Posts in non-profit

March 3rd, 2014  |  Filed under News

Burning Man Transitions to Non-Profit Organization

The Man, 2012 (photo by Steven Fritz)

The Man, 2012 (photo by Steven Fritz)

BIG NEWS! It’s been a long time coming: we’re excited to announce that Burning Man achieved an historic milestone in January with the successful transition of the 24-year-old organization to a non-profit organization! The process has taken nearly three years, and now more than ever we’re positioned to support the global cultivation of art and community based on the 10 Principles.

“After 24 years of tending our garden in the desert, we now have the means to cultivate its culture worldwide,” said founder Larry Harvey. “Sometimes things just pop and this is one of those moments.” Read more »

October 15th, 2013  |  Filed under Afield in the World, News

Black Rock Solar Honored for Selflessness

Black Rock Solar

Black Rock Solar

Well now … Burning Man’s spin-off non-profit Black Rock Solar is being recognized for their great work and good deeds over the years!

Solar Power World Newsletter has announced that Black Rock Solar has been awarded the Brian D. Robertson Solar Schools Memorial Fund Award — honoring BRS’s selflessness in solar advocacy, installations and education work. BRS Executive Director Paddy McCully will accept the award at the Solar Power World Top 250 Gala in Chicago, during the Solar Power International conference.

Here’s the story from SPWN:

By popular acclamation, Black Rock Solar, a Reno, Nev.-based solar non-profit installer, will be awarded the Brian D. Robertson Solar Schools Memorial Fund Award.

The Brian D. Robertson Solar Schools Memorial Fund will recognize the non-profit at the Solar Power World Top Contractors Gala on Oct. 21 at The Drake Hotel in Chicago for its selfless solar advocacy, installations and education work.

Black Rock Solar began as a volunteer crew installing a 30-kW solar photovoltaic (PV) array at the Burning Man festival in 2007. That fall, the array was donated to the nearby town of Gerlach, Nev., and Black Rock Solar began its mission of building low-cost solar for organizations and communities who can use it the most.

Since 2007, Black Rock Solar has installed more than three megawatts of solar power for tribes, non-profits and schools in Nevada. Many of its systems have been built at zero cost to its clients.

The BDR Fund is a project of The Solar Foundation, a national non-profit dedicated to expanding access to solar energy and broadening solar energy education in our nation’s K-12 schools. Named for Brian Robertson, a young entrepreneur and solar pioneer who died in a plane crash in December 2011, the award was created to honor Brian’s legacy and recognize the often overlooked work of community-oriented organizations and companies in the world of solar.

“Black Rock and others who have demonstrated their dedication to solar philanthropy make us proud to be part of this industry, and it is important that their generosity be publicly acknowledged,” said BDR Fund Board Member Jigar Shah.

Grid Alternatives and Solar Liberty also competed for the award.

The Top Solar Contractors Gala, taking place during Solar Power International 2013, is the culminating ceremony celebrating the publication’s 2013 Top 250 Solar Contractors rankings. The event will bring together more than 80 companies and 300 installation professionals.

UPDATE: Here’s a nice recap of the gala.

December 19th, 2011  |  Filed under News

Black Rock Solar Has a Banner Week

[This post comes to you courtesy of Black Rock Solar's Marnee Benson.]

Rupert Powers, Freddy Pete, and Norman Fillmore of the Washoe Tribe atop Stewart Community Center

Black Rock Solar, one of Black Rock City LLC’s spin-off non-profit organizations, completed work last week on two new solar arrays for the Washoe Tribe of Nevada. The 14 kW roof-top arrays will provide electricity for the Stewart Community Center, where community members attend meetings and cultural events, and to the Head Start building, where educational programs and support services are provided for tribal youth.

Dave Lasky

These are Black Rock Solar’s third and fourth projects for the Washoe Tribe. Through these projects, BRS worked with members of the tribe to provide hands-on job training and classroom education in photovoltaic systems.

These two installations were supervised by Dave Lasky, one of Nevada’s most recent North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certified solar installers, a distinction held by only 22 people in the entire state.

Western Nevada College Array

Also last week, BRS completed work on their largest array to date, for Western Nevada College, located in Carson City, NV. This 201 kW installation will provide a savings of $28,000 per year for the college.  The crew (including 5 newly hired members) dug 518 holes to build the racking system, and installed 836 solar panels at a value of just under $1 million.

This is the first in a series of arrays BRS will be doing across the state for the Nevada System of Higher Education. The dedication ceremony for WNC is scheduled for April 18th, 2012, a few days before the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day. For information, visit the Black Rock Solar website.

August 9th, 2011  |  Filed under News

Introducing The Burning Man Project

Greetings Burning Man Community,

We’re thrilled to announce the August 5th launch of the non-profit Burning Man Project, an exciting new venture in the ever-evolving history of the Burning Man cultural experiment.

Fiscally sponsored by the Black Rock Arts Foundation, the primary purpose of The Burning Man Project is to uphold and manifest the values described in the Ten Principles of Burning Man. In this sense, “Burning Man” is understood not as an event, but a way of life lived consistently with the Ten Principles. The Burning Man Project will provide infrastructural tools and frameworks that allow people to apply the Ten Principles in many communities and spheres of endeavor. It will include projects in these program areas: Arts, Civic Involvement, Culture, Education and Social Enterprise.

A little background …

People often assume that the Burning Man event already IS a non-profit, since that’s what one would logically think given our philosophical bent, but in fact it’s run by Black Rock City LLC, formed in 1997, after the highly-chaotic 1996 event clearly illustrated the need for an organization for the growing phenomenon of Burning Man. At the time, a Limited Liability Corporation made the most sense; the Burning Man event was a wild and wooly encampment of 8,000 people, and the organizers needed a way to legally organize that event’s management and to inure themselves from personal liability. But running the event as a private corporation didn’t always mesh well with the philosophy of the Burning Man experiment; it was, however, the right tool for the job at the time.

Flash forward 15 years, however, and that structure has begun to appear somewhat obsolete. The Burning Man event itself has grown into a massive, fully-functioning metropolis, to be sure; more uniquely, though, it now comprises a global year-round Regional Network, as well as several spin-off endeavors (the Black Rock Arts Foundation, Black Rock Solar and Burners Without Borders). These efforts have emerged spontaneously, supported in various ways by the Burning Man organization, each organically evolving to propagate the Burning Man cultural ethos throughout the world in tangible ways.

Stable in our footing, and eager to take the grand Burning Man experiment to the next level, it was time to bring the Burning Man culture back around to its philosophical roots, better aligning the organizational structure with our values. So, we are proud to announce the creation of the Burning Man Project, a non-profit organization designed to affect the world by applying the Ten Principles to a variety of multidisciplinary programs and projects.

As a non-profit entity, the Project will be afforded new opportunities for partnerships, affiliate relationships and fundraising activities that will allow it to multiply and magnify the growth of Burning Man culture, while ensuring that its philosophical center remains intact.

So, what does this mean for the Burning Man event itself? For now, while this new non-profit finds its bearings, the annual Burning Man event will be conducted under the auspices of Black Rock City LLC. In time, once the new organization has its footing, the Burning Man event itself will become part of that non-profit Burning Man Project.

The Burning Man event will continue to be the primary touchstone for our far-flung diaspora — a unique opportunity for people to gather and connect, to inspire and be inspired. But, as the spokes of the wheel grow, we fully expect (and encourage) the center of gravity to move towards the outer ring of an expanding sphere of influence, creating ever-stronger centrifugal forces, the effects of which we can only begin to imagine. We have long supported the emergence of new ideas and initiatives out of this grand experiment of Burning Man. It is the goal of The Project to increase their momentum.

Of course, Burning Man culture is all about participation … and we welcome and encourage YOU our community to do what you do so well: join in this new adventure, lend your skills, talents and creativity to the effort, just as you do in Black Rock City. We invite discussion about what you think the Burning Man Project could do (we welcome you to start in the comments below). Where it goes from here is largely up to you. We hope that you’re as excited as we are about the future and what it will bring.

June 29th, 2011  |  Filed under Spirituality, The Ten Principles

Confused by Burning Man? You’re goddamn right you are!!!

Wait, that's ... that's not a Man. Where am I?

It might not be an overstatement to suggest that the single biggest challenge facing Burning Man as it transitions to a non-profit is explaining what-the-hell-it’s-good-for without making it sound like a therapy weekend or an erotic spa.

Why do we need to do this?  Well, one reason is that the Media Team frequently gets emails asking things like:

  • “What bands are playing at Burning Man this year?”
  • “How many stages do you have?”
  • “How do I get my act in your lineup?”

Telling these people to look at our website and see what we really do only leads to return emails saying “I still can’t find the bands!  Except, is one of them named Temple Burn?  Are they playing at the Arctica stage?  Is that the main stage?”

Actually, wow, “Temple Burn” is a pretty killer name for a band … I’m calling it.  It’s mine.  Get your own band.  You can be:  “Dust Storm.”

Actually, “Dust Storm” is a pretty good name too.  I’ll need it when “Temple Burn” kicks me out for creative differences.  Hands off.

Your band can be “Gift Economy.”  It’s kind of a folk-rock thing, very 60s influenced, writes a lot of songs about peace. Read more »