The Life Cube Introduction

Thank you for allowing me to the opportunity to submit this proposal. Ever since I was a kid, I believed that one day I would be able to devote my creative energy to an artistic endeavor. Unfortunately, financial circumstances didn’t afford me the opportunity to pursue this passion. The dream never faded, however, and during my first trip to Burning Man in 2004, I conceived of an art project. I remember sharing that vision with one of my close friends who had encouraged me to go to BM. She said back then that someday I would return to BM as an Artist. Honestly, at the time, I didn’t believe her. Even after coming back to BM in 2006 and 2010, I didn’t think I would ever execute the dream.

Finally, in 2011, I made the decision to go for it. I submitted an art grant proposal for The Life Cube Version 1. I was turned down for funding, but received a subsequent email offering me a few tickets if I was willing to come and build it. It was not until later in the year that I was able to put together the resources to be able to assemble a downsized, self-financed, modified version. As a result, Version 1 was a smaller and less ambitious build than what I had originally conceived. But the truly amazing part was how many people came out to support the project — first a friend suggested a master carpenter, another offered to help transport the materials, and some generous souls offered to defray some of the costs. Even my family was supportive, including my wife, Madeleine, who has never gone with me to BM, and my daughter, who understood when I missed her last move back to college, as it was on Labor Day weekend while I was at Burning Man.

And then… the magic happened. I am not talking about the actual construction – yes, there are many stories about building the project in Brooklyn and Queens and “schlepping” it out to Black Rock City — but the experience of being surrounded by so many helpful people, and the number of BRC citizens during the week who expressed their appreciation for bringing art to the playa. I will never forget the first time a group came up to me and shared how they had spent hours the night before visiting and interacting with TLC. How they told me how much they liked the quotes, how they climbed on top and how they thought long and hard about their wishes, which they wrote down and deposited in TLC. They even asked for extra wish-sticks to give to their friends!

And at the end of the week, there was the ultimate experience at BM as an artist: burning your art and destroying what you built. It would take many pages to describe all that happened that night, but the bottom line is that someone I had not known until a week before offered to be the project’s fire marshal; over 50 people came out that night to help celebrate the burn, and it was incredibly exciting and moving to be surrounded by so many friends old and new. Someone with an art car came and parked near the site while it burned, and put together a custom playlist of John Lennon songs for the great event. We all shared the happiness, the joy, the ecstasy, and finally, the exhaustion. TLC V1 was a top life experience. No sooner had the embers cooled, then I was already thinking about how V2 would be bigger, better, more spectacular and even more inspirational. I am happy to submit this application for a grant, and hope you will give it serious consideration and decide to help in funding its construction.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and support,

skeeter
The Life Cube Art Project

About The Life Cube Project

The Life Cube creates electrifying public installations emphasizing interactive and collaborative art. Its dual mission connects art with community, and inspires participants to articulate and share their goals and dreams. This project encourages participants to look at their past, engage in the present, and set goals for the future. It is based on the artist’s belief that if you write down what you want to accomplish in life, the chances of attaining it is much, much higher! Tens of thousands of "Cube-ists" have already been positively impacted by their experience with the Life Cube Project, at Burning Man, in downtown Las Vegas and beyond. We're in the planning stages to bring the Life Cube Project to cities and arts festivals across the country and around the world! At each installation, local volunteers, teachers and school children, artists, builders, performers and other visionaries interact with the Cube every hour of every day. Its exterior, which incorporates many writeable and climbable surfaces, is a constantly changing swirl of painted murals, drawings, and handwritten messages contributed by the community. The Cube is brilliantly illuminated at night, attracting nocturnal artists and celebrants attracted by the colorful light show, with spots and lasers serving as a beacon in the evening skies. The Life Cube encourages the expression of goals, wishes, dreams, and aspirations in mural art, on wish-stick postcards, and with personal inscriptions on message boards. On selected evenings and weekends, area musicians and entertainers perform, culminating in a special closing event that gathers thousands of residents and visitors in a magical community celebration. At the end of the installation, in a spectacular fiery ceremony, the Cube and all of the gathered wishes are burned together and sent up into the Universe in a sacred shower of sparks and flame. Since 2010, the Life Cube Project has inspired over a thousand donors to contribute funds supporting the project, and even more have given of their time, talent and spirit. We're grateful for your support, as we hope to bring the Life Cube Project to more communities of artists and dreamers in days to come!
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