Bureau Newsletter: 12 Weeks til’ Burning Man Edition!

The Bureau of Misinformation

Black Rock City’s leading source of radical ridiculosity, ambiguity, & factual inconsistency.

Good Misinforming, Bureaucrats!

I’ve noticed that the layer of playa covering everything I own has begun to thin, which can only mean one thing: Playa Prep season is upon us!

The Bureau Commission has been hard at work behind the scenes and we are now ready to share, collaborate, and have the time of our lives working our asses off to get hot, dirty, and be broke when we get home.

As you all know, this year has brought some organizational changes. Thankfully, The Bureau of Misinformation is a resilient organization of amazing people and many have stepped up to make certain that this year runs as smoothly and as silly as ever. The core values, mission, and offerings of The Bureau remain the same as in the past, with our main goal being to kick it up a notch through radical inclusion and participation.

Sheriff’s Introduction

In case you missed the news, Justin, Jason, and Yzaura are taking this year off to enjoy a summer being crazy in other ways. So that leaves you with me, Zachary, otherwise known as Sheriff. If you were part of the 2014 Bureau, you may have met me in the Squanch Box Lounge (where I probably lent you something), at the Hot Pink Happy Hour that I co-host every year on Tuesday (shameless plug: get your pink outfits planned!), or when I played bus driver and drove The Divine Testudine on Friday night (which was one of the best times I’ve ever had).

I left my previous camp because there were too many members and not enough organizational responsibility to go around. I never expected that I’d be asked to take the helm with The Bureau of Misinformation, but I am immensely grateful for the opportunity. Bringing people together and helping turn ideas into reality is something that brings me great pride and joy. Thank you all for sticking with The Bureau and giving me a chance to sail this crazy ship.

But enough about me… We have 12 weeks to get ready! We had better start going over some of this year’s details. There is a lot to go over, so grab a Yerba Mate and get comfortable. Let’s do this!

Placement and Camp Layout

The placement application was submitted and we are currently waiting to hear back from BMorg. We are operating under the expectation that we will again be placed at 9:00 and D with the same 150’ by 200’ footage.

The proposed camp layout is similar to what was on playa last year with the public facing spaces being oriented towards the corner of our space. The bar will face the intersection with the other areas coming off perpendicular to the streets. This will provide us with a nice courtyard, plenty of privacy for our personal areas, and ample space for interactivity. You can see a PDF of the layout on our Facebook page.

The main changes to our public area this year are 1) increasing its size to make room for additional departments (more on this further down) and 2) shading the courtyard to provide a more inviting and aesthetically pleasing atmosphere.

Virgins / First Timers

We love new burners! There is nothing like seeing someone “get it” after working so hard for something you can’t understand until you experience it. They are full of excitement, energy, and new ideas.

Conversely, they haven’t went through the meltdown that is one week before leaving for BRC. They haven’t had to navigate a city where landmarks move. They haven’t battled the Thursday serotonin slump. Their eyes have yet to be burned by the blinding white of a 70-year old shirt-cocker’s ass… 😉

As a camp, it is our responsibility to make sure our fresh meat have the information they need to properly prepare for this journey. We must ensure that they remain safe while living in our temporary home and that they receive an introduction to burner culture and the Ten Principles.

This year, all first-timers joining us MUST have an experienced burner as a sponsor. This sponsor is required to ensure that they have read the appropriate guides, have adequately prepared, and be a source of support for them when needed on playa.

Additionally, I would like someone to take up creating an Axis of Acculturation (or something similar) who can assist sponsors and first-timers with this task. If you are interested in taking this on, please raise your hand.

The Divine Testudine

Sam has received the invite for our fantastic turtle companion to return to BRC for 2015. This will be the third year that The Divine Testudine returns as part of The Bureau family. If you are interested in assisting with any of the work that needs to be done regarding the Mutant Vehicle in preparation or on playa, please reach out.

Make sure to give him some love by liking his Facebook page where you can see photos, videos, and updates.

Dues

I know paying dues is something that is hard to get excited about, but let me share a little secret: pooling some of our resources saves us all time, stress, space, and money!

First and foremost, our camp dues pay for the storage, repairs, upgrades to, and transportation of all major camp infrastructure. This includes things we all need and love such as our shade structures, kitchen and commissary, showers, sound system, lighting, and generators. Dues also pay for the liquor, wine, beer, and ice provided by our bar. Additionally, we provide grants for projects that benefit the interactivity of the public facing aspects of our camp, as well as grants for projects that make our week in the desert together a more comfortable experience for all Bureaucrats. Information regarding the grant application process follows.

Dues this year remain at $200 USD per person. After July 5th, the price goes up to $250. I know that is no small expense but the truth is that without it, we could not do what we do. Storage alone for the large items that need a secure home year-round costs nearly $2000 per year and that’s before we start working on anything for 2015. If you have trouble with paying, please reach out to me and we can talk. If you are in a position where you can afford to sponsor a project or subsidize dues for someone who is struggling, please reach out as well.

The link to pay dues is: cash.me/$bureau.

Make sure to add your name (and anyone else’s if you are paying together) into the notes section.

This is through the same Square payment processor used when you swipe your card on an iPad at a local business. It is secure, fast, and easy. There is also a promotion going on right now where if it is your first time using the Cash app, you and The Bureau both will receive $5. Message me if you’d like me to invite you to take advantage of this.

