Burnt Oranges 2018 Roadmap

Before we look to the future, the Burnt Oranges board would like to thank all of the dedicated event coordinators, team leads, every volunteer, and each participant in the Florida burner community for helping to pull off Afterburn: Restoration. Based on our own experiences and the feedback we’ve received, Afterburn exceeded many expectations and we hope to build on that success.

In reviewing all of the various team lead reports from Afterburn – as well as countless conversations with members of the community each of us have had since – it’s become abundantly clear that this community is in need of two things:

  1. A trained volunteer base that can pull off any burn or community event.
  2. An Afterburn 2018 that builds on Afterburn: Restoration.

While everything went well, giving the appearance that volunteer needs were covered, many of our limited volunteers spent more time working than they were able to spend sleeping or enjoying the event. While we appreciate the passion, we also know it’s unsustainable.

Our events are volunteer-operated. Without adequate volunteers, we cannot have a safe event that continues to evolve into the regional burns we’d all like to see.

Since the stated mission of Burnt Oranges is promoting and funding art, and establishing venues for that art, all current active Burnt Oranges directors met with Afterburn: Restoration event coordinators Heathen and RobL to discuss Preheat 2018.

As a result of this meeting, a unanimous conclusion without dissent has been reached that we do not currently have the team leads and volunteers to successfully pull off an event that continues the momentum of Afterburn in such a short period of time. While we may be able to collectively forego sleep for a couple of months to pull off an event, there is simply not enough time to plan an event, recruit and train volunteers, and implement the feedback we received from Afterburn: Restoration.

This news is as disappointing to you as it is to us. After seeing the amazing energy at Afterburn, there’s nothing more we’d like to see than another event that brings us all together.

Now for the fun stuff intentionally designed to make you feel better after learning we’re skipping Preheat this year!

Volunteer Development

Since volunteers are required to pull off the events our community wants (as well as more to come) and we don’t have enough of them, we’re going to address this problem immediately. Throughout 2018, we will be reaching out to the community to bring back old team leads, find and train new team leads, and help those leads to build out their crews.

Our plan is to facilitate several smaller events throughout the state to put those who already know what they’re doing in direct contact with those interested in building the community as volunteers. Depending on the team we’re helping to build, some of these events may include hands-on training run by department leads, in addition to community meet & greets with hosted, large-scale art projects to participate in. There’s one happening next weekend in Palm Beach, hosted by Heathen and the build crew from “Shelter From The Tempest”. We’d encourage our long-standing community members to come together and host similar “Sparks” of community throughout the state as we collectively aim for combining those efforts into the larger flame of a community-created, 10-principles based event filled with art, burnable structures, and opportunities for participation.

If you’ve never volunteered before because you had no idea what you’d be doing, we’re going to provide ample opportunities to become familiar with your volunteer options.

Our goal is to build teams with layers of redundancy so that we’re never faced with an issue of not enough volunteers when planning events like Preheat and Afterburn.

Art Development

While we did streamline our art grant process significantly, we think it’s safe to assume most people are on the same page in wanting more art at our events.

We plan to expand our art grant program to start MUCH earlier, provide guidance and consultation for those of you considering your first project or one at a larger scale than you’ve previously created, and create opportunities for exposure beyond our regional events.

One aspect of our Art Development program that’s just launched is the debut of the Burnt Oranges Arts & Culture Roadshow at the upcoming Okeechobee Music & Art Festival March 1-4. Burnt Oranges will have a booth engaging festival participants in a participatory art project, discussing our trailheads into the community, and promoting the artists in our midsts.

We’ll be showcasing several art pieces from Afterburn: Restoration including the Shelter From The Tempest Pirate Ship, The Augmented Reality (AR) Sandbox, and the The Human Plasmascope. The event is still a month away, but we’ve already been introduced to half a dozen local large-scale interactive artists who we have invited to join us at future burns.

Community Development

Many people have commented regarding how Afterburn felt like a great return of the Florida burn community. We know that’s why so many of you have been looking forward to there being a Preheat.

If you’re a Central Florida loyalist who goes to one or two events a year, or you travel the state to attend all four events, getting friends together two to four times a year doesn’t seem like enough to us.

Between our own smaller volunteer and art development events we’re currently working on and promoting other events across the state, we hope to make it easier for all of us to see each other face to face more frequently.

We’re also in early discussions regarding how we can better utilize the technology at our disposal to facilitate in-person community building.

Each of us would like to thank you for your understanding and patience while we’ve been working on this announcement. While skipping a Preheat will disappoint some of you, we hope you understand the reasons why and that you’ll join us in our efforts to continue to grow our volunteer base, community, and events.

We’ll be available, responsive, and right there with you to provide resources, funding, and support to grow our collective capability of responsibly growing back to the thriving community we know we’re all meant to be.

Hopefully we got you really excited about volunteering. If we were successful, please take a minute to fill out the form below so we can see who is available for what, and to receive direct communications regarding upcoming events where your skills will be needed.

