accepting a sponsor for your b.man project

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

accepting a sponsor for your b.man project

Postby alienfry » Fri Jan 09, 2004 1:52 pm

i'm figuring out ways to fund my camp this year. my plan A looks like it will be costly.

aside from applying for a grant from b.man or the br arts foundation, and also aside from fundraising parties or whatever, i'm thinking of ways to have sponsors and still uphold the strict policy of non-commerce we enforce on the playa.

my thoughts are:

well, off the playa we could display banners of our sponsors. i.e. at a fundraising event.

maybe we could show banners on a camp website too.

or have a wall and book in our camp with a "how we did it" theme. have some sort of a scrapbook with sketches n junk and photos and emails with journal entries and reflections and information about people / companies who sponsored us. as well as a place for visitors to write about their own camps and how they went from brainstorming to making their plans materialize.

i dunno.

what are the limits to accepting sponsorship for your burning man theme camp?
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Postby Badger » Fri Jan 09, 2004 2:11 pm

well, off the playa we could display banners of our sponsors. i.e. at a fundraising event.


Just my .02.

If you need a sponsor to complete your vision and shill for their product/services/whatever at your fundraiser it seems to me that you might consider sizing it down to save the embarrassment of having people like myself give you absolute fucking shit.

But, that's just me.
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Postby Chai Guy » Mon Jan 12, 2004 5:02 pm

We did a massively huge and expensive theme camp one year. Everyone contributed an equal amount of work and money. We also did a little fundraising in the form of a garage sale, party etc. We had one guy who had more money than everyone else (dot commer) and he agreed to make the largest purchase (a very cool, new dome). Every time things didn't go his way, he would pull the "I'm not buying the dome then!" card. Eventually we just said "Well, I guess we won't have a dome!" and moved on.

My point is that getting someone else to pay for your shit is almost always more of a pain in the ass than paying for it yourself.

Also, I found that my $100.00 chai cart is about 1,000 times more fun than that $5,000 dome + $500.00 generator rental, + $500 truck rental, + $500 in fuel etc....
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Re: accepting a sponsor for your b.man project

Postby technopatra » Mon Jan 12, 2004 5:41 pm

***the following is an announcement of the Technopatra Propaganda System. The opinions expressed are solely that of the poster, and bear no reflection on the attitude of any but Technopatra, who occasionaly likes to speak for the Universe at large but will not do so here***

alienfry wrote:i'm figuring out ways to fund my camp this year. my plan A looks like it will be costly....what are the limits to accepting sponsorship for your burning man theme camp?


Some friends of mine were involved in a very costly camp last year. They had several fundraisers that were fun parties, so I didn't begrudge them. I did get a little weary of feeling like I "had" to support my friends at $20 a pop - but that was my trip, not theirs.

But then after the playa, they had yet _another_ fundraiser to try to make up for the costs they incurred. I chose not to support them. It thought it was really, really bad planning and bad etiquette to mismanage their money so badly that they were still paying for it after the event. Or rather, asking their friends to pay for it.

I'm with Badger on this. Try to balance your imagination with your means. Then, if you are still all fired up to raise some cash, do so and give it to a women's shelter or AIDS charity.
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Postby alienfry » Tue Jan 13, 2004 3:42 am

totally i agree with the reality thing.

for me tho. if i dont go 100% for plan A, then i'll never know.

so for now i'm researching and pulling figures and getting quotes and preparing a lil presentation to myself by end of january. and then giving myself by end of february to draft a plan to pay for it. and then by end of march to have raised or saved enough of whatever i deem a resonable umph/portion of the total estimated cost of plan A

and iffffffffffffff iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii donnnnnnnnnnnnnnnt make a fiscal deadline . . . . . . .

then i'll run with plan B and know that i put as much effort as i could into whatever fantasy plan A i had.

i just have to know that i got as far as i could before opting out.

my camp is like, my choice medium for expressing myself.

so, if i can do it, i will.

and now that i've typed wayyyy too much.

any additional suggestions?
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Postby alienfry » Mon Feb 09, 2004 3:06 pm

i met with a company today who might be renting us some equipment.

they were VERY interested in helping because they've never had an inquiry like mine before.

what are your thoughts about accepting a discount on rental equipment in exchange for taking tons of pictures og it in action and letting the rental company use your camp in their portfolio? there would be no logos displayed nor in any photographs.
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Postby Badger » Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:33 pm

1) I'm starting to suspect this is a troll.

