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: