Monday, December 22, 2008

Help BRAF bring interactive art to the world in 2009!

December 18, 2008
Hi There:

2008 was a highly successful year for the Black Rock Arts Foundation, as we continued to work diligently to ensure that art and community building remained on the public agenda and served as a tool for civic engagement. We awarded grants to 7 artists in 7 cities around the globe; we helped to create the Temple of the American Dream in a disadvantaged community in Detroit, which became a rallying point of pride for its residents; we transformed a vacant lot in downtown Reno into The Mangrove, a glorious sculpture garden and community gathering spot; and we brought the popular “Monkeys” zoetrope, Homouroboros, right into ethnically diverse downtown San Jose, where office workers and neighborhood families joined together to make it spin. (More details on all of these projects can be found on Black Rock Arts Foundation and right here on our blog.)

Recently I had the pleasure to address a group of some key supporters at the ARTumnal Gathering, our annual fundraising and community-building event. I talked about how inspired I am by Larry Harvey’s description of Burning Man’s 2009 theme, “Evolution.” In it, he states that Black Rock City is a kind of Petri Dish, that Burning Man is an experiment in generating culture and all that is needed is a fitting social vessel to sustain it. We see BRAF as a kind of genome tugboat – guiding that vessel of social culture, through dangerous waters, rivers, and uncharted tributaries – far from the Petri dish of the playa. For those of you who were able to attend the ARTumnal Gathering or have been engaged in other BRAF activities throughout the year, I think you’ll agree that BRAF has made great progress in bringing the ethos of art, interaction, and community “to the rest of the world the other 51 weeks of the year.” But we need your help to continue to fund, support and enable community-building, civic-minded, interactive arts projects and expand our reach to new regions.2009 brings with it the potential for many new and exciting projects in our three key program areas: Grants to Artists, Civic Arts, and ScrapEden, as well as the completion of our Civic Arts Toolkit to assist others with instigating art in their communities. Finally, as you might have noticed, BRAF itself continues to evolve and I have joined the organization as Executive Director. I look forward to this tremendous opportunity to inoculate communities worldwide with the Burning Man ethos and encourage you to be in touch with ideas about how to engage you, our community, in our mission. We are continually grateful for the extraordinary support and investment of our community. It is your donations that sustain us. Please consider showing your support once again by making an end-of-year contribution, so that we may bring even more innovative, interactive and community-building projects to cities worldwide in 2009.

Tomas McCabe
Executive Director

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Holiday Spirit

Local artist Diction Davies has promised to donate a percentage of the proceeds from his Etsy site to the Black Rock Arts Foundation until the end of 2008.

So what is Etsy, you may ask? Etsy is a website that provides the public a way to buy and sell handmade items.

So hooray for generosity of spirit, go check it out and buy some art to benefit the Black Rock Arts Foundation!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Meet our Grantees - White Noise Shower

So, let me lure you into the The Wayback Machine so I can introduce you to Jenne Giles's project, one of BRAF's first grant recipients.
"White Noise Shower", was interactive sculpture dealing with media in our lives. The installation was a Mild Steel cage with mixed media (hair blow dryers, lights) and broken television sets. This piece was an igloo/shower of television sets which one could step into and feel the ambient noise melt away in the canceling signal of the white noise from the television sets. An unintended consequence was feeling the energy which the televisions consumed.

A portion of the grant was in addition to her requested amount, in appreciation of her work and to facilitate exhibition of the "White Noise Shower" in other San Francisco venues.

I was flipping through a local San Francisco magazine last week, 7x7, while I was researching Jenne's work and there was one of her signature scarves.

In the years since BRAF was one of the donors for her performance art she has become an amazing felt maker and continues to have sculpture, performance art, metal work and painting in her life. If you are interested in learning more about felting follow her Jenne’s blog.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Last Chance to see the Reno Mangrove!