  • Legal, Facebook, Playa, or what your mom calls you when you're in trouble, we just want to know what you'll respond to.
  • Part of being a volunteer means staying in communications with other volunteers! Email seems pretty easy for most people.
  • We'll end up asking for this when it comes time to organize events because sometimes a phone call is faster than email. You can share it now to save some time later. We promise* not to drunk dial you.
  • You might be expecting a list. It's not here intentionally. If you've volunteered before, you know what your team is called and you can just type it in and move on down the form. If you don't know your team name or have never volunteered before, let us know what kinds of activities you're interested and skills you have and we'll work to find a fit. Want to create a new team? Put it in the box!
    Being a team lead means working with other team leads, co-leads, and volunteers, along with recruiting volunteers for those positions as needed. Especially in the months leading up to events, timely communications via tools like phone, email, and/or Slack is incredibly beneficial to keep the larger machine running.

AfterBurn: Restoration | An inclusive ten-principles based event of community and art

I’m sure the anticipation was already making everyone squirm, but the larger aspects of what have been happening in the last three months have had to do with the long-term viability of the organization. Since I joined the board three months ago, we’ve been working on several things to make sure that we can do this for a long time in the future.

  1. Burnt Oranges, Inc. now has an annual, general liability policy protecting our actions year-round
  2. Burnt Oranges board of directors, collectively and as individuals are now covered under Board of Directors Insurance
  3. Burnt Oranges events will continue to have an exemplary event-based liability policy allowing us to burn stuff, build stuff, and have fun
  4. We’re working with Lakeland-based Baylis CPA’s to ensure our financial future is handled correctly
  5. We’ve hired ADVOS Legal to act as our counsel pertaining to all manners of the operation of our corporation, events, and issues that arise in this sphere

While none of this is on the radar of someone participating in one of our hosted events, it’s extremely important for our overall safety and ability to continue to provide these efforts as a working board of volunteers.

In addition to that work, we’ve also completely restructured the Art Grant Process, written new documentation, forms, how-to’s and empowered the art grant committee to work with artists to ensure funding needs are met, instead of operating as a black box in which no feedback was given. I’d like to give a huge shout-out to Margaret “Meps” Schulte for reaching out to dozens of burner-led organizations to ensure we were doing it the right way.

Then a hurricane hit. Twice. I was on playa Harvey hit Texas, and as I was leaving playa, we learned of Irma’s path to Florida. By the time we returned to Florida the grocery store shelves were hit, gas pumps were empty, and we had little time to prepare. Luckily Lakeland, Florida wasn’t hit hard, but our surrounding communities in Florida were, and we’ve been working around the clock to provide relief efforts across the state and into the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and Mexico for the earthquake there. For those of you who don’t know what Burners Without Borders is, I’d urge you to find out a bit more and encourage you to participate in these efforts. From helping Grassroots Alliance set up a kitchen in Immokalee, Florida to starting an MRU (Mobile Response Unit) based “Florida Toolbox Project” to raise money for 20′ shipping containers and filling them with tools to take to the Florida Keys, we haven’t stopped since the Man Burned. The collective efforts of those involved have raised over $4000 for the project in very short time. Yesterday, we dropped off the first load of tools on Big Pine Key to assist with the long-term rebuilding efforts there.

So how does this relate to the community? Here’s how. If you don’t realize the scale and scope of the damage that’s been done to Florida, I’d encourage you to look around. The board of directors had decided to theme this event “Restoration” long before we know of the incoming storms. But now that they’ve hit, and we’re beyond the initial efforts of getting people into safety and ensuring water and medical supplies were in place, we’re focusing on the near term future. So we met twice as a board of directors, and collectively and unanimously decided on the following road map for this event, based on the Gift of the Ten Principles that was given to regional communities:

In the spirit of Immediacy,
we’d ask that you share your feelings on this journey of restoration throughout our community the best way that you know how. We’d ask that you help us hold space for those in the world right now in their pain and suffering from immeasurable loss, and we’d ask that you consider your time with us special, sacred, and contribute the best thing that you can to the experience – your undivided attention.

In the spirit of Participation,
we’d ask you remember “everyone is invited to work”. There will be communal projects to join, and efforts to be made together. We’d ask that if you intend to come for the party and be a spectator, that you’d consider sitting this one out.

in the spirit of Leaving No Trace,
we’re asking each member to be their own LNT team, and that those who wish to make a lasting contribution stay to do final moop sweeps and provide restoration services to the property, so that we might be asked to return again.

In the spirit of Civic Responsibility,
we’re asking each community member to go out into the world and do what needs to be done. There are dozens of concurrent efforts right now in our communities that you can become a part of. We’re asking that those who wish to magnify their efforts prepare their proposals for community micro-grants, which we’ll vote on together at AfterBurn: Restoration. Those which provide the most impact will be funded, and we’ll be writing checks on site for you to take home and make these things happen where you live.

In the spirit of Communal effort,
we’re asking those with experience lead us in the creation of a shared meal at the event. We’re asking those with artistic experience to put forward communal projects that all can share in, and approach us for requests for grant funding to enable them.

In the spirit of Radical Self Expression,
we’re asking that you choose which causes you support in this world, and share those with others that you encounter. As we learn from each other about those passions that are strong enough for us to cry out when they are threatened, we shall learn about each other.

In the spirit of Radical Self Reliance,
we’re asking that you tap into your inner resources to find your true gifts, and bring those to our event to share with others. Consider this event to be like “That Thing In The Desert” and we’re providing toilets. You’re burners, you’ll figure it out.

