Andie Grace to Leave Burning Man Organization

"Going off comm." (Photo by Arin Fishkin)

It is with heavy heart that I announce that Communications Manager and Regional Network Manager Andie Grace is leaving the Burning Man staff. She’ll remain with us through May as we work with the resulting change and transition.

Andie has collaborated with me, the Founders and the staff at Burning Man HQ for nearly 13 years. Her contribution to the fabric of our culture as we’ve grown is immeasurable and the role that she inhabited is impossible to replace.

Those that had the good fortune to work with Andie know of her open heart, empathetic nature and attention to the needs of those around her. Anyone who’s read her writing for the Jack Rabbit Speaks, blog, comments on the ePlaya or 3Playa and other forums know of the care she has put into firmly sharing the organization’s perspective but with a gentleness only she could deliver.

We warmly wish her well in her future endeavors.

Thank you Andie!!

Marian
and
The Burning Man Founders: Larry, Harley, Crimson, Will, & Michael

About the author: Maid Marian

Marian Goodell has been a member of the 6-person ownership structure of Burning Man since late 1996. Goodell has been Burning Man's Director of Business and Communications since 1997; and in 2003 she added oversight of the Department of Public Works. The Communications activities under Goodell’s jurisdiction include media relations, print production, and the Jackrabbit Speaks email newsletter; her Business duties include management of accounting, legal, government relations, and administrative processes. Her oversight of the organization's technology infrastructure has included the development of an internal document repository, the Burning Man web site, several blogs, and an image gallery. In 1997 she worked with Burning Man participants to create the Burning Man Regional Network. Goodell holds a BA in Creative Writing from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland and an MFA in photography from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

68 thoughts on “Andie Grace to Leave Burning Man Organization

  • I came into the Burning Man organization as a Media Team volunteer in 1998 after my first burn in 1997 transformed me and the way I look at the human experience. In January of the year 2000, still a college student, I was offered and accepted a part time job, doing data entry at BMHQ. In September of that year, I was invited to make the job full time and take on more responsibilities, a choice that would mean dropping out of school and dramatically changing my course. I searched my soul, realized I’d be crazy to pass on the opportunity – and thus began a ride that has transformed my life for the past 12+ years.

    I was lucky to have been so deeply engaged with the growth of the Regional Network, and with helping to craft Burning Man’s presence in the eyes of the world at large. I’ve been present for the start of some of our year-round efforts and have watched those projects grow and take flight. Burning Man has taken me around the world to represent our culture in all sorts of forums and places, and has given me the chance to meet thousands of incredible, awake, on-fire human beings — many of whom are the readers of this blog.

    This isn’t about any particular experience, nor am I leaving for another job….and no, it’s not about the ticket experience this year (which I see as a birth process, which explains why it’s been painful – buy me a beer sometime and I’ll expand on that!). Really, it’s just what my heart says it’s time to do. The thing about hearts is that you can’t argue with them when they call you. I am feeling a call to find a way to take the experience I’ve gained and the values I’ve explored here and find a new way to reflect them in the world. I can’t wait to see what evolves!

    The Board has kindly made it known that in the future if roles open up that spark my heart, the door is open for me to apply. That means a great deal to me and I will always keep my finger on the pulse and my ear to the ground. And ours will remain a lifetime Burner family!

    My gratitude is enormous, and like the dust that blows from your vents when you turn on the AC, Burning Man will always be a part of who I am. See you on the playa!

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  • Hats off for making what I know was a tough decision, AG! From the start I have personally been amazed at how you have helped steer, and steel, the organization as it has so massively & quickly evolved. And such a sexy front lady, too! Now seeing you on the speaking circuit, you’ll continue to really rep the event and its cultural impact, and that is extremely cool. A lofty role! Excited to see who grabs all you have to offer. Smilingly, Evil Pip aka Candace Locklear

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  • Folks, just so you know, Andie Grace represents the heart of this organization and has been the ultimate caretaker of our values … as such, she’ll be sorely missed. I’m sad to lose the best boss (and best editor) I’ve ever had in my career, and grateful for the opportunity to have worked with and learned from this amazing woman. As much as I’m excited by what’s possible in the ongoing evolution of the Burning Man organization going forward, it simply won’t be the same without you. Thank you for everything.

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  • Thank you for all of the hard work throughout the years! It was always a pleasure to interact with you no matter what the topic was (theme camp, JRS, or photo documentation) …you wore every hat with style and Grace! Best wishes on your new journey!

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  • I wish you *both* the best. Yes she will be sorely missed, but her legacy remains in all that she has influenced. It will be felt in every word written, every interview, every picture. Everyone she has worked with will carry this forward.

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  • Thank you Andie for everything you have done for both BMIR, the organization and the event. Your hard work, support and guidance has been instrumental in our growth. Huge hugs to you from all of us at BMIR.

