During my first trip to Burning Man over ten years ago, I imagined an art installation that would incorporate my belief that if people wrote down their goals, dreams, wishes, and aspirations, the probability of it happening would be much, much higher.
It took me until 2010 to devote the time and energy to design and draft my first Life Cube proposal to the Burning Man Arts Grant committee. Each successive year, we worked hard on to create and propose what we thought would be fun, engaging, interactive and experiential art, seeking their partial funding and support. And each year, after a lot of effort, we received an email that started with something like: “…on behalf of Burning Man’s Art Grant Committee, I would like to thank you for applying for an art grant. This year we received the largest number of applications…” and ending with “it was a very tough decision, but unfortunately, we decided not to fund your project.”
For three successive years, I overcame my disappointment, and “with a little help from my friends,” came back to Black Rock City to create a Life Cube that was bigger and better and more interactive than the one before. This could only happen with the support of hundreds of volunteers and people who donated to help this dream become reality. Every year, the project grew in size and scope, rising along with the number of burners who interacted with the Life Cube. So when we decided to write a proposal for Black Rock Arts Honoraria in 2015, we worked hard to manage expectations — in fact, if you asked me a month ago, I was pretty pessimistic about the process and didn’t expect to hear anything other than “thanks, but…”
Imagine my surprise, excitement and exuberance when after five years of trying, we received an email that began with “congratulations! We are thrilled…”
More to come when I finish jumping up and down (smile)
Life Cube Burn at Burning Man in 2013. Photo by Tom Oniel
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