In the spirit of Decommodification
we’re asking that you spend what little money you may have left after hundreds of dollars in hurricane preparation and rebuilding, and just bring what’s necessary for you to Participate.

In the spirit of Radical Inclusion,
we’re asking that each of you invite someone from outside our community who shares your heart and spirit to join us at AfterBurn: Restoration.

And in the spirit of Gifting
we have decided collectively as the board of directors to offer this event at no ticket cost, with donations being accepted to cover the event cost per person, donations to relief efforts in the USA and abroad, and if you so choose, future art grant funds to be given to those in our community who wish to help rebuild.

We’re finishing up the ticketing and volunteer systems to ensure that when you sign up to participate, your efforts will be applied and recorded. We’re hoping to have Volunteer and Mandarin tickets on “sale” in the next 24 hours, with Participant tickets available 24 hours after that.

I’d invite you to read the Board of Director AfterBurn Statements that support this, here or on their personal pages.

Stay tuned for event-based directives from our Event Coordinators, RobL and Sally “Heathen” Smith. If you need to reach them, they’re monitoring the facebook group or email them [email protected] or [email protected] If you’re a previous volunteer, contact your lead. If you’re interested in volunteering, standby for sign-ups. If you’d like to put forward efforts into meal creation, programming for our center-camp-esque “Indaba” contact [email protected]

Important information: gates will open at 8AM on Friday, November 10th. We’re asking participants to be packed up and off property by dark on Sunday, November 12th. This is so we don’t impact our volunteers lives and they can get back to work. Next year will be better.

Stay tuned for ticketing information in the next 24-48 hours.

If you have immediate concerns about Burnt Oranges, please email [email protected] and we’ll all see it together.

We have a second art grant process that’s still open. We’re funding both grant applications we received in the past two weeks, and encourage everyone to apply. We’ll be putting up the program information for the Civic Grants this week and look forward to your contributions and efforts.

Thank you for being a true community. The things we’ve been seeing you do for your fellow humans are what initiated these decisions. We hope you’ll be there with us when we come together to celebrate your collective efforts.

With much respect and adoration,

Ben “Jamanai” Slayter
[email protected]

Burners Without Borders Camp 2017, with the Texas Flag Flying in the background to help our Harvey Relief Efforts. An entire 26′ Uhaul of infrastructure was donated on playa and taken directly to Aransas Pass, Texas after the event.







Semi-Annual Art Grants: How do they work?

Huggable Meps

Huggable Meps

My name is Meps Schulte, known to my Burner friends as Huggable. I’m a long-time Black Rock City Burner from Seattle who’s making a new home in Florida. This summer, I’ve been working with Burnt Oranges to establish a lasting process for administering art grants.

The first time I applied for an art grant, in 2016, I was confused and anxious. There were forms and spreadsheets, and when I hit “submit,” it was like sticking my hand into a scary black box. Who was going to look at my submission? What were they looking for?

Much to my surprise and delight, I received a grant for my project, Choose ART. I was able to transport the installation from Oregon to Florida, with a stop in Ohio to refurbish it. It was displayed at two Florida events, and the components, which live on a little trailer in Clearwater, are becoming a new interactive art piece.

Here’s the big thing I didn’t expect from my art grant experience: When I received that money from Burnt Oranges, I got a lot more than a check. What I got, and you can get, too, was permission to make art.

I’ve written this step-by-step guide to help you understand the art grant process, because I want you to experience that encouragement and permission. I want to see what you create!

Here’s what you’ll find in the guide:

  • A description of the process: How to apply for a grant, and what happens when you receive it
  • A list of the information you’ll need for the process, and at what point you’ll need it
  • Resources and contacts to help you succeed

The Art Grant Process: A Step by Step Guide

Step 1: Come up with an idea. Get it out of your head and down on paper.

Lots of times, inspiration for the next Burn starts at the last one. Did you see something at AfterBurn that got your creative juices flowing, and you can’t stop thinking about it? (Two words: Fire tornado.) Have you made something small that could be scaled up? Do you have any napkin sketches from the last time you and your Burner friends went out for beers?

El Pulpo Mecanico

El Pulpo Mecanico

If you’ve ever seen El Pulpo Mecanico, the giant fire-breathing octopus at Burning Man, you might be surprised to know that it started with a 12-inch sculpture made out of trash found in Mexico. Duane Flatmo made the little one on vacation, then scaled it up to enormous with the help of friends.

Step 2: Figure out your team

Setting up an art project

Setting up an art project

Think about what skillsets are needed to complete your project. If you don’t have them, never fear! Our community is full of talented people, and the art grant committee will do what they can to help you find resources.

Choose ART started out with a team of four, but eventually involved about 20 people, including 2-D artists from all over the world and experts in programming, electrical engineering, woodworking, wiring, painting, trench-digging, and logistics (aka shopping).

Step 3: Figure out how you’re going to make it and write a budget

Soldering Choose ART

Soldering little fussy parts

In order for the Art Grant Committee to review your application, they need to know what the money will be used for. For this, you’ll have to figure out what materials you’ll be using and what facilities you’ll need.

