Larry Harvey had a bunch of people over for dinner last night, and he told them that he and the other board members were going to turn the Burning Man LLC into a nonprofit, and that the organization is looking to create an urban center in the 6th Street corridor of San Francisco.
If Burning Man can turn a desert into an oasis, they might help revitalize the mid-Market. “We want to bring our culture there,’’ Harvey said, “without unduly gentrifying the area.”
“We’d like to recreate our hometown,” Harvey said. Noting that the area has beaten all attempts at revitalization, he said, “The city fathers have decided to send in the artists, you know, like ‘Send in the Clowns.’”
The organization is looking to lease a space in the area, with an option to buy. It had been looking to create an educational and cultural center at Fly Ranch, just down the road from the site of the event in the Black Rock Desert. But those negotiations haven’t proceeded well. “We put an offer down and slid it across the table,” board member Will Rogers said, “and they wrote one down and slid it across the table, but we weren’t speaking the same language.” Rogers did say that those talks are continuing, however.
The dinner was held in a large tent near First Camp, where the founding members of Burning Man stay together, and it was something of a “State of the Union” address.