2018 Annual Report: Exciting Milestones, Great Loss and an Ever-Growing Community

Wondering what Burning Man Project has been up to this past year? Keen to dig deeper into the nonprofit programs and community collaborations that make us soooooo much more than a once-a-year event? Well, read ahead as CEO Marian Goodell introduces the 2018 Annual Report.


As 2018 drew to a close, I found myself reflecting on the tremendous drive of the global Burning Man community. Burning Man is having a positive impact on more people and places than ever before.

The nonprofit Burning Man Project produces the annual Burning Man event in Black Rock City, and works year-round to provide support, education, and grants to a global ecosystem of artists, makers and community leaders. Together, we are all working towards a future rooted in values such as self-expression and communal effort. We are envisioning a more connected and collaborative world, working to manifest the “real change” Larry dreamed of. 

While this work can be challenging, it is always inspiring and I’m excited to share some of what we’ve been doing.

  • First, we are reinvesting in the ethos that sets Burning Man apart from mass-produced events. This cultural course correction aims to protect and maintain what makes Burning Man unique, and we invite you to help us with this important effort.
  • Second, we’re actively evolving our connections to and among art collectives, theme camps, Burners Without Borders chapters, Regional communities, and 90 affiliated events. Through our significant investments in teaching and learning tools, we are furthering a network of social change agents around the globe.
  • Third, we are advancing Fly Ranch as an integrative platform supporting community engagement and experimentation. Throughout the year, 2,000 people visited the property through guided nature walks and weekend gatherings.

We are building a strong, productive, people-centric organization dedicated to amplifying and replicating Burning Man culture across the planet.

While 2018 held many exciting milestones, it also brought our greatest loss. Our founder and original instigator, Larry Harvey, passed away on April 28. Larry was a dear friend whose profound reflections on our culture and unique vision will continue to drive our work.

Recently, the Smithsonian American Art Museum referenced Burning Man as “one of the most influential phenomena in contemporary American art and culture.” Burning Man’s reach and impact have been greater than most of us ever dreamed it would be. But the radical proliferation of our culture and the principles came as no surprise to Larry. He was a realist and a visionary, a philosopher and a storyteller, and he always believed in the potential of this community.

Thank you for your work. With your help, we will build a world that is more inclusive, creative, and civically engaged. That’s a vision worth striving for!

Marian Goodell

CEO, Burning Man Project

And without further ado, here is the 2018 Annual Report.

About the author: Marian Goodell

Marian Goodell

Marian serves as Burning Man Project’s first Chief Executive Officer. She first attended Burning Man in 1995, met Larry and the other organizers in the fall of 1996, and in 1997 helped found the contemporary Burning Man organization. In previous roles, she was the Director of Business and Communications, briefly oversaw the Black Rock City Department of Public Works, and steered the development of the Burning Man Regional Network, which is now on six continents, with more than 300 representatives in 37 countries. Marian is currently leading the organization’s efforts to facilitate and extend the Burning Man ethos globally.

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