Introducing the 2017 Global Art Grantees

Burning Man is proud to announce the 2017 Global Art Grant recipients. This year, $95,700 funded 20 projects, including projects in 10 US states and seven international locations.

From an after-school program in Florida that teaches kids to build their own custom low-rider bicycles, to a giant umbrella in the streets of the Pacific Northwest where lights and music will be driven by participants’ phones, to an art treasure hunt in Tel Aviv, the 2017 Global Art Grant program is funding some truly interactive and creative projects.

Visit our 2017 Global Art Grantee page to learn all about this year’s projects.

About the Global Art Grant Program

If you aren’t yet familiar with the Burning Man Global Art Grants Program, you may be wondering, “Why is Burning Man funding projects in Florida, the Pacific Northwest and Tel Aviv? That’s not where the playa is!”

Bend, Grind and Ride – Earn an Art Bike, photo courtesy of South Shore Arts Council

Part of the mission of Burning Man Project is to facilitate and extend the culture of Burning Man into the larger world, and one way we extend Burning Man culture is by supporting artists and makers who create community-driven works of art outside of our annual event in the desert. While our nonprofit status is relatively new, Burning Man has been giving grants to art projects around the world for 15 years. The program, originally called Grants to Artists, was first developed in 2002 by Burning Man co-founder Harley Dubois as part of the Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF) as a way to seed-fund emerging artists. Between 2002 and 2017, the Burning Man Grants to Artists and Global Art Grant Programs have now given out over $750,000 to 164 projects in 34 states and 24 countries.

But why do we fund art and projects that are meant to be created outside of the Burning Man event? Well, as Caveat Magister so nicely put it, “Burning Man isn’t a ‘place you put art’ – but a ‘context in which art is created.’“ Burning Man has provided a spark of creativity for artists since its early days on Baker Beach, and now, programs like the Global Art Grants Program provide a spark of funding for artists, both experienced and inexperienced, to bring interactive, community-driven creations to locations all over the globe. It really is true you don’t have to have been to Black Rock City to be a Burner, and the artworks, art spaces and events created with the support of the Global Art Grant Program is a great example of this.

Uuntzbrella, photo by Izzy Czerveniak, artwork courtesy of Provibers

What types of projects does the Global Art Grant Program fund?

We support projects that envision creative ways to increase interactivity and community engagement. We look for projects that not only allow audiences to participate with the final product, but ones in which the community itself drives the conception and creation of the project. We fund projects by artists and makers who have brilliant, perhaps even wacky, ideas who have yet to find anyone else willing to take a chance on them.

To learn more about what types of projects the Global Art Grant Program funds, and how to apply, visit Burning Man Global Art Grants.

Who decides which projects are funded?

The Global Art Grant committee comprises a mix of expertises and backgrounds. In addition to the annual input and expertise from Committee Chair, Warren Trezevant, it is also comprised of two Artist seats, two Regional Network seats, two Civic seats, one Longevity/Continuity seat and one guest staff seat. The Artist, Regional and Civic seats rotate biennially so that in the first year the committee member learns the process from the outgoing seat, in the second year they mentor the incoming seat, ultimately taking their learnings home to their communities so they can continue to mentor other grantmakers and grantseekers. The guest staff is the only seat that rotates annually.

Treasure Art – Hunt for Original Art, photo by Vardit Alon Korpel, artwork from the street art series “YaffaT” by Judith Yanos

Each seat on the committee has a different goal and perspective they bring to the table. The Artist seats provide perspective on what it takes to make a project happen from conception to creation and the viability of the proposed projects. The Regional seats not only bring their knowledge of working with Burners all over the globe, they also provide shared learning experiences where both Burning Man Project and their Regional Group can understand how our different granting processes work. The Civic seats are filled by members who have worked in civic arenas and offer experienced perspectives of bringing art into civic spaces. The Longevity/Continuity seat is a way to bring institutional and historical knowledge into the the decision making process so we can continue to honor our own history. The guest staff seat is a way for the committee to engage and knowledge-share with a different Burning Man Project staff member each year. Together, the committee forms a robust body of experience and knowledge to select the projects we seed each year.

When does the next round of funding start?

The 2018 Global Art Grants process will open with an announcement and instructions on how to apply in October. In November, we will begin accepting applications – so spread the word and stay tuned.

About the author: Laura Dane

Laura Dane

Laura Dane is the Grant Program Manager for Burning Man. A former art major turned scientist, she delights in combining her passion for art with her skill of solving the devil in the details. Laura attended her first Burn in 2009 where she was given the playa name Daneosaur. After earning her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in Microbial Biogeochemistry (don’t worry, her parents don’t know what that means either), she was sprinkled with playa dust and re-named Dr. Daneosaur.

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