee Updates
    • Compression Sesquicentennial Peregrinations
    • Jen Lewin’s Super Pool

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BRAF announces Big News!

Dear Black Rock Arts Foundation Supporters, Artists and Collaborators,

I write you with possibly our biggest news to date! Today, the Black Rock Arts Foundation is proud to announce that, after years of planning and preparation, BRAF will join forces with the Black Rock City Art Department creating the new Burning Man Arts program of the Burning Man Project. From this day on, BRAF will continue it’s programming as a subsidiary of the Burning Man Project!

This is fantastic news for our artists, donors and entire community. This joining of forces will allow us to provide more streamlined services to artists and to produce more interactive, community-driven art projects worldwide.

Read the full press release, here. 

We’ve worked hard to ensure that this transition will be seamless to our artists and donors. Our current funded artists will still receive the same support, funding and services we’ve committed to providing, and any donations made to BRAF projects will still fund those projects.

We’re sure you have more questions! To learn more read our F.A.Q., here.

Although we are always grateful for your support, now is a particularly meaningful moment for us to extend our thanks to you. Thank you for accompanying BRAF on our journey thus far. We promise that the next leg of the journey, as Burning Man Arts, will be even more exciting, fruitful and revolutionary!

Our sincerest thanks,

Tomas McCabe
Executive Director
Black Rock Arts Foundation


Press Release: BRAF Joins Burning Man Project


“Burning Man Arts” brings together Black Rock Arts Foundation and Black Rock City’s art department to streamline grant processes & better support the placement and enjoyment of art worldwide

San Francisco, July 26, 2014 — Burning Man today announced a reorganization of its arts programs to place more art in communities around the world, make more art available for the annual event in the Black Rock Desert, and create more opportunities for artists and donors.

Black Rock Arts Foundation, which is now a subsidiary of the non-profit Burning Man Project, is joining forces with Black Rock City’s art department to create one program called Burning Man Arts. The mission of Burning Man Arts is to change the paradigm of art from a commodified object to an interactive, participatory, shared experience of creative expression.

“This change breaks down the barriers. Art for the playa and art for the world will be one and the same,” said Burning Man’s founder Larry Harvey. “It makes it easier for artists to apply for grants and support, and it enables donors to contribute to the entire spectrum of expressive culture that is pouring out of Burning Man.”

So far in 2014, the Black Rock City art program has provided more than $1 million in grants and support to artists preparing works for the annual event in the Black Rock Desert during the last week of August.

Since its creation in 2001, Black Rock Arts Foundation has funded 149 projects worldwide, providing more than $2,500,000 in grants and support to artists. BRAF has awarded more than $430,000 through its Grants to Artists program and installed or otherwise supported 38 projects (with direct grants of $770,000) through its Civic Arts program. BRAF has also produced 82 memorable events and provided collaborative public art consulting services.

“Together, these two organizations will have an even bigger impact on donors, artists, and the communities that benefit from an active, engaged and supported arts community,” said Tomas McCabe, Executive Director of BRAF. “In addition to supporting artists on and off the playa, the new program is exploring an expanded range of offerings, including increased collaborations and partnerships with like-minded organizations and additional support services for artists.”

For donors, this development means that financial gifts to art projects for the Burning Man event in the Black Rock Desert can be tax deductible and opens up a wide range of new opportunities for supporters of the arts. All existing grants and support will continue uninterrupted. They will be completed within the framework of BRAF in collaboration with Burning Man Project.

About Burning Man

Burning Man is a 501(c)3 public benefit corporation whose mission is to facilitate and extend the culture that has issued from the Burning Man event into the larger world.  Black Rock City is the seminal manifestation of the 10 Principles-based culture known as Burning Man. The gathering, which last year included participants from all 50 states and 40 countries around the world, happens the last week of August in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. For more information, visit

Press Release: Big Arts for Small Towns Opening Reception

Press Release:


“Big Art for Small Towns” program, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, to showcase interactive art in small communities in Nevada

Main Street Park
610 East Main St.
Fernley, NV 89408

Sunrise Tortoise - Aric Shapiro

FERNLEY, NV, July 24, 2014 — Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF), Burning Man Project and the City of Fernley will unveil three art pieces in Main Street Park on Thursday August 7, including Desert Tortoise, a new, permanent piece by local artist Pan Pantoja using mosaics created by local students and community members.