You’ll need to make a list of everything you expect to use to complete the project, even the parts that won’t be funded by this grant. There are two reasons for this: One is to demonstrate that you’ve planned it out well enough to succeed. The second reason is that your Burnt Oranges grant will not cover 100% of the cost, so you’ll want to show where the rest comes from. That might be materials you already have on hand or things you’re expecting to get donated; it doesn’t have to be cash.

Take a look at the BOI Art Grant Line Item Submissions, which lists what can and can’t be paid for by an art grant. Then turn your list into a spreadsheet, showing what you plan to buy, where you plan to buy it, and how much you expect it to cost. You’ll need a dollar total for the entire project, as well as what percentage of that amount you’re asking for.

Step 4 (optional): Got questions? Contact the Art Grant Committee!

Seriously, the Committee exists to help artists and facilitate projects. So if you have any questions or concerns, reach out with an email, and someone will help you figure it out. Remember, this is not a panel of judges. It’s a group of your peers who want to help you get your art to the Burn. They respond well to emails with “Help, help!” in the subject line.

Step 5: Submit your application (Google form).

Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to complete the online application:

    • Contact full name
    • Contact playa name (optional)
    • Contact email address
    • Contact phone
    • Contact mailing address
    • Name of the art team/organization (optional)
    • Name of lead artist (if different from contact person)
    • Have any members of this team attended a prior Burnt Oranges event?
    • Have any members of this team received an art grant in the past?
    • Have any members of this team created something like this before? If so, what and where?
    • Name of Project or Installation
    • Summary of Project or Installation
    • Physical Description of Project or Installation
    • What makes this art project interactive? How will participants interact with it?
    • What is the philosophy or mission of this project?
    • What are your plans for lighting and safety?
    • What are your plans for LNT?
    • Do you plan to display this piece at additional venues? If so, where?
    • What is the project status?
    • Estimated Total Budget for the Project (enter a dollar amount, not a range)
    • Amount Requested for this Grant (enter a percentage of the total, not a range)
    • What other funding sources do you have? (include amounts and description of both monetary and in-kind support)
    • Planned Budget — this is where you upload the budget spreadsheet from Step 3
    • URL or FB page for the Project (optional)
    • Primary image (upload a JPG or PDF)
    • Secondary images (up to 5 JPGs, optional)

Submit the form and then sit back and wait while the Art Grant Committee reviews it. They should get back to you in a few days, even if it’s just to let you know they’ve received your application.

Step 6: Answer questions.

The Art Grant Committee may contact you with questions about your application. They’re not trying to challenge you, they’re trying to figure out how your project fits within the parameters of their grants.

Once that all gets worked out, they’ll notify you about your grant. They’ll congratulate you, tell you how much you’ve been awarded, and they’ll direct you to the next step…

Step 7: Complete the Art Grant Agreement (Google form).

Here’s a list of what you need to complete the Art Grant Agreement:

  • Contact full name
  • Name of lead artist (if different from contact person)
  • Contact email address
  • Contact phone
  • Name of the project or installation
  • Dollar amount of the art grant
  • Your fire safety plan (if applicable)
  • Your LNT plan

By submitting the Art Grant Agreement form, you agree to use the funds according to the agreement. If your grant is for $600 or more, you’ll also have to submit an IRS W-9 to Burnt Oranges to receive your funding.

Step 8: Get the first half of the grant.

Art is not a thing, art is a way.

Back panel from Choose ART

Have you started creating yet? If not, you have the funds now, and it’s time to get started.

Step 9: Complete the mid-term progress report (Google form).

Here’s what you’ll need to complete the mid-term progress report:

  • Name of project or installation
  • Contact full name
  • Contact email address
  • Contact phone
  • What is the status of the project? (percentage completed)
  • A description of the work completed so far
  • A description of the work left to complete the project
  • Is there anything we can do to help you complete the project?

Step 10: Get the remainder of the grant.

Build, build, build!

Step 11: Bring your art to the Burn.

Nest of Secrets

Nest of Secrets, AfterBurn 2016

The process of bringing the art will involve the Placement Team, who will figure out where to put it, and the Archival Team, who will document it and interview you about it. We also encourage you to create a display for the Indaba Project, which is our community shared space. The Indaba will have a somewhat protected space where you can share pictures of the creation process and in-depth information about your project.

Burners Without Borders Florida IRMA Relief

Burnt Oranges, Inc. Will be accepting donations for the Burners Without Borders Relief Efforts in Florida post Hurricane Irma.

Donate via paypal, or consider our Amazon Prime Wish List here:

All donations are tax-deductible and will go to hardest hit areas.

Thank you,

Benjamin Slayter
Board President
Burnt Orangs, Inc.

Sky Above Me ~ Earth Below Me ~ Fire Within Me: AfterBurn 2017 Burnable Honoraria

Euphoria 2013 Cherokee Farms, GA – Photo: Matt Brooks, Used With Permission

Sky Above Me ~ Earth Below Me ~ Fire Within Me

I attended my first burn in 2013; Euphoria on Cherokee Farms in the nestled foothills of Georgia. As it was my first burn, I did not know what to expect. I went into the experience with no expectations of the experience that I later realized had changed my life. The effigy that year stood atop a hill as beacon. People laughed. They cried. They rested. Hammocks were hung and people slept under the stars. It was burn night. I could feel the energy rising as people formed a circle around the effigy. Men dressed in red and black robes entered the perimeter to light the art on fire that I had connected with on a deep spiritual and emotional level. A DJ began playing an impromptu music set that took control of the flames and made the fire dance. It moved me to tears. It is a moment I will never forget.