Project and Arts Grants

Big Brother Bureau is not a rich man by any means. However, a portion of the budget is being set aside to support projects and art created by our members. Additionally, our fundraising efforts will go to further support these grants. The Divine Testudine is one such project that will be receiving some financial assistance.

To apply for a grant, email bureauofmisinformation@gmail.com with “Grant Application:” in the subject line and include the following, in the given order:

  1. The title of your project.
  2. Names of any involved individuals and/or departments.
  3. Geographic location of build/preparation.
  4. A short tour-guide style description (keep it blurb-length and have fun with it!).
  5. Some combination of a longer description, sketches, inspiration/mood board, etc. Whatever you can provide for us to understand your vision.
  6. Details on how your project improves and/or fits within The Bureau. (Is it interactive? Does it make our private spaces more glamorous? Does it misinform people? Etc.).
  7. Project requirements on playa: space, set-up time, transportation needs (if you cannot transport it yourself), additional volunteers who will be needed, power, and anything else that you would need.
  8. An itemized total project budget (can be estimated), along with the grant amount requested.
    A short statement on how you would measure the success of your project.

Please have fun with this application. Don’t overthink it or stress about it. I know it looks like a lot, but we need to make sure that the projects we are funding with money that we’ve all pooled together are thought out.

I am not putting a deadline on these applications, but know that the sooner yours is in the better your chances of receiving support. If you have any questions about how to complete this or if your project is something that it doesn’t make sense to fill out this application for, contact me and we can chat.

Fundraising

Any additional money that we can bring in through alternative sources will equal more projects being funded, more ideas becoming reality, and more splurging on nicer upgrades. If you have any ideas for ways for us to bring in some extra funds from outside of our membership, let’s hear them!

Build Dates and Events

Can you host a get-together for crafting, sewing, construction, or a booze-fueled meet-and-greet? The best part about The Bureau is our community. Help bring us together by planning something!

Maybe someone wants to spearhead a crowdsourced map so that Bureaucrats can add their location and find others near them?

Tickets

As shown in the poll on the FB page, there are a lot of us without tickets yet. If you already have yours on lock, please keep an eye and ear out for tickets and look to the Ticket Needs document that Funkiller posted if you are able to find any. If you still need one, make sure to add yourself to the list.

Limited Space

As we grow each year, our space becomes more and more limited. We have hundreds of active members spread out across the world and every year we like to mix in some fresh blood. The unfortunate reality is that we have to turn away lots of people because there simply isn’t enough space.

The Bureau Planning Commission will be choosing our fellow campmates based on a couple of criteria:

  1. How long you’ve been with us;
  2. What you’ve contributed in the past; and most importantly:
  3. What you plan on contributing this year.

Repeating this for emphasis, we will be choosing people and departments based on what they plan to contribute. Even if you’ve burned with us in the beginning, nobody’s spot is guaranteed. We strive to make our camp better each year. Adding more people who just like to party will not make us better. We are looking to add creative, artistic, motivated people who like to build things, provide services, give creative input and who like to party.

So what are you contributing this year? If you’d like to talk about ideas start a conversation in the FB group or reach out to me privately with some ideas and I can help you from there. The time to talk, get active, and be excited is now!

Departments

For the last two years, we have operated on a Department system to encourage Bureaucrats to work together and create their own mini-camps, each contributing something that works together to form the weird awesomeness that is The Bureau of Misinformation.

This year, everyone joining us is required to be part of a department. This empowers all of us to contribute more to the camp and more to Burning Man as a whole.

A couple of examples of successful departments from last year are The Delegation of Fire, who put on a performance celebrating the art of fire spinning in our courtyard, and The Ministry of Memories, who came all the way from London with a great camera and a trippy background, set up a photobooth, and collected thousands of awesome photos.

I’d like to stress that Departments can be anything! Whatever your strange, creative mind comes up with. Maybe you like to go to extreme lengths to trick people – form the Envoy of Elaborate Ruses. Want to make sure we have fires to enjoy at night? The Burn Barrel Brigade! Are you passionate about recycling and proper trash disposal? Create a trash system for the camp and call yourself Waste Management! Do you make a breakfast sandwich that is so freaking pretty it should be on display? Open the McMuffin Museum! There are so many options!!!

Also, lots of us have too many ideas and not enough hands! Need a department? Make a post or hit me up!

This year our public space will have some additional room for departments to use whether you create something to be set up and enjoyed all week or you plan an event for an afternoon – just make sure to include any space requirements or planned event times when filling out The Bureau of Misinformation Application and Department Formation Form!

Events / What Where When Guide

If you are planning an event or providing a service at a specific time, BMorg will be posting the application to submit to the WWW guide soon. It would be great if we had some more publicized events this year, as nothing beats seeing a courtyard full of people enjoying all the work that we’ve put in!

Registration is Open!

Now that you’ve made it to the end of this excessively long update, you are ready to submit your application! Please fill out this form as soon as possible. Priority Deadline is Saturday, June 20th – two weeks away – after that, applications will only be accepted until we have reached our space limits.

Individual Application

(Everyone fills this out!)
http://bit.do/bureau2015

Department Formation Form

(For department heads.)
http://bit.do/bureaudepartment15

I Love You

Thank you all for being such an amazing, creative, supportive, accepting, and inspiring group of people. I cannot wait to see all of the ideas you have and to work together on building the best iteration of The Bureau of Misinformation yet.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me for any reason.

If you can take on an organizational role there are plenty available and I need your help – just let me know that you’re available. Some of the jobs are pretty fun!

In Fact and Fiction,
Sheriff

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