2018 Global Art Grantee Projects

We’re thrilled to announce the 2018 Burning Man Global Art grants, which have given $100,000 to 21 projects in nine US states, one project in Puerto Rico and nine projects in international locations.

This year our Advisory Committee focused on grantees that are making art in communities with fewer opportunities and a greater need for art activation. Some projects focus on multi-generational teaching and sharing of traditions, some are more ephemeral interactions through festivals and events, others are teaching new capabilities, and many are offered in communities that have limited resources.

It is exciting to see the expanding world of interactive art; and as the world broadens, so does our own definition of what that work looks like. We are also inspired by the imagination and reach of our grant recipients, and proud to contribute to their work. We hope you will be inspired too.

Project: Community Speaks by Circus Zambia in Lusaka, Zambia (Photo courtesy of Muma Musanza)

Introducing the 2018 Global Art Grantees

This year’s grant recipients comprise a wide range of exciting, community-based, participatory art projects: from the construction of art installations on Lunkulu Island at the Ugandan shores of Lake Victoria, to large-scale printmaking with a steamroller in Louisville, KY, to the creation of a community art program in the remote Syunik Marz region of Armenia.

Project: Steamroller Print Project by Rachel Singel in Louisville, KY (Photo courtesy of Devon Wootten)

A number of projects are also focusing on placemaking and space activation, including The American Riad, Communitism vol. III and the SteamPunk Maker Space. These art projects enable long-term planning, design and management of community spaces that promote the development of art practices and community well being. For example, the SteamPunk Maker Space will create a space for free job skills trainings for special needs students, educational workshops and workshops to build confidence in creating art.

Project: SteamPunk Maker Space Interactive Activity Room in Ephrata, PA (Photo courtesy of Art of Recycle)
Project: The American Riad by Ghana ThinkTank and Oakland Avenue Artist Coalition in Detroit, MI. (Image courtesy of Courtesy Ghana ThinkTank and drafted by Liyao Chen, Sadichchha Dhakhwa, and Kevin Turner)
Project: MÚCARO for Puerto Rico (Image courtesy of Evan Dillon)

Other projects are exploring solutions to social and environmental issues through art. For example, inside—>OUT will use multi-media art to give voice, validity and visual witness to the human experience of exclusion, and in Puerto Rico MÚCARO will construct a wooden owl whose interior space will contain a collection of books and a classroom to educate participants about sustainability — a timely topic after Hurricane Maria hit the island.

There are also a number of projects in locations where communities lack access to art. These include Giant Puppets at the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA), which taught community members in Harare, Zimbabwe, how to build, wear and move in a giant puppet. These puppets were then showcased in the Street Carnival and children’s activity area at the HIFA Festival in early May. And in Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala, artists will work with the local community to interpret, express and apply the ideas of the Mayan Quinto Sol.

Project: Giant Puppets at HIFA (Photo courtesy of Tnash Photography)

To learn more about this year’s projects, please visit our 2018 Global Art Grantee page.

Project: community waste recycling pp40 by Jumoke Olowookere in Oyo State, Nigeria (Photo courtesy of Onya [Deji Olowookere])

Burning Man’s Global Art Grant Program

For 16 years, Burning Man has supported highly interactive, community-driven art by providing funding and support to artists who create artworks and programs that involve local communities in their conception, creation and presentation. It is also our priority to fund artists and projects that are advancing in new directions and that haven’t received support in the past.

Since 2002, Burning Man has given $850,000 to 187 art projects in 34 states and 28 countries around the globe.

We believe global community-based art is an important way for Burning Man Project to facilitate and extend the culture of Burning Man into the larger world. By assisting new community-based artists with funds, and with the support of the wider Burning Man network, we are extending an invitation to the funded artists and their communities to learn about Burning Man culture.

Art is one of the many ways that people can connect with one another and build strong, expressive communities, so we are thrilled to support artists and communities around the world through the Global Art Grant program.


Top image: Project: Penelopeacock by The Colossal Collective in Boise, ID (Photo courtesy of The Colossal Collective)

About the author: Laura Dane

Laura Dane

Laura Dane is the Grant Program Manager for Burning Man Project. A former art major turned scientist, now she gets to combine her passions with her skills. 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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