Last chance to see The Reno Mangrove! For the last three months, a once unused and uninteresting vacant lot in downtown Reno, NV, has been transformed into a grove of trees, all by different artists. The Reno community has embraced the space created by this ‘Mangrove’ and quickly adopted the location as a favored meeting spot for social events, music performances and family outings. We’re sad to announce the project’s deinstallion on December 13, 2008, but very proud of the community involvement and civic action it has inspired! Thanks to all who contributed and supported this project. BRAF extends our sincerest thanks to the The Freight House District, LLC, the City of Reno, United Rentals, Fernley Electric and Peppermill Hotel Casino Reno and the Sierra Arts Foundation for their support of this project. Special thanks to Crimson Rose, of the BRAF Board of Directors, and volunteers Maria Partridge, Linda Shields, and the amazing Reno Burner community!
photo: Mark Hammon

Sunday, December 07, 2008

newZonia "Life As Art"

newZonia is a innovative new online community angled at fostering creativity and collaboration. Join them for a delightful evening of art, film and lively entertainers on December 10, 2008. newZonia is donating a portion of the proceeds from this event to BRAF! Thank you newZonia!

Artists Jenny Bird and Shrine will be there (bring shoes, handbags and small furniture if you'd like them to be “enshrined!”) with work for sale, and there will be a screening of Voyage in Utopia, film by Laurent Le Gall. Other performers and artists include Mark Growden, Daniel Beaty, the Ka Ua Tuahine, Ramana Vieira, Bad Unkl Sistah, Poetry Jukebox, Javier Lemus, Miranda Caroligne, Templeton Variety, Scott London and Maxx Mango.

For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit:

Friday, November 28, 2008

Meet our Grantees - Language of the Birds Unveiling

The Language of the Birds dedication, a site specific sculpture by Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn was an art unveiling worth remembering. Local luminaries spoke and the artists spoke and then the Extra Action Marching Band showed up to accompany the actual defrocking of each book in the sky, and that is when it got exciting. We had skimpily clad women and heroic artist scaling the heights to remove the covers, at times to our collective breathes held to the beat of the drum, and then the Language of the Birds lit up and brightened the sky.

To see more photos by Steve Rhodes:


Previous posts:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Meet our Grantees - Our "Wayback" Machine

So recently I have been introducing you to our current recipients from our Grants-to-Artists Program, so we all know about the art that the Black Rock Arts Foundation is supporting. But now we are going to go enter The Wayback Machine and meet some of our first grant recipients and what they are doing now.

So let's celebrate BRAF's support of interactive installations and performances from our early years.

photo: Sherman and Mr. Peabody, from the Rocky and Bullwinkle show, entering the WABAC Machine, to check out a moment in history. The WABAC Machine was the inspiration for The Wayback Machine or Internet Archive.

ARTumnal Gathering 2008

More fabulous photos of our ARTumnal Gathering, these are from Mr. Nightshade:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

ARTumnal Gathering 2008

Wow, what an evening...the revelers were decked out to party at the Fabulous Bently Reserve. The silent auction raised funds for the Black Rock Arts Foundation to stay the course in funding and installing interactive art and a great time was had by all!!!!

Here are some additional photos:

More photos will be coming in the near future so keep checking back!
photos affinity

Saturday, November 15, 2008

ARTumnal 2008

Come Join Us Please!

The Black Rock Arts Foundation presents…

ARTumnal Gathering: TRIBES and TREASURES

Saturday, November 22, 2008 9pm to 2am
(Get there for the start and stay late!)

at The Historic Bently Reserve

400 Sansome St.
San Francisco, CA 94111

Just $20 Presale for Main Event; $30 at the door (get your tix now!)

