Burning Man

Sunrise at the Temple, 2013 (Photo by Sidney Erthal)

Sunrise at the Temple of Whollyness, Black Rock City, 2013 (Photo by Sidney Erthal)

Burning Man is an annual event in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada celebrating community and self-expression. Started from a single spark on San Francisco’s Baker Beach in 1986, Burning Man now hosts over 70,000 participants in Black Rock City. The event has spawned a thriving culture supported by a global network of representatives, with official Burning Man events now happening on five continents.

When I first attended Burning Man in 2001, it spurred me to abandon a 15-year career in tech for a more fulfilling career working to foster the ongoing evolution of this burgeoning culture and community.

I’ve been the Minister of Propaganda for Burning Man since 2009, working on global communications strategy, helping to keep our far-flung community of Burners informed, inspired and connected, and to continue the spread of Burning Man culture around the world.

Whether it’s a press release, a page, a post, a FAQ or a Tweet, I’m responsible for all the public-facing written communications that come out of the Burning Man organization on all of our channels. I’m the editor-in-chief for the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter and the Voices of Burning Man blog, and content manager for Burning Man’s various web properties, including burningman.org and the annual AfterBurn Report. I also oversee Burning Man’s social networking (on Twitter and Facebook) and the ePlaya BBS, where Burners connect online year-round.

I consider myself a cultural evangelist. My goal has been to give Burners the information they need, while holding a mirror up to the community to share the stories that inspire Burners and the Burn-curious to action, whether that’s in Black Rock City or in their home towns.

I joined the Burning Man organization in 2004 as Web Team Project Manager and Webmaster for what was then burningman.com (an entirely different animal than the current site, which we completely overhauled in 2014).

I also volunteered as the Operations Manager for the ARTery (Black Rock City’s art headquarters) and was on the Burning Man Art Council from 2003-2008. This work inspired me to start my art curation business, Will Chase Arts, in 2004.