Euphoria 2013 Cherokee Farms, GA – Photo: Matt Brooks, Used With Permission


The AfterBurn: Restoration Burnable Honoraria

It’s our goal to support the building of an effigy and temple if there are those willing to come forward to build them. The hearts, souls, sweat, and tears of the artists will cast an energy on a these pieces of art that will have an impact on hundreds. People will connect with your art in an infinite number of ways. Whether it be by sharing a kiss by the lit effigy or letting go of regret or sadness as the temple blazes into the night sky. You have the power to create an epic moment for someone through a vision of something beautiful and magical that you have been dreaming of. I can only imagine the feeling of envisioning and then building a piece of art then lighting it on fire and watching as the flames dance in people’s eyes. To leave no trace of your vision except in the souls of hundreds would be an amazing everlasting feeling.


AfterBurn 2016, Maddox Ranch, Lakeland, Florida – Photo: Sam Gifford, Used With Permission


Project submissions will be considered up to $5000 for materials and associated costs. To have your individual or group design considered for AfterBurn: Restoration, register your project’s intentions at the form linked below for an immediate review and follow-up call. For questions, email [email protected]

Jennifer Boyer,
Burner, Volunteer, Board Member

Project funding requests for Honoraria will close 9/15/2017 unless extensions are requested.

Your effigy will burn in 85 days.

Set your life on fire. Seek those that fan your flames

Welcome to the Indaba

Welcome To The Indaba

Do you ever look at a piece of art, and wonder, “How the hell did they make that?!” Imagine a space where you can communicate, ask questions, and collaborate with the artists in our community. Imagine a space that provides an opportunity for participants to learn, grow and educate each other as they  gain new ideas & skillsets.

Heart artists; Buttercup & Fluffernutter

The goal of The Indaba is to create the cultural hub that embodies the 10 principles and beyond. A place where artists can view sketches, discuss their past or current projects that are in the works and provide prototypes of their art to exhibit. Perhaps you possess an interesting skill and want to host a workshop, or be a speaker and talk about your first playa experience; the opportunities are endless. I am excited to introduce to you a new part of infrastructure that will give participants the opportunity to be inspired by each other, with each other.

Photo by Sara Laroux, inside the man 2012


“When artists give form to revelation, their art can advance, deepen and potentially transform the consciousness of their community.” ~ Alex Grey


About The Indaba

An Indaba is a tribal conference, the word coming from the Zulu word for “business” or “matter”. The event’s executive committee would like to provide the community with a place to discuss their future and take a new shape. The free-form tent that’s been donated provides an open-walled structure that can be entered from any side. By combining the word and the tent with some needs; a bunch of stuff became a thing; a necessary and welcome feature on our event’s new landscape.

The AfterBurn Indaba is a 3,700 square foot shaded structure containing:

  • A performance and presenter stage
  • A small, amplified sound system
  • The event’s combined Info Booth & Volunteer station
  • A hosted coffee and tea house
  • Small-scale art pieces and exhibitions

The Indaba’s goal is to promote participation in the community by providing a shared infrastructure for artists to display their artistic processes, exhibit their work and to show everyone “how they got there.” Participants will also be able to host community-led talks, workshops, & events.


We invite Artists and community leaders to teach workshops and lead discussions on large-scale participatory art, sharing what they’ve learned so an entire generation of skills may be passed down.


Community Grant Salon

Burnt Oranges will be utilizing the space to host a Community Grant Salon. We invite participants to present ideas for multiple, immediate $599 micro-grant awards to take back into your communities for public art and civic action projects. Awards are based on participant votes; don’t miss your chance to help fund the community’s dreams. More information will be posted on the new web site, stay tuned.

BWB’s version of the Indaba, Black Rock City, 2016



Can you imagine it? Do you envision it? Do you want be a part of it? After many months of planning, I will tell you that this cannot happen without you. Look at this concept as if it’s our own community tree. We have the dirt, we’re planting the seeds, and the participants are the water. The water will make our tree grow and flourish into the biggest, beautiful tree you’ve yet to see.

So the real question is, do you want to share something amazing?

Are you a master at making fire poofers, or have you built a grand piece of art? Or maybe you’re an acoustic musician, spoken word poet, or a guided meditations guru, or want to lead an ecstatic dance workshop, that part is up to you.

Photo of Carey Thompson’s Portal to Center Camp. BM 2012



There are also opportunities (aside from participatory submissions) available. Do you want to help lead and coordinate this project? Do you have building experience and would like to help build the entrance portal for the Indaba?

For questions, email [email protected]

For ideas, presenter submissions, and volunteering, fill out this:

Sara “Fluffernutter” LaRoux,
Burner, Indaba Lead, and Board Member

An Open Invitation To The Burnt Oranges Community

Dear Fellow Burner:

The vision of Burnt Oranges came long ago from our Founder, Board Member Emeritus, and current Central Florida Burning Man Regional Contact, Storm. That vision grew from the ethos of Burning Man: a temporary experiment in arts, culture, and community.