2) If it's NOT a troll then someone needs to get a bit more familiar with using imagry culled at Burning Man with the intent of selling it or turning it over for commercial purposes. Your camp idea might end up costing you a bit more than you anticipated.
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Postby Dustdevil » Mon Feb 09, 2004 5:19 pm

If I may be allowed to play Devils' Advocate for a brief moment I can empathize with the Alien. When I started doing cost estimates for my fire art project in 03 I too considered "creative financing". I was quite aware of the guidelines for commercial use of anything from BM. I also insisted on complete control of my project. There is no doubt that the best way is to finance it independently, but is a "discount" on rental equipment in exchange for pictures of that same equipment in use crossing the line? I am not certain. And how is it any different from the pictures of BM inside the office of El Monte Motor home rentals in Oakland. BTW I paid for the entire project myself and in retrospect it was worth all the sacrifices I made at the time.
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Postby BlueBirdPoof » Mon Feb 09, 2004 5:40 pm

Don't know where I stand on this one. Philosophically, after 20+years, art has always been expensive for me. And that's often been a real pain in the ass. Patronage goes back a long way--500 years to Renaissance Italy, and I'm certain it existed in various forms before. (Ie building temples for current powerful religion/palaces for current despots.) If you get right down to it, I suppose, that's one of the areas of specilization that arose with the first cities.
I support the basic idea that BM shouldn't be commercialized--mostly because commercial "culture" is so pervasive that we have a fish in water unawareness of it.
But is this "too idealistic" to continue in the "real world"
But then why shouldn't things that are "too idealistic" try and exist just to defie and change boundaries.
The idea that art should be "free" seems to date from the 19th century--starting with Byron, Goethe and I'd say going on through Oscar and into the 20th and images of garrets and all. A throuroghly Romantic idea.
And yet saying all that, and desparately as I want an $800 kiln with a controller plus a complete set of courses at Public Glass--I don't know that I'm a sufficiently skilled toady to accept that from people, nor am I any better at marketing others than I am at marketing myself.
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Postby Isotopia » Mon Feb 09, 2004 6:05 pm

But is this "too idealistic" to continue in the "real world"


My take on the idea is pretty absolutist in that the very suggestion(s) that have been put forth by the original poster are (or seem to me) pretty stellar examples of how the camel's nose gets to poking in the tent.

Ultimately this person's gonna do what they're gonna do to get this camp project up and running. If it means having banners at whatever fundraiser s/he throws to crassly shill for a sponsor's product off playa then so be it. It just seems to me that the very questions being put forward seems to implicitly suggest that they know what they're asking here runs counter to the ethos of the event and are, more than anything, seeking to justify following through with it by wrapping the corporate wolf's sponsorship in the wool of 'patron.' However you phrase it, however you justify it it's still an end run around an idea - a concept - that many of us still believe in and subscribe to. Doing so is arrogant and more than a little selfish.

And I think that's bullshit.

But I'm not final the arbiter of ALL Things Burning Man and the opinion is mine and mine only.