Pre-event Dinner tix start at $150 for sumptuous BANK-quet
Purchase tickets and get info: overJoin us in support of the Black Rock Arts Foundation's mission to inspire art, community and civic participation worldwide. Revel in the richness of human expression, generosity of spirit and camaraderie of artists and visionaries. An opulent gathering of tribes in celebration of our artistic treasures and vital community spirit awaits! Partake in an evening of abundant visual delights, auditory pleasures, beguiling libations, and a cornucopia of spectacular people, art and performances.
Performers and DJs include:

Black Rock City Ballet
Brass Menažeri - (Voted Best Internation Band in The 2008 SF Weekly Music Awards)
Calliope Circus
Chance's End - violin-electronica
Clark Hamon (Deep End)
Copper Lantern Theater
Dex Stakker (Opulent Temple)
Erica Mulkey
Fou Fou HA!
Jeff Hobbs - sax, violin and stiltwalking
Laird (Get Freaky!)
Lila Sklar
Loyd Family Players - Samba Marching Band - Winners of Burning Man 2008
Marching Band MARCH-OFF!
Majitope (Symbiosis/Lowpro)
Miranda Caroligne - Autumnal wearable art & designs
Samantha and Angela Mae - Bellydance
Sweet Can Productions
Tamo (Angels of bAss)
Vau De Vire Society (2008 Best of The Bay Circus Troupe Winners)
SECRET special guest DJ (and his monkeysnake...shh!) and MANY MANY other amazing performers and artists!!!

Tribal Chill room with décor provided by Hookahdome/RuckusLab

Photo portraits by Nightshade

Photography Gallery - curated by Will Chase

Art Sculpture by Laura Kimpton & Celtic Forest

Peter Hudson

Mardi Storm and Others!

Raffle Prizes and More!Tickets:

To purchase tickets:

Black Rock Arts is a 501(c)3 non-profit; a portion of your ticket price is tax-deductible.

The MAIN EVENT, in the Grand Banker's Hall, Tribal Chill Room and Gallery:The Tribes & Treasures Celebration:9:00pm-2:00am, $20 presale online, $30 at the door Includes an evening of featured and roaming performances, DJs, dancing, raffle, photography sale and many happy surprises

The Special Pre-event Reception, Upstairs:The Bank-quet Dinner7:00pm-10:00pm, $150

Includes a sumptuous buffet dinner, silent auction, ambient performances, absinthe tasting, wine and dessert, presentations by celebrated BRAF artists and organizers; The Finch Mob-creators of the Panhandle Bandshell, Peter Hudson-creator of Homouroboros, and Crimson Rose, presenting the art of The Mangrove, and entry to the main event.

Alchemists' Hour and Bank-quet Dinner 6:00pm-10:00pm, $250 Includes private reception with the BRAF Board of Directors and special guests, with a hosted bar from 6:00pm-7:00pm + the Bank-quet Dinner + main event.

Host Committee:
Christopher & Amber Bently;
David Best;
Jess Bobier;
Loren & Rachel Carpenter;
Will Chase;
Harley K. Dubois;
Alexeis Fillipello;
Marian Goodell;
Syd Gris;
Freddy Hahne;
Dana Harrison;
Larry Harvey;
Aaryn Herridge;
Mark Higbie;
Phil Linhares;
Nick Morgan;
John Mueller;
Jessica Mullens;
Joseph Olivier;
Will Roger Peterson;
Christina Pettigrew;
Rae Richman;
Crimson Rose;
Alix Rosenthal;
David Silverman;
Jeremy Sugerman

The Black Rock Arts Foundation supports interactive art projects worldwide, year-round. In our seven years of collaborating with innovative artists, visionaries and community groups, we've seen first hand how interactive art can inspire civic engagement and social participation. Our 2008 Grantee and Civic Art projects are inspiring examples of both groundbreaking works of art and new levels of community ownership and participation. Projects like The Temple of the American Dream in Detroit, MI, Peter Hudson's Homourboros in San Jose, CA, and The Mangrove in Reno, NV brought innovative works of art into the every day lives of the public, many of whom have little access to such large scale interactive works. All of these projects relied on the support of their communities, and hundreds of volunteers. Come celebrate our achievements as a community, and support the proliferation of interactive art!!!