The Temple of Transition, 2011.

Her desire was to share it where she lived. Storm provided not only the direction, but moved forward with forethought and process to found Burnt Oranges, Inc. as a legal entity. Together with an initial board of directors and dozens of supporters, they patiently and diligently worked out a model for it to come into being, and shepherded it through infancy and its developmental years. Since its inception in 2008 and further acceptance as a 501(c)3 registered non-profit corporation in 2010, the organization grew to touch thousands of participants from across Florida and beyond through open calls for participation, arts funding, and the annual events, PreHeat and AfterBurn.

As the current Board of Directors examined our roles and responsibilities and started our due diligence of strategic planning, we found an organization on the brink of adulthood. We’ve each looked at our roles as that of Trustees to ensure that an adolescent organization didn’t receive a blank check “trust fund”, but had plans for what it wanted to be when it grew up. This brings us to something missing in our modern world: a ritual rite of passage to mark the occasion, as well as those on the “other side” who will welcome (her) into adulthood.


Peter Hudson’s Interactive Zoetrope “Charon” as viewed in 2011. The project returns to playa this year.

There are no books for what we need to do. Attempts to create a community around art lend themselves to established methods of cooperative projects and collective pursuits. These allow the individual to create group dynamics around support for interactive, participatory projects. Behind the idea that these events are co-created must stand an entity capable of being a fiduciary supporter and legally accountable at the same time. These experiments into temporary autonomous zones where we iterate what we’ve learned come with guidelines and responsibilities. We’re still learning how to navigate them with each step.


In 2016, the Catacomb of Veils burned at dawn.



“Temporary art serves its purpose, it goes away and mankind goes onto the next step. It’s like a shooting star, it’s really beautiful, then it goes away, but the poetry doesn’t stop. We’ve found a way to achieve collective poetry, to achieve creativity in a group. It’s no longer the age of the lone genius working in isolation, waiting for the great discovery. It’s people working together, discovering stuff together, realizing what they have, taking time to celebrate it, but wondering what’s around the next bend.” – Tom Laporte (1953-2017)


Tom Laporte (Right) facilitating a group panel discussion with Board Members, 2011.

This year the worldwide Burner Community lost a father, mentor, and amazing co-creator, Tom Laporte. Some of you may know the name as he was among many other things, the voice of the “Man Burn”. He’d narrate remote coverage of Burning Man’s Burn Night for those not in Black Rock City via webcast. Tom had a love for many things and interactive art provided him with a platform for his voice; anyone who knew him recognized this as his gift. I’m thankful to have known him, loved him and worked with him since meeting at the Electric Forest Festival in 2011. He invited me to come to Black Rock City that year with a promise that if I did, “The keys to the city will be yours.” He didn’t lie.


Marian Goodell and Larry Harvey look out over the city during a media interview from “First Camp”, 2011.


From bringing me along to meet the founders, to plugging me into something called “Burners Without Borders” he did just that. He did it for me and anyone who wanted to participate. He had a way of weaving you into a story so that you weren’t a spectator wondering how to get involved, but an active participant in the storyline. I’ve never forgotten how he showed us how to let people know that THEY were the connection to the spirit of this thing. The idea that we’re individually “keys to the city” is something I’d like to offer to you so that you may give it to others, especially those who are new in our local communities and have yet to step into the pond. Invite them to experiment with us.


The Titanium Sporkestra Plays at Burners Without Borders, 2011.


From an alchemical perspective, the next step is to re-ignite the fire here in Florida. Many methods exist by which spark becomes flame; an initial method may have been lightning. I was in a planning meeting last week and someone said, “The biggest ripple you make in the pond of a do-ocracy is when you first put your foot in the water.” That statement struck like a lighting bolt.

What I’m asking you for individually is will you join us in the pond?


As our community reflects on the past ten years of growtha decade of learning, doing, and co-creatingwe’d like to support artistic restoration and a time of reflection. Like any good narrator of the part of a hero’s journey where renewal occurs, we’d like to intentionally create the opportunity to keep the gold we’ve transmuted; lest it turn back into dust and be blown away with the smoke from our communal fires.



We’d love to know your thoughts, dreams, and ideas for how we can move into this next phase together. In turn we’ll share our visions. We’re pretty sure that if we work together, we haven’t even begun to tap the resources and creativity of the community.


The Burnt Oranges Mission and Goals

As an arts organization first and foremost, Burnt Oranges’ current mission is to cultivate interactive art through artist funding and advocacy, by creating supporting venues for interactive artists and performers, and through public education of interactive art. Our goals are:


  • Increase knowledge and appreciation of interactive art
  • Provide interactive artists regular opportunities to express themselves
  • Provide funding for interactive art and art education
  • Build a community of interactive artists that fosters civic responsibility and cooperation


William Close dedicates the Temple of Transition with The Earth Harp, 2011.


These goals are why this and future events require us as a board of directors, and as individuals in our community step into another iteration and approach. We’ve honed our skills, and spent the summer learning how to do it better. It’s important that we state, and everyone understands:

It is the artist in the community who is our customer.


