The Burning Man Project provides infrastructural tools and frameworks to support local communities in applying the Ten Principles through six interconnected program areas:
The Mission of the Arts Program of The Project is to change the paradigm of art from a commodified object to an interactive, participatory, shared experience of creative expression.
Activities in the art program may include facilitating creative self- expression and recognition of Burning Man-genre art by encouraging people to integrate art with daily personal and public life in ways that are interactive and collaborative, promoting social architecture, and providing opportunities for people to create and display mobile and wearable art (such as art cars, art bikes, and art clothing). The Project will accomplish that through art grants, art exhibitions, art festivals, public art placement, directories and catalogues of art and artists who work in this genre, and by other means. The Project will collaborate closely with the 501(c)(3) Black Rock Arts Foundation in a mutually supportive manner.
The Mission of the Civic Engagement Program of The Project is to foster civic responsibility and volunteerism in pursuit of a civil society and to provide economic development and human services, using interactive and collaborative methods that are consistent with the Ten Principles.
Activities in this program may include organizing community celebrations, parades, festivals, and other events through a Regional network in urban and rural areas, and in the virtual world. In creating these events, The Project will encourage broad participation and engagement with city, state and federal agencies to permit display of public art and to permit creative self-expression. The Project events will offer the public opportunities to participate in and experience a way of life lived consistently with the Ten Principles and to collaborate in creating a values-based civic code. The Project Urban Cultural Centers will aid development of cultural districts and bring life back to cities’ long-depressed urban zones, and will provide important human services and needed amenities in low- and moderate- income neighborhoods, contributing to neighborhood economic self- sufficiency. The Project’s rural activities will contribute to economically blighted areas of Northern Nevada and elsewhere by means of art and civic engagement projects. The Project will expand the nascent Digital Playa and virtual “Burn” events, allowing those without means or resources to participate in Ten Principles events.
The Project’s Culture Centers Program will establish and operate urban and rural cultural centers and spaces that incubate and showcase collaborative and interactive arts, culture, and community participation. The Project ‘s Cultural Centers may be permanent or temporary, physical or virtual.
Activities that generate and preserve culture will include establishing an Urban Cultural Center in San Francisco that will provide collaborative gathering and gallery spaces, classrooms, workshops, a library, archives, sites for ritual and ceremony, shared office space for multiple community- based non-profit organizations, and eventually a café and “museum” store. The San Francisco Urban Cultural Center will serve as a model for future Urban Cultural Centers in other cities. In the longer-term future, rural retreat centers, artist colonies, and camping sites may provide opportunities to generate interactive, collaborative community and culture in natural settings. This program will locate, evaluate, acquire, manage, operate, and maintain all Project facilities, sites, networks, and real estate, which will be developed and operated using innovative technologies and renewable energy.
The Mission of the Educational Program of The Project is to teach the philosophy, principles, and practice of Burning Man culture and experience around the world.
Activities in this program may include the Project providing classes, skills training sessions, workshops, lectures, conferences, seminars, coaching, mentoring, and certification programs via many educational modalities, such as in person, on line, peer-to-peer, and through interactive, and experiential and service-learning programs. Certifications may be offered in subjects such as dispute resolution and leadership training. Topics will include the nearly infinite range of ways the Ten Principles apply to various fields of endeavor, from the philosophical to practical. Skills training may include how to: create interactive art, create flame effects, make costumes, recruit and retain volunteers, facilitate town meetings, engage effectively with government agencies, manage a project, raise funds, write art grants, set up a nonprofit, produce an event, or install monumental public art. The Project may teach about collaborative communication, active listening, emergency management, dispute resolution, collaborative leadership, disaster preparedness and relief, and a myriad of other topics. Staff, consultants, and volunteer teachers — professionals, experts, and knowledgeable people — will come from the Burning Man community to educate the Burning Man community, in everything from impromptu sessions to formal classes.
The Philosophical Center will serve as a think tank to do scholarly research about and to prepare and publish materials that explain the Ten Principles and how they have been and can be successfully and practically implemented in many fields of human endeavor. The Philosophical Center will guide the interpretation and application of the Ten Principles in The Project’s operation. It will elucidate the Ten Principles by means of a precedential approach that examines how these principles have been effectively used to solve past problems and answer questions. Its study shall also include spontaneous cultural practices and initiatives that have arisen within the Burning Man community independently of any institutional mandate.
Activities in this program will provide visionary scholarly and literary exploration, and pragmatic content for The Project, Burning Man culture, and the general public emphasizing cross-disciplinary thinking, interactivity, and collaborative action. The Philosophical Center will develop content for public fora organized or sponsored by The Project. It will conduct research and promote innovation in art, science, play, gifting, interaction, collaboration, and related economic and policy issues. It will explore and publish conceptual, academic, and first-person accounts that describe how the emergent ethos of the Ten Principles apply to a wide range of human endeavors. Such publications will be in unlimited forms and media: articles, books, videos, films, case studies, “how to” manuals, policies, procedures, streaming media, and by other means. The policies, procedures, “how to” manuals, and “case” materials that the Philosophical Center designates as “Precedential” for The Project shall be considered scholarly authorities concerning how The Project can and must operate in order to remain true to the Ten Principles for generations. The Philosophical Center will encourage dialogue and will create a self- reflective “living” archive and literary exploration of the Burning Man way.
The Mission of the Project’s Social Enterprise Program is to collaborate with mission-allied organizations and projects which desire to collaborate for the public good by providing certifications, social and connective networks, fiscal sponsorship, shared support services, and mentoring.
Activities of this program may include education, coaching, and certifications for organizations and businesses that wish to embody the Ten Principles, and establishing a public interest “Burner Business Bureau” that informs consumers about responsible, ethical, community and culture- oriented ventures. Closely mission-allied fiscally sponsored projects and 501(c)(3) nonprofits could subscribe to receive shared support services from the Project in human resources, volunteer coordination, bookkeeping, financial management, technology support, international operations, good nonprofit governance, risk management, emergency response, legal compliance, or other areas of The Project subject matter expertise. This approach fosters collaborative consumption among mission-allied projects, reducing duplication and overhead costs and maximizing the resources that each may devote to its public benefit programs. In the long term future, The Project may establish a Cultural Enterprise Incubator Program to accelerate the successful development of early-stage companies and non-profits that wish to embody the Ten Principles in their operations.