Art Is Back! 2022 Honoraria Program Opening, the Temple, & More

Artists, art-lovers, and creatives of all kinds: start your engines! This post is full of exciting art news, including the opening of the Honoraria grant program for 2022, a Temple announcement, and an online course about Burning Man art history. Hooray! After having no Black Rock City in 2020 and 2021, it feels like there’s a lot of pent-up fuel for our creative fires. 


We hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what our 2020/2021 Honorarium artists have been up to in our “Art No Matter What” series. We’re now shifting our attention to that lovely gathering in the desert you all co-create! The first step towards making that happen is to kick off the Honoraria art grant program, which opens for applications on October 14.  

In case you’re new or need a refresher after a couple of years, our Honoraria program awards $1.3 million annually to fund sculptural artworks on the open playa at the Burning Man event in Black Rock City. We fund artworks that are impactful, interactive, and visually appealing. Here’s an “at a glance” graphic for what we typically fund and typically do not fund. 

The Honoraria grant cycle begins with a Letter of Intent process, which opens on October 14, 2021 and closes on November 16, 2021. If you’re curious about the grant program or want to learn about how to apply, please visit this page. 

This is the only opportunity you’ll have to apply for funding from Burning Man Project for your art installation, so please carefully read all the info and start dreaming! We received more than 700 Letters of Intent in 2020, and we imagine there’s been a lot of art dreamt up since then. 

In addition to our usual Honoraria artworks for 2022, which will be selected via the grant process, a large percentage of the 2020/2021 Honorarium artists are planning on bringing their artworks to the 2022 event. Need even MORE art? Most of the 400+ art installations in Black Rock City are projects that people build on their own, outside of the Honoraria program, with or without other funding. You know what that means: a playa full of mind-bendingly awesome art for your interacting pleasure. Yessss!


“Empyrean Temple” in Santa Rosa, California, 2021 (Photo courtesy of the Empyrean Temple team)

The 2022 Burning Man Temple will be created by the Empyrean Temple Crew, as an iteration of the design they intended to build in BRC 2020. The Empyrean Temple burned virtually in 2020, and the crew built a prototype in Santa Rosa, California, in 2021. They’ve learned a lot through this process, and they’re excited and ready to build an evolved design in 2022. (Since the 2020 design burned virtually, a slightly different design is in order.) Kudos to the Empyrean artists and team for holding the Temple energy strong throughout 2020 and 2021—a time that surely needed a Temple—and bringing it to us in 2022. We’re excited to see them realize their vision and provide this space for the community.


Burning Man Project cares deeply about Radical Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity (R.I.D.E.) and environmental sustainability. 

We are working to make our art grant program more inclusive, and are actively encouraging a more diverse community of artists to share their work in BRC. We’re engaging BIPOC artist communities through proactive outreach, funding, and other community-centric improvements to the application and selection process.

Given the current climate crisis, we invite artists to support Burning Man Project’s community-wide effort to prioritize sustainability and lessen our impact on the environment, as outlined in our 2030 Environmental Sustainability Roadmap. If you’re considering bringing an art installation to BRC in 2022, start thinking now about all the ways to make your project ecologically regenerative and carbon negative, and how you will manage waste sustainably. 


Want to soak in the warm embrace of context for the Burning Man art you know and love? Brand new to thinking about Burning Man art and need some background history? Or just enjoy pretty pictures and interesting facts about art? We have an online learning course for that! It’s a deep dive into what makes Burning Man art go, and where it came from in the first place. You can find the course on Burning Man Hive, accessible 24/7, open and free to everyone: Burning Man Art: History, Place, Context. To join Burning Man Hive, go to and log in with your Burner Profile username and password (if you don’t have a Burner Profile yet, you can create one here).


We’re grateful for 2021, ridiculously excited for 2022, and looking forward to seeing all the art, creativity, and your smiling faces out on playa again! Learn more or submit your concept to the Honoraria program here. Let’s dream big and get dusty in 2022!


Cover image of “Ilumina,” by Pablo Gonzalez Vargas, being built in Black Rock City, 2017 (Photo by Luke Szczepanski)

About the author: Burning Man Arts

Through art grants, mentorship, and art management programs, Burning Man Arts supports the creation of impactful, interactive artwork around the world and in Black Rock City, home to the seminal Burning Man event. Burning Man Arts acts on the belief that community-driven, inclusive, and interactive art is vital to a thriving culture. Get inspired and get involved!

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