Separation of Burning Man and Black Rock Arts Foundation?

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

Is it acceptable for Black Rock Arts Foundation to use Burning Man email lists for their own mailings?

Yes, what is good for BRAF is good for Burning Man.
No, they are separate groups and should operate separately
I'm not sure. I'm as confused as you are.
What are you whining about now? Who cares?
Total votes: 11

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Location: Black Rock City

Separation of Burning Man and Black Rock Arts Foundation?

Postby Icepack » Mon Jun 14, 2004 6:50 pm

I am very confused about the separation of Burning Man and the Black Rock Arts Foundation. I am told that Burning Man founded BRAF but that BRAF is a separate entity. However that entity resides at the same address as BM headquarters. It also seems that BRAF has full access and permission to use email lists that BM compiles and uses for other purposes (lists of volunteers, rangers, etc). BRAF in turn gives out grants I guess to artists and non-profits. BRAF is co-sponsoring the Fire Arts Festival with the Crucible, for example. So, where does Burning Man end and BRAF begin?

My whole train of thought got started when I got 2 emails that were essentially "Help wanted" ads for a PAID position for the Fire Arts Festival. I got these emails because I am on BM lists. I have no affiliation with BRAF at all, so I feel like I've been "spammed" but I understand that this is not the first such use of the lists. BRAF wants a "burner" to get the job, so they are advertising where the burners are (on the lists).

What do you think?

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Postby Ivy » Tue Jun 15, 2004 7:37 am

Hey Icepack,

I feel your pain. Not only was it a paid position that came through on the "volunteers-announce" list, but then everyone and their brother's goldfish's roommate had to go and forward and repost it to just about every single BM or BM-related list ever. I ended up getting the message in my inbox no less than 10 times.

I don't think it was necesarily out of line for BM to use thier mailing list for this specific announcement--the Fire Arts festival is a BM headed/sponsored event. It happens to be co-sponsored by BRAF and the grey area is that BRAF and BM have very blurry lines. But replace BRAF with the Girl Scouts or Coca-Cola, it doesn't matter--the FAF is still a BM sponsored event, regardles of who else helps out by co-sponsoring. So i didn't think that was necessarily spam, in this specific instance. Do i think it would have been better going out on a non-volunteer announcement list? Probably. Do I wish that everyone who forwarded it to every BM list ever would learn that most people who are interested in BM-related things are on the same lists as them and therefore have already seen the messages and there's no need to repost them? Defnately. Do i especially hate when people forward said messages to lists to which said message has already been forwarded once or twice? Absolutely.

But, yeah, i can totally get behind where you're coming from. But if it had been a strctly BRAF-only event/position announcement, I think the greay area would be a lot darker.

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Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 10:38 am
Location: Black Rock City

Postby Icepack » Tue Jun 15, 2004 9:32 am

How about posting those things to Regional areas instead? When I see posts like that it frustrates me. I would like to do what I can for Burning Man, but living on the East Coast means I'm not available for most of the things off-playa. So whenever a Bay Area thing comes up, I feel like the salt is just being rubbed in a little harder. Does Burning Man want to be a California-invite-only event? I don't think so. Granted there are Burners who live in NYC and elsewhere who can afford to fly to NV and CA several times a year to participate in things, but for a job like this one, it seems like it should have been kept to a regional board at the very least.

Bob A
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Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2003 6:04 pm
Location: Springfield, Mass

Postby Bob A » Tue Jun 15, 2004 3:48 pm

What about people thinking about relocating from the east coast and looking for a job.

The right person might see the ad and decide it is time to scrap everything and move to sunny California and dedicate his life to the burn. HMMM. Sounds like a plan, what kind of job was this? LOL.

Bob a

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Postby Dork » Tue Jun 15, 2004 3:59 pm

Hehe.. about an hour after reading this thread I got another one of those SF-centric help wanted emails. It was sent to volunteers-sf-announce with this blurb:

The San Francisco Burning Man announce list was created to provide an announcement forum for Burning Man-related events in the city of San Francisco. While some events may still make it to the Jack Rabbit Speaks, most events in the city, such as theme camp fundraisers, classes, garage sales, and the like, will be kept to the San Francisco Announce list.

I'm not sure how I feel about BMORG and BRAF seperation. I suppose there are advantages to either configuration, seperate in title and legal sense only or seperate entities run by seperate groups. It's probably best to deal with specific items that could be changed rather than expecting some wholesale change in their mode of operation.

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