If we're to be wowed with this project in terms of scope, creativity and expense maybe the creator might want to consider investing a little of the 'creative' portion of the equation in coming up with another way of getting the project off the ground.
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Postby BlueBirdPoof » Tue Feb 10, 2004 10:16 am

I probably don't disagree with you, Iso. I guess I think that we should know that we are fighting strong forces. I can't think of a project that's so vital for me to do that I'd make that trade.
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Postby actiongrl » Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:33 pm

what are your thoughts about accepting a discount on rental equipment in exchange for taking tons of pictures og it in action and letting the rental company use your camp in their portfolio? there would be no logos displayed nor in any photographs.


Thoughts: no. :)
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Postby III » Tue Feb 10, 2004 3:18 pm

i can empathize with the o.p. as well.

there are *plenty* of projects that require huge amoujts of funding to happen out there. some of them, like the temple of gravity, get both brc funding and then go on to marketed for sale.

seems to me that if you can get funding, without turning the event into an advertising opportunity, more power to you.

(my thoughts would be more in line with badgers if the llc didn't already officially endorse a "spend more money than you can raise on your own" policy. suggestions that they be the *only* ones to provide such funds in return for publicity strikes me as, erm, less than commmunity minded.)
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Postby Chai Guy » Tue Feb 10, 2004 3:51 pm

I agree with Iso
"I think that's bullshit."


and Trey
"..suggestions that they be the *only* ones to provide such funds in return for publicity strikes me as, erm, less than commmunity minded."


Indeed, if it's ok by Burning Man LLC to have Spencer Tunick come in and make money from his "art", why not this guy? (and I don't think he should, I think it's a double standard that should be done away with).
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Postby actiongrl » Wed Feb 11, 2004 12:21 pm

If you could get a company to make a donation in exchange for simply helping you with the art and nothing more, hey, why not? But using pictures of the event in promotions is a no, and displaying banners or advertising is a no, and publicising for a corporation is a no, so what's their incentive to do so? Well, maybe they just want to support art, right?
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Postby III » Wed Feb 11, 2004 12:44 pm

i would make a difference between promotion, and using the images as an example of how their services were used.

if it didn't reference burning man, or involve pictures of anything except that particular project, it seems it'd be allright to me. i realize that the burning man corporation claims to own all rights to all images taken within the confines of the event, but it stsrikes me that it's arguable that if it only involves product which was entirely provided by someone else, in particular the photographer themselves, the claim would be somewhat more tenuous.

(i'll also admit that i don't have a vested interest in keeping all control with the black rock city corporation, so my views may differ from the official ones.)
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Postby robotland » Thu Feb 12, 2004 11:47 am

I've always been able to finance my art projects without needing to apply for grants, knowing that there are always LOTS of artists that probably need them more than I do.....BUT I have considered applying for an Emerging Artist Grant or other similar stipend from my local arts council to help realize a project for next year or the year following. To accept a grant from a COMMUNITY arts organization solely for a Playacentric project would be selfish and unfair, IMO, but I'm developing a project that would end up travelling to various events/locations around my area and can't immediately see any harm from it......Thoughts?
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Postby actiongrl » Thu Feb 12, 2004 12:26 pm

That's the kind of moving-around-of-artworks that BRAF is set up to fund, too.
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Postby robotland » Thu Feb 12, 2004 1:02 pm

.....my 1/4 scale model of the Solar System is sounding more feasible all the time.....
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Postby Badger » Thu Feb 12, 2004 1:21 pm

.....my 1/4 scale model of the Solar System is sounding more feasible all the time.....


I think that'd take Pluto well beyond the trash fence. Wouldn't it?
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Postby robotland » Thu Feb 12, 2004 1:50 pm

I think that'd take Pluto well beyond the trash fence. Wouldn't it?[/quote]

....sounds like a metaphor- "I'd give you my opinion, but that'd be taking Pluto beyond the trash fence."
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Postby Mister Jellyfish Mister » Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:12 pm

Yeah, the money thing bites. Just as a test, I put a little PayPal donation button on our Mutant Vehicle website. Maybe there's a Burner with $3.73 burning a hole in their pocket who can buy us two feet of el wire. All I can offer them is a ride.
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