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:
- A trained volunteer base that can pull off any burn or community event.
- 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!
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.
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.
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.
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