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  • Andie, you’ve been GREAT over the years, truly wonderful. Thanks for everything you’ve done. I’m sure many more incredible adventures await. Oh and I WILL buy you that beer. ;)

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  • Marian forgot to include John Law as a founder of BM. Silly, because he threw 10 Burning Man’s before she got there. But this is Andies’ thread. And I’m just reminding her what she’ll be missing. Which could be nothing at all. It’ll only be a matter of time before all the things that Andie did will be erased into the dust. Just like everyone who comes in and out of this organization. Is that mean for me to say? Cruel? How she could have stood working under these draconian conditions is beyond me. And the organization has received a fatal blow as far as I”m concerned. Andie did damage control for years. Who could do that now? No one. And this is a good thing. Maybe this thing will finally implode. And we can all evolve to the next thing that we have all worked for. And deserve. None of us more then Andie. I’m considering starting an organization just to offer her a job. Or maybe working for her for free on her organization. Probably would be much better then anything I could ever put together…

    Andie was the only thing that kept me from enacting the dream I had of calling in a terrorist threat that would end the event once and for all… Andie was the only one who got the Borg2…. Andie was the only person from Burning Man that I consistantly regret not spending more time with.

    Upon hearing of her departure, my dad’s responce was: “No!!!! Don’t leave me alone with these people!!!!!!”

    Someone like Andie can not be replaced. They will have to hire 10 people to do her job, and staff will wander away after she leaves because nothing will work.

    Hail the new dawn!!!!!

    butterflys and unicorn snot, chicken john

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  • Congratulations Andie on branching out into something new. I know it can be a hard step to take but it is just as exhilarating. I look forward to learning about what ever direction you choose to take. I know that where ever you go, you will be welcomed. Best of luck!

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  • Andie, Thank you for everything you’ve done for the Burning Man event and our community. It is impossible to quantify all the happiness you have helped to create. I hope your heart leads you to success and joy in all the things you seek. I, for one, would be glad to buy you that beer (or 6) at your convenience. Hope to see you on the Playa.

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  • Thank you Andie for all your amazing work, your calming words, your tireless dedication and true grace under pressure. All of the Burning Man diaspora will miss your presence, but will never forget your influence and effect over the past 13 years. Good luck in your new journeys!

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  • We’re gonna miss you Action Girl! You were the calm in the middle of the storm.

    In my brief forays at Media Mecca, Action Girl was the great ambassador to the outside world, keeping the reporters at bay, and managing Burning Man’s image with great panache.

    Hope your next adventure will be just as fulfilling!

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  • Andie:

    Thank you for all you have done. More than anyone knows I am most definately sure. I am glad you are moving on but sad too because you will be so so missed. Still waiting for tickets on STEP, such an upsetting ticket adventure and now to hear this news, sigh…. feels like the double whammy!

    You have been the voice of reason, explaination, and calmness for so long.
    We so appreciate you. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures in the future. Wishing you lots of positivity and love….many blessings….

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  • Oh Action Girl. Wow.. I’m gonna miss you as part of Burning Man. You are so wonderful and such an integral part of what the event is and you’ve done such an amazing and sincere job of representing the community. You kept us on course so many times and your guidance will be missed. You’ll do well no matter what, and thank you so much for pouring your heart into this thing for so long. We were lucky to have you at the helm and I wish you all the best. Looking forward to hearing of your future adventures.

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  • Congratulatons, LMNOP. You are the one who gets to evolve. You are an inspiration to a great many people. Me included. Thank you for your hard work, your patience, your diplomacy, your vulnerability, your genuine desire to build something unique and special, your mind, your abilities, your talent and your phriendly ass SASSSS! I do love you so. :-)

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  • Like Dorothy said when it was time for the gang to all split up after having been to the most amazing city, “I’ll miss you most of all” It was our great fortune for having had you part of guiding this great adventure. Your gifts to this community are far more than the sum of the work you have done.
    All the best.

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  • I understand honoring the heart – two phrases that stick with me (words of wisdom from my father) “leave the door open” and “don’t look back” – doesn’t make sense, right? right.

    Andie, BM without AG is hard to swallow but I respect your head/gut/heart… Monkey Love (the best kind) sail on, sail on~~~~

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  • Congratulations on a big fun new step! You are a giant piece of what Burningman is to me. I look forward to seeing you on playa actually playing vs working (although you sure did make work look like play, always so joyous and welcoming). xoxo

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  • Sociologists focus on societies, Historians on the continuous, methodical narrative of the past, Anthropologists focus on the basic, social behaviors of humans; Andie Grace from my perspective, focused her lens on all of that and more. Enjoy your newest journey Miss Grace.

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  • I am happy for you and sad that I won’t see your face at Media Mecca, you helped me connect more directly with the org and I always appreciated your energy and grace when you handled the press. You will be an incredible asset wherever you go. I hope to see you at some of the events in the future.

