Friday, August 22, 2014

Feel Good Friday - Burners Without Borders / Black Rock Arts Foundation

This Feel Good Friday is a two for one - both inspired by Burning Man! Why? Because on Monday I leave for Burning Man and will be there next Feel Good Friday with no internet connection.

As they explain on their website, "Burning Man is an annual event and a thriving year-round culture. The event takes place the week leading up to and including Labor Day, in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. The Burning Man organization (Black Rock City LLC) creates the infrastructure of Black Rock City, wherein attendees (or "participants") dedicate themselves to the spirit of the community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. They depart one week later, leaving no trace."

Burners Without Borders (BWB) and Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF) are the two feel good examples of Burning Man's year-round culture we're going to highlight today.

BWB takes its name from Doctors Without Borders and has a similar mission of providing help around the world. From the website, "BWB promotes activities around the globe that support a community's inherent capacity to thrive by encouraging innovative approaches to disaster relief and grassroots initiatives that make a positive impact.

It started in 2005 when some burners (Burning Man participants) went to Biloxi, Mississippi to help rebuild a Vietnamese temple that had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Volunteers continue to provide disaster relief, helping people in the Philippines rebuild after Typhoon Halyon and people in Colorado rebuild after the recent floods. Some examples of their support for community initiatives include fundraising for maternity clinics in Nicaragua and sending post Burning Man bikes to Namibia with Bicycles for Humanity. You can see a full list of their projects here and find out how to get involved. 

To stay connected via social media, like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @B_W_B

BRAF was also founded by burners with the mission to "support and promote community, interactive art and civic participation". More from their website on how they work - "Through our Grants to Artists and Civic Arts programs, BRAF works with communities in the Bay Area and around the world to collaboratively produce innovative, relevant and pioneering works of public art that build community and empower individuals."

This includes providing grants and fiscal sponsorship for artists bringing their work to Burning Man as well as public displays of art outside of Nevada. People living in San Francisco may remember the recent interactive monkey piece outside the Exploratorium or be familiar with the rotating art pieces along the Embarcadero at Pier 14. All brought to you by BRAF.

You can see examples of this art in their online gallery or watch videos on their YouTube page. Stay connected by liking their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @BRAF

I've got to get back to packing and preparing for the big event so I will leave you to enjoy the art.

See you in two weeks!

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