The opening reception is from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the park at 610 Main Street and will include live music, speakers and arts activities for children and adults.

The park and artwork are the latest effort by BRAF and Burning Man Project as part of their Big Art For Small Towns program, funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Several thousand participants pass through Fernley each year on their way to Burning Man and  we felt compelled to share the cultural and economic benefits with the surrounding communities,” said BRAF Executive Director Tomas McCabe. “We’re tremendously grateful for the community’s enthusiastic participation and contributions to the project, without which it couldn’t have happened.”

Desert Tortoise is a 25-foot long and 17-foot tall tall sculpture crafted from boulders from a local quarry and thousands of 4”x4” painted ceramic tiles of images which reflect the culture of Fernley and the surrounding area. Pantoja worked with students from every school in Fernley and community members who took part in a community painting night.

“The tortoise fosters community,” Pantoja said. “The tiles were a way to include participation from the majority of the residents and their children.”

Rockspinner 6 is a nine-ton stone slab by artist Zach Coffin that rotates on an axis such that a single person can set the piece in motion.

“I design my pieces to encourage people to interact with them – and experience the surprise that something so massive can move so effortlessly,” Coffin said. “It’s a great feeling to know the people of Fernley will have a chance to experience it.”

Bottlecap Gazebo, by artists Max Poynton and Andrew Grinberg. The gazebo was designed to be a social meeting place fostering interaction and connection. The name comes from the thousandsof recycled bottle caps that were individually smashed flat and drilled and strung together with wire in the form of leaves, creating complex lattices of glimmering colors and patterns.

The Bottlecap Gazebo in Fernley, Nevada. Photo courtesy of Jerry Mansker.

The Bottlecap Gazebo in Fernley, Nevada. Photo courtesy of Jerry Mansker.

The Big Art for Small Towns project is a collaboration between Black Rock Arts Foundation, the Burning Man Project, and the City of Fernley. The founders of BRAF and the Burning Man Project have a personal investment in giving back to the Burning Man event’s neighboring communities.

With its intent to support creative placemaking projects that transform communities into lively, beautiful, and sustainable places with the arts at their core, the National Endowment for the Art’s Our Town grant was an ideal match for the vision of this project.

About Black Rock Arts Foundation

The mission of the Black Rock Arts Foundation is to support and promote community, interactive art and civic participation. BRAF was founded by several of the partners who founded and produce Burning Man, an annual arts festival in the Nevada desert.  BRAF was established to bring this idea of creating and coexisting with art to the rest of the world, with the vision that community-driven, inclusive, and interactive art is vital to a thriving culture. The foundation received its 501(c)3 status in November of 2001. For more information visit .

About Burning Man Project

The mission of the Burning Man Project is to facilitate and extend the culture that has issued from the Burning Man event into a larger world. This culture forms an integrated pattern of values, experience, and behavior: a coherent and widely applicable way of life. The survival and elaboration of this culture depend upon a cultivated capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations.

The primary purpose of Burning Man Project is to uphold and manifest the values described in the Ten Principles of Burning Man. Burning Man Project provides infrastructural tools and frameworks that will allow people to apply the Ten Principles in many communities and spheres of endeavor. For more information

Black Rock Arts Foundation – Newsletter – July 2014

In this Issue:

  • Make a tax-deductible donation to a Burning Man-bound art project!
  • Artist Update
    • Goodbye, Future’s Past!
    • Hello, Soma! Opening Reception, August 1!
    • Goodbye, Defenestration!
  • Grantee Update
    • Hung Viet Tran (Forever Our Change. Dream Your Mind)
    • Soundwave (Illuminated Forest)
    • The Cabinet of Curiosity Project
    • Compression Sesquicentennial Peregrinations
    • River of Wings
    • Before I Die…
    • Cardboardia
    • Burning Baskets

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