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Black Rock Artists Union Demands Better Working Conditions

This petition had 112 supporters

After talks broke down this week between the Black Rock Artists Union (BRAU) and the Burning Man Organization, we, the 50+ undersigned artists, have decided to go public with our demands for better working conditions at Burning Man 2016. If these demands are not met, we commit to picketing at the gate and leaving the playa empty of 70% of all artwork in 2016.

Talks are not set to resume and Burning Man may be panicking. Rumor has it that they are in talks with Disney to re-purpose many of the expired Anaheim attractions for the event, and have even gone so far as to recruit students from local community art colleges to fill the void.

Our statement: As Black Rock Artists, we are subject to some of the most intense working conditions on the planet. If we are to continue pouring our lives into a festival year round, we are going to have to see some changes from the BMorg.

Our demands are simple:

  • More hands-on Artist Support Services (ASS)
  • Inclusive artists area with amenities matching those of BLM
  • Pensions for long time Burner artists, starting with David Best.

The BRAU artists below have lent their voices to the requests:

"As a long time Burning Man artist, I just feel like the organization is giving us the spin around with our demands." - Peter Hudson

"I feel like i'm between a rock and a hard place. There is a lot of weight on us" - Zach Coffin

"It's like i've already left my heart on the playa" - Katy Boyton

"I've been doing this for over 40 years, and it feels like Burning Man is treating me like a giant baby" - Michael Christian

"I dream of a playa full of love and limited on ego. I believe that to truly live as an artist, I'm OK for Burning Man to taken on more responsibility, almost like a Mom. Oink!" - Laura Kimpton

"What would Burning Man look like if men and women received the same number of art grants?" - Marco Cochrane (Bliss Dance)

"We just don't feel embraced by the organization anymore, it feels like they have told us to take a long walk off a short pier and now we're on a sinking ship" - The Pier Group

"Our costs have become astronomical, how can we compete with NASA without more support?" -Tom Varden (Black Rock Observatory)

"We've looked at this issue from every angle, and after much deliberation, we're asking people to take sides." - HYBYCOZO

"As a first year honorarium artist, I can't believe they're even asking me for a quote!" - Taylor Harrison

Please sign below to support the Black Rock Artists Union (BRAU). Direct any and all inquires to Will Chase, newly appointed President of the Black Rock Artists Union and author of the new BRAU newsletter, The Jackhammer Speaks.  

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