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  • What can one say but Thank You Andie Grace – History will remember what began on a beach to become a way of life for so many and those who made it so.

    keep the faith (burning faith)
    Brotherluv

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  • Thanks AG (or even AV) for everything you did for all of us. If this is what you came up with 13 years ago when you followed your heart, then I can’t wait to see what your heart does next. In the meantime your lucky family gets more time with you – everyone’s a winner. See you soon I hope!

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  • Andie, you have been a constant for me ever since I first attended BM back in 2000. I’ve always looked forward to reading your Jack Rabbit Speaks – you have a great way with words, girl. Thanks for all of your contribution. Good luck with this next step in your life. Glad to hear you are following your heart. Remember, clarity always takes a bit longer than we expect it to… Sending you much love throughout the process!

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  • Andie, great having lunch with you last week in Boulder. i enjoyed your perspective on a great many things especially the evolution the maturity of this BM child you have helped nurture through the years. I wish you great success in your future directions and am sure you will be brilliant and successful. You are welcome back in Boulder any time and hope to see you at BM and/or the regionals. I look forward to your memoirs!!

    Roll to the launch pad, ignition, launch…good luck clearing the tower!

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  • Even after you stopped writing the Jackrabbit Speaks I imagined you somewhere off to the side keeping a close eye on it. In the years when I didn’t attend Burning Man it was your writing and warm and inclusive style that made me realize I had to come back home. For me you became the voice that made me want to return which I finally did. Now I’m fortunate enough to have tickets to come back again this year. You will be missed by many like myself who never met you in person but have engaged with you through the newsletter and other communications. You made a difference.

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  • Indeed, John Law’s name was left out of the founders’ list. Amen to everything Chicken said, with a cherry on top and some Southern sugar. History is written by those who would take the storyline for their own glory. As your faithful sinister, with you since that first dust storm in the Airstream in ’98, I have seen you try to steer an increasingly wild beast toward the truth, for the greater good of humanity. No really! Humanity. Always toward the truth … but always with more GRACE than most of the Bad Kids can summon.

    I’m sure you will be missed by the Borg, but I and your homegirls are ecstatic to get you back!! <3

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  • Andie, learning that this was your first job out of college makes me tingle in anticipation of what you will try next. I think it’s safe to say that this gig has been a success of monumental proportions.

    When we met this year at SxSW, you told me that the principles started as observations, not dictates. In reading Tribes of Burning Man, I learned that they were first codified for the benefit of the regional burns that might seek to emulate the positivity, warmth and goofiness of the playa.

    Now, in reading Will’s and Marian’s insistence that your heart has been the home of the principles, patiently pushing them out with every beat, letting them ooze into the places where they were needed, and cultivating a loving adherence without shoving them down anyone’s throat, the magnitude of this accomplishment is just awe-inspiring.

    Burning Man is fine, but the rest of our world is in need of a principled approach to living, so let’s see what we can do about that. Get in touch when you have time and let’s talk about it!

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  • As I responded to the news on the New York City list:

    It’s about frinkin’ time ActionGirl!!! What the hell we’re you waiting for? We all know Burning Man was a stepping stone to get in the Obama administration.

    But what if he loses in November? Will BM take you back? Will President Romney understand even what a “tent” or “dust” IS? Will he just strap his staff to the top of his car?

    WHO KNOWS! But congrats! You always rocked and we suspect, will continue to rock forward!

    Mayor Ratti!!

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  • I know how hard it is to follow your heart, leaving those whom you love, like, and tolerate behind, but, as you know, sometimes it’s necessary to continue our journey!

    Good Luck…

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  • Andie, I am just happy that I left before you, because, certainly, had you left I would certainly have taken my leave.. it was an honor to be part of burningman and ARCTICA, but, YOU have been the glue and the foundation of so may aspects of what Burningman is, It is true, Times have changed, Burningman is different. and being one that doesn’t do change well THIS announcement rocked my world and made me realize how things have in fact moved on and change is definitely what keeps us from stagnating or stunting our personal growth. YOU are on to bigger and better ventures and adventures.. and I wish you every happiness and success. you can do whatever you wish…… and turn it into gold. Much love to you and your beautiful family and i HOPE our paths cross again somewhere along the way….

    Barb “BARE”

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  • Andie, you are such an incredible human being. It’s like the Goddesses sent you down from Heaven to help us see the way. Whenever you enter a room, it’s like a million flowers fall down on us. Your touch is like the gentle lick of a newborn kitten. I have touched a cup you drank from at last year’s decompression and I felt healed.

    I can’t wait to be honored to learn what you choose to do next with your life. I will be there in the wings. You are the wind beneath my wings. You are Love. You are life itself, incarnate. So, so wonderful and amazing. You are poetry.

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