A Fully Sanctioned Burning Man Regional


What is funded by the grant?

Playa del Fuego Art Grant committee to keep an open mind when considering what is eligible for grant funds. Art grants can be used for materials, operational costs, and transportation for projects. This includes, but is not limited to the following types of items:

  • Raw materials necessary to the construction or exhibition of the art including, but not limited to: wood, metal, fabric, glass, lighting, electronics, nails, screws, bolts, nuts, washers, adhesives, paint, wire, cable, tubing, stakes, decorative items, etc.
  • Consumable items that are depleted during the construction or exhibition of the art including, but not limited to: sandpaper, saw blades, drill bits, glue, paint brushes, propane for fire art used at the event, fuel for generators used at the event
  • Project expenses such as vehicle/trailer/equipment rental and fuel used to bring your project to and from Playa del Fuego

Some items that may be evaluated on a case by case basis and be partially funded include: 

  • Fixed Assets (e.g. tools, structures, electronics) may be submitted, but should be specialized, essential to the functionality of the project, and should be a relatively small portion of the expense. (i.e. a $50 Arduino in an $800 project is reasonable. Budgeting a $800 band saw for a $50 wood sculpture is not.)
    Fixed assets which include generators, sound equipment, lighting equipment and stages may be available for low-cost rent from a rental agency, will be evaluated on a case by case basis and may be partially funded. We encourage loan from a community member and community participation and involvement with art projects.
  • Costumes (e.g. Pre-constructed costume pieces purchased, or materials intended specifically for the construction of personal costumes for a performance.) We may also partially fund projects to bring materials for on-site construction of costumes for participatory, inclusive performances such as participant parades.
  • Disposable Consumables, for example, food and beverages (not including alcohol) intended for distribution or personal consumption, etc.

Examples of funded art:

  • Media Arts – Includes but is not limited to:
    • Film
    • Video
    • Immersive Audio & Video Works
    • Teleplays
    • Sound Art
    • Animation
  • Visual Arts – Includes but is not limited to:
    • Crafts
    • Design
    • Drawing
    • Illustration
    • Installation
    • Painting
    • Photography
    • Printmaking
    • Sculpture
    • Dance
    • Theater
    • Interactive Installation & Sculpture
  • Any mix of the above

What does not get funded and are there any restrictions on what I can create?

There are very few restrictions. We try hard to be hands-off on the creative process and expression of artists.

We do not currently fund:

  • Free tickets (or discounted tickets for an entire large group or camp)
  • Obviously commercially-based projects
  • Food, Drink and Wages paid to artists
  • Promotional material
  • Purchase of sound equipment for Sound or Theme Camps
  • Infrastructure such as generators, domes, pavilions, furniture, any pre-built durable items intended to build out a camp.
  • Alcohol
  • Anything Illegal
  • Anything that, in the opinion of the Playa del Fuego Art Grant committee or the FirePony Creative Society Board of Directors, presents a safety risk to participants
  • Grants do not cover labor expenses including the individual artists’ time or for performers to appear.
  • Projects with applications that are not complete and received by the deadline
    – i.e. fully itemized budget, thoroughly thought out safety plans, detailed physical descriptions, etc.

In addition:

  • Ground Fireworks as are legal in the state of Pennsylvania are permitted, but MUST be approved by the Fire Safety Team. No unscheduled fireworks are allowed!
  • Anything that consists of an incitement to hatred primarily against a group of people defined in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, or sexual orientation will not be permitted.
  • We also do not allow art that might be considered “obscene” in areas where it could be viewed by minors.
  • Anything deemed an unreasonable safety hazard (fire or otherwise) are not allowed.
  • Art can not be over 15’ high if it is going to be burned.

Note that these guidelines apply to all art at Playa Del Fuego, not just granted projects.

My project will be burned or have flame effects. How does that make it different? What do I need to do?

The Fire Team will sign off on all projects involving fire of any kind. There will be at least one Fire Team member on the Art Grants Committee so that you can have a dialog in advance about any fire-related concerns. You may have to provide additional information about safety concerns. You may also be required to rework the design if it is deemed unsafe. For the burn itself, you will need to be in contact with the Fire Team for on-site scheduling and a safety plan.

Details around burning art can be found in the Burning Art Guidelines.

What is the selection criteria?

