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Black Rock City

USA | Thursday, 28 May 2015 | Views [446] | Scholarship Entry

For one week out of the year, Black Rock City is the third largest city in the state of Nevada with about 65,000 temporary inhabitants known as “Burners”. Burners from around the world come together to share a common and primal experience in Black Rock Desert. The home of Burning Man and the Black Rock Arts Festival since 1992, the city is governed by ten guiding principles and designed to be as close to a creative utopia as you might find anywhere on this planet. Inspiration begins the moment you turn onto the city’s only access road off of Highway 34. When you finally do leave the city, without any trace of course, you’ll carry that inspiration with you back into the ‘default world’ and probably for the rest of your life.

Covering about seven square miles within 4,400 acres of public land, Black Rock City is a remote and inhospitable temporary metropolis where you, as a participant, are responsible for your own survival and wellbeing. With your ticketed admission to the city you are given the themed Guide Book with a schedule for hundreds of repeating and one-time events taking place in the myriad of Theme Camps and Villages that week, as well as an Art Map to locate the installations spread throughout. Within the city you’ll also find two Art Plazas at 4:30 and 7:30 at ‘G’ Street.

One of the most prolific guiding principles of the city is that of Radical Self-Expression. Everyone and everything, everywhere, day and night is practicing or engaged in some form of artistic, creative freedom. Street art? The streets ARE art. Burners will come to Black Rock City by just about any means of transportation – by car, truck, van, bus, RV, or even airplane to the temporary Black Rock City Airport. However, once inside the city gates and parked in your camp for the week, driving is prohibited. Unless of course you happen to have a mutant vehicle permit for your ArtCar.

Rod’s Road encircles the community gathering space, Center Camp Cafe, which features performance and spoken word stages as well as the only place in the city where you can actually buy a coffee, tea or electrolyte beverage. Unless you brought it yourself, everything else is “gifted” among the participants – be it a grilled cheese sandwich, cocktail, body art, trinket, or anything else you can imagine. This city is more than a magical place, it’s an experience, and if you have the opportunity to return some day, when you arrive at the gates, the Greeters give you a big hug and say “Welcome Home.”

Tags: 2015 Writing Scholarship

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