Anyone who supports this is a donor, supporter, and ultimately benefactor to the mission. Burnt Oranges, Inc. exists to provide funding for art and arts education. The community exists around the idea of a co-created temporary city. How can we work together to bring the magic into the lives of others?



We hope to foster an artistic renaissance in Florida as we return to our roots as an arts organization. This week we’ll be launching our art grant programs to provide funding for event-based art, art transportation, community-based projects, and public art display. A dedicated group of people have provided input and knowledge.


Ideate the next part of the process with us.

Participate in the next iteration.

The Implantation what we learn together.


The opportunity to become involved lies in two planes. The first is in the the large-scale, living community art project, AfterBurn: Restoration. We’ve been at the drawing board for months, and have a few new ways to get involved. We have a team of dedicated volunteers to provide a foundation. The updated web site will provide further avenues of direct communication at the event level, department level, and “city” level.



Secondly, the organization needs dedicated individuals willing to work year-round on full-scale efforts to combine strategic direction with operational abilities, providing the community a constant touchpoint for a permanent effort. Not everyone can dedicate time beyond a single event, but for those who wish to assist, we’ve identified some opportunities. Are you any of the following? Use the form at the end of the letter to share an idea or take a step into the pond. We’re ready for the ripples.



This is an immediate call out to anyone in the community who self-identifies as an artist. We want to hear from fire artists and performers, welders, painters, and makers. If you’ve ever created something, this is you! We’ll soon invite you to join an advisory panel and discussion group by telling us a bit more about how you do art through a quick response process. Artists’ aims will be to ensure that the physical needs of the community have direct tools in place for the next iteration and beyond. From access to Maker and Artist cooperative spaces to teaching and learning opportunities for those with desire to do either, we’ll have programs in place for funding, and we’d hope you’ll help us with the advocacy part.


Volunteer Coordination

Beyond a database administrator and master communicator is a burner who loves to connect people. Past experience in this role is a plus, as is a dedication to the development of a connected community. Bring us your best. Nominate yourself or others.


Photographers, Videographers, and Content Creators

There’s never been a full-scale effort to archive our community’s art. From the spectacle of the large scale art to the intimate conversations about process with the artists, we’d like to enable the capture, editing, and sharing of this journey in our community and to other similar communities throughout the world.


Masters of Organization, Messaging and Communication

In order to grow our message needs to be on point. The goals of the organization need to be clearly communicated with the community, and the community’s feedback loop needs to be immediately categorized and routed to those with the capability of implantation. Can you take someone’s input from either direction and articulate it?


Event Planners, Organizers and Event Production Professionals

While the current community art project is AfterBurn, our goals are to produce a series of events from small-scale fundraisers to traveling art road shows. As such, we’re looking for established industry professionals in planning, production, audio, video, pyrotechnics, site ops, logistics, material handling, art handling, shipping, group travel, and those with related skillsets to join our “skunkworks”. Ideate the next phase of events, help us introduce a next iteration of Cause-supported exhibitions of our community’s best into the default world as you guide the implantation of plans with the mastery of your craft. From large-scale exhibitions at public festivals to pop-up events in rural communities, bring your 10,000 hours to the table.


Civic Engagement

Through a supportive partnership with Burners Without Borders, Burnt Oranges will act as the designated non-profit entity of a Florida Chapter, allowing BWB Chapter Members to solicit donations and donate funds to worthy causes. Leadership at this level engages not only in actual community-led endeavors, but leaves a mark. From beach cleanups to planned solutions for disaster response assistance, the BWB model provides immediate opportunities to grant funds for community projects with real impact. Leadership in BWB is a cooperative model and requires self-reliance, the ability to find support on a one-to-one level as well as with affected communities. The rewards are limitless.


Lamplighters in front of Burners Without Borders, 2015.


All of this may be a fairly large “ask”, but it’s our belief that all of this and more exists within the community. Our one-on-one conversations with many of you acknowledge that it’s not only possible, but already happening. We can’t wait to see what happens next.


In less than one week my fiancé Elizabeth and I will be making the self-funded pilgrimage to Black Rock City to participate in the next iteration. We’re arriving early to help build the Burners Without Borders Camp at 2:45 and Esplanade.


Tom Price, co-founder of Burners Without Borders speaks at the first TEDxBlackRockCity, 2011. Watch the video here:


Through the dynamic leadership of nearly 100 participants, BWB will play host to an entire array of thought-leaders, storytellers and makers while exploring different phases of The Hero’s Journey. The camp will be gifting the city a fully-operational maker space called the Mobile Response Unit, designed to be transported into disaster zones for community rebuilding efforts. Programming includes an entire week of talks, interactive programs, and entertainment including a dedication ceremony from the First Nations. BWB does this while operating live screen printing stations for people to take home a piece of co-created art, offering a permanent memory to mark each visitor’s interaction. Some of BWB’s campers operate the sun-powered “Solarbeatz” art car which doubles as a participatory vehicle in the default world visiting schools and teaching children. The camp will be hosting a panel discussion from Burning Man’s Fly Ranch team about what their intentions are into the future, which I can’t wait to share with our community here. At the end of the first Monday, again on Wednesday, and finally post-exodus the following Monday, Burners Without Borders will be burning mini-effigies in our fire cauldron as camp-coordinated art projects. This crucible has been holding flame since BWB’s inception post Hurricane Katrina and offers up a remarkable place for a series of fireside chats each night. For those of you on playa, stop by at any time and ask one of our Camp Stewards for the tour.