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Thoughtfulness: how well thought out is the project’s relationship with participants? A good application will clearly show that the artist(s) have thought through every aspect of their project. So please take your time to be comprehensive in your responses on the application.
  2. Creativity: how original and awe-inspiring is your project?
  3. Project Interactivity: How interactive is your project?
  4. Feasibility: Can you deliver the project you’re proposing in the time frame stated?
  5. Budget: Your budget is clear and well thought out, contains sufficient detail to evaluate the project based on thoroughly researched material, transportation and miscellaneous costs, and does not attempt to inflate the costs of the project in order to increase the % grant coverage. Use the art grant budgeting tool.

How are grants selected?

Evaluation of the applications and selection of artists’ projects to receive support will be done by the Playa del Fuego Art Grant committee. The committee is made up of a team of volunteers of community members, including one member of the Board of Directors. Applicants might be asked if they can complete the project for less funding than they asked for, so that we may fund as many projects as possible.

If anyone who is part of Playa del Fuego Art Grant committee applies for an art grant or is an immediate family or household member to (or even very good friends with) someone that applies, they are expected to recuse themselves from discussing and voting on that project. For more information on the Art Grant Committee and to get involved, please contact artgrants-lead@playadelfuego.org.

How much of the projected cost of a project will generally be funded? Will I get all of the funding I asked for?

There is no hard and fast rule. We will do all that we can to fully fund as many projects as possible. As we balance our available resources with the number of art grant applications and trying to fund as many artists as possible, we may fund up to 50% to 75% of some projects.

We encourage you to provide additional funding options in your application; giving Playa del Fuego Art Grant committee options is beneficial. If the committee has some flexibility, like giving you less money for a smaller version, etc. you are more likely to receive funding than if you are less flexible. Artists are expected to bring their skills and resources and grants are offered to help cover the gap.

How will grants be paid?

This will vary from project to project. A separate schedule of payments is developed for each artist. The initial disbursement after contract signing will range from 0 – 50%. A performance deposit of at least 50% will be withheld from all grants until after the event to ensure that you comply with contract requirements and Leave No Trace.

The money you receive is taxable. A 1099 tax form which will be provided to you is required for any grant recipient that receives $600 or more in grant funds from FirePony Creative Society (this includes Playa del Fuego and Constellation) in a calendar year therefore you will have to submit a W-9 form available here: IRS W9.

You will not have to submit receipts to FirePony Creative Society for your grant but you may want to retain them to help offset any tax liability. We cannot give specific legal or tax advice, but encourage you to consult with a tax specialist if needed.

If I receive a grant, what are the requirements to fulfill my end of the bargain if I’m funded. What happens if I do not complete my art project?

One of the main requirements is to Finish your Art! Once you have checked in with the art placement at the event, a member will visit your project and ensure it reasonably fulfills what you put in your application.

Artists that fail to deliver their project to the event will risk denial for future funding requests, and we may request that any grant issued be returned. If circumstances in your life render you unable to complete your project as planned and bring it to Playa del Fuego, we strongly encourage you to be forthright and communicative and to facilitate its completion by another member of your team or bring it to a future 10 principles event. Our expectation is that you should have your art set-up at the event by Friday evening of the event at the latest.

What is the total amount of funds available for Playa del Fuego art grants?

The total grant budget is TBD, but as of 2022 we allot 25% (!!!) of the current event’s ticket sales to funding art. 

Do the artists get free or reduced price tickets?

No. Each grant recipient will receive up to two reserved tickets. Additional reserved tickets may be allocated at the discretion of the Art Grants Committee (AGC). Everyone buys a ticket to attend, including the BOD, coordinators, and all volunteers. It’s an important ethos of our shared event, and also how we fund so much art! If you would like to request a Hardship Ticket for yourself or have essential crew members make a request, please fill out a Hardship Ticket Application.

Is my name removed from application before being reviewed by Arts Grant Committee (AGC)

No. We absolutely LOVE new artists but we also consider the past commitment and performance of our returning artists.

Are minors allowed to apply for an art grant?

Yes, but only with the permission and signature of a parent or guardian. Minors are not allowed to enter into a contract with FirePony Creative Society. A parent or guardian must act on behalf of the minor for all legal and financial matters.

I got approved for a large project. Can I arrive early to set it up?

Depending on the nature and size of your art you may be issued early arrival passes by your Playa del Fuego Art Grant committee, which will allow you to arrive before the gates open on Thursday evening. NO ONE IS PERMITTED TO ARRIVE EARLY WITHOUT PRIOR APPROVAL AND EARLY ARRIVAL PASSES. Passes are not guaranteed. Check out the Early Entry FAQ for more information. 

All questions and inquiries should be sent to pdf-arts@firepony.org