Given that the Man KCrew draws its members from the wildly eclectic citizens and creators of Black Rock City it should come as no surprise that we too are a broadly diverse group of folks. For example our oldest builder is 62, our youngest only 24. Similarly (and perhaps despite its name) the Man Crew is by no means a boy’s club. Many women have helped create the Burning Man throughout the years. 2009 is no different, with five incredible women lending their unique skills and personalities to the task.
A long-time burner, Nifer Fahrion first proved her mettle as a Man KCrew member in 2007, when she participated in the amazing, arduous, on-playa rebirth of that year’s second Man. She’s returned to the build every year since, contributing her abundant spirit and eye for detail to many aspects of the Man’s creation. Beyond Black Rock, Nifer is a full-time artist and crafter, creating and selling original, hand-made woolen art and accessories. Her colorful creations – “all designed to induce squee!” – can be seen at NifNaks.com. Nifer says that she likes to “balance the cute & fuzzy with the tough & brawny” in her life. She rides a motorcycle daily and enjoys getting her hands greasy learning how to fix it. She is also an avid practicioner of “The Art of The Eight Limbs” – Muay Thai kickboxing.
This is Lisa Schile’s second Man build. Lisa began attending Burning Man in 2006, and first volunteered for the DPW that same year. She now runs the DPW fuel depot, supplying countless vehicles and art projects with gasoline, propane, and other vital fuels throughout the event. Off playa Lisa is a working towards a Doctorate in Environmental Science, and spends nine months of every year studying climate change effects for her wetlands research project. As if that weren’t enough, she is also a skilled pyrotechnician who regularly helps create elaborate fireworks displays around the San Francisco Bay Area, including the city’s official Fourth of July celebration.
Meredith Scheff describes herself as an “artistic polyglot” whose skills include cartooning, welding (since age 15), woodworking, blogging and Volkswagen repair. Meredith first attended Burning Man in 2004. In subsequent years she’s contributed to a number of large art projects, including The Steampunk Treehouse and The Neverwas Haul, a three-story, steam-powered mobile Victorian house. A member of the Man Crew since 2007, Meredith has twice designed and built the Man’s heart, including 2008′s Kinetic Heart, which “beat” by means of a positive-return constant-breadth cam. Meredith’s art can be seen at LadyCartoonist.com. She also frequently blogs for The Steampunk Workshop and tweets as Satiredun.
Brooke Buchanan also returns this year for her second Man build. Brooke’s first burn was in 1999. She joined the DPW in 2004, and in 2005 trained as a heavy equipment operator, a job she still performs for Support Services every year. When not assisting large scale art projects with her variable-reach forklift at Burning Man, Brooke works as a professional photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area. A graduate of the San Francisco Academy of Art, Brooke currently runs a successful portrait and wedding photography business. Her portfolio of wedding photography can be viewed at BrookeBuchanan.com. She also plays a mean accordion.
The veteran woman of the Man Krew, Juicy Sanchez has participated in five builds. A former lawyer, Juicy is now a certified Bikram Yoga instructor, who, along with her husband and fellow Man KCrew member, Steve23, owns and operates her own yoga studio, Mission Yoga. A two-time recipient of SF Weekly’s “Best Yoga Studio”, Mission Yoga is located in San Francisco’s Mission District, and is very popular among Bay Area Burners. A Burner herself since 2002, Juicy has also contributed to many well-known playa art installations, including Dan Das Mann and Karen Cusolito’s “Passage” and “Crude Awakening”, for which she helped fabricate the massive metal figures central to those pieces. She also holds the record for the highest playa wedding, set in 2007 when she and Steve23 were married atop the 100′ tall Crude Awakening oil derrick.