BWB Esplanade Camp 2016. Photo: Christopher Breedlove


Outside of camp I’ve been invited participate in the first iteration of Burning Man’s Regional Event Safety Group formed by veteran Ranger Dive Dave and supported by Burning Man’s Steven Ra$pa. The group aims to link event producers, rangers, and medical teams to share regional event safety best practices and I hope ensure that “Safety Third” is just “Burner Snark”. I’ll be participating in discussions with other regional events at the Global Network level and getting feedback on what’s working around the world during the Regional Event Committee’s “office hours” at the event. Share any “burning questions” via the link below.


It’s my intention along with all the others in our community who will be at Black Rock City this year to bring those fires back to you. Much like the ancient tribes who wrapped glowing coals inside layers of wet leaves to take fire from one point to another, our ability to bring what we’ve learned back to the community and share it is of the utmost importance.


Standby for pending announcements on available event-based Burnt Oranges Art Grant Programs, an updated AfterBurn web site, and more ways to get involved.


On behalf of our organization, we offer many thanks to our founder, Storm and her team of visionaries who set the bar high for what we may accomplish. We’d also like to thank previous board members, volunteers, and the community for your gifts, dedication, and getting us to where we are today.


Poi Spinners at Dusk, Esplanade, 2011.


For those who continue to serve and show support through that service, thank you for your gift.


I’d invite each of you to reflect this burn season on the ten principles that set our community apart from the default world.

“These principles were gifted by founder Larry Harvey in 2004 as guidelines for the newly-formed Regional Network. They were crafted not as a dictate of how people should be and act, but as a reflection of the community’s ethos and culture as it had organically developed since the event’s inception.”

Where you see the yourself fitting into this ongoing experiment? Reach out to Event Coordinators, Regional Coordinators, Elders, the Board of Directors and each other to create new pathways. Post an introduction thread in your Facebook groups to your fellow community and find the others. We’re here 24/7 to listen, support, engage, and provide feedback on what we can do within a corporate structure of a nonprofit, what’s better served by communal efforts, and how individuals like you can get involved.


The Man Burns in 17 Days; There are 87 Days until an effigy is burned with intention at AfterBurn: Restoration.


When the man burned, 2016. “Da Vinci’s Workshop”


One of the greatest ideas of a do-ocracy is that those who find the problems often have a solution. What’s yours?

Share an Idea or Get Involved Here:

Ben “Jamanai” Slayter
Burner, Volunteer, and Board Chair of Burnt Oranges, Inc.

Call For Authors, Bloggers and Content Managers

Those with the stories we wish to share, we’d like to invite you to submit guest blog posts as we work toward hiring a community manager to help oversee the growth of our public content.

We’re looking for writers, editors, and community members who have something to share with the public and the community through our web site’s blog.

We’re currently looking for submissions in the following categories:

  • Artist Bios and Spotlights
  • Art Project History and Spotlights
  • Current community project spotlights
  • Past community project spotlights
  • External resources for Artists
  • Community Leadership
  • Civic Responsibility

Article requests:

  • 500-1000 words
  • Your original content (not repurposed content from another blog)
  • Include a photo or graphic if it’s yours – or we’ll find something suitable to accompany the post
  • Your contact information and web site for your quick bio link

If you’d like to submit a post for consideration, please send to [email protected] All submissions will be reviewed and you’ll receive feedback if we decide not to use your content. If you’d like to get a “green light” prior to writing, send your outline and overview to us and we’ll ensure it’s not done without being published.

Please also contact If you’d like to help us with content management, editing, and additional outreach.

As this is an ongoing project, there is no expiration date.

Call For Photography

Announcing a call for photography for use in our new web site and printed materials. We’re looking for incredible imagery that will serve as the true content of our new web site. Whether it’s of large-scale art, images of burning projects, your art projects, your theme camp, or related to the artistic endeavors of the community, we’d love to see it. While we’d prefer that images were taken at the Central Florida regional events, if it’s related to art, building community, and our collective passions, send it.

Here are a few tips that should help us.

  • If your photos contain recognizable people, please have their permission, and ability to secure written permission for use before submitting.
  • Send up to 25 images in JPG format
  • Watermark the images across the image
  • For each photo please provide us with the photographer name, image creation date, location, image subject (name of art piece or persons in the photo) and if possible an image caption. If you’re a professional photographer and embed these in your file header great. If that sounded greek to you, just use the body of the email to include the information for each attached file.
  • For each image submitted, advise if it’s offered as a gift, creative commons with attribution, or copyrighted (filed copyright exists) image
  • Photos should be a minimum of 1920 pixels wide

Should we determine that we’d like to use one, or many of your images, we will contact you to determine proper licensing and use agreements. At no point will these photos be used without your express permission. At no point will these photos be sold.

As this is an ongoing project, there are no deadlines.

Until we can create a better method of submission with image upload and acknowledgement, please send your submissions to [email protected]

Thank you in advance for your contributions.