A Fully Sanctioned Burning Man Regional

Art Grant Guidelines

The Art Grant Committee considers applications to fund projects in all creative media that will be brought to Playa Del Fuego.

What Art Grants Fund

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, such as: wood, metal, fabric, glass, lighting, electronics, nails, screws, bolts, nuts, washers, adhesives, paint, wire, cable, tubing, stakes, decorative items, etc.
  • Consumable items that are used up during the construction or exhibition of the art, such as: 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: 

  • Costumes 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 the 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.
  • 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 an $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 loans from community members and community participation and involvement with art projects.

What Art Grants DON’T Fund

We do not currently fund:

  • Labor costs or appearance fees
  • PDF ticket cost (see Ticket Aid info)
  • Infrastructure such as sound systems, generators, domes, shade structures, furniture, or pre-built durable items
  • Obviously commercially-based projects
  • Promotional material
  • Alcohol
  • Anything illegal

Additional Art Restrictions

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

  • Ground Fireworks that 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) will not be allowed.
  • Due to the potential for damage and general lack of trees within our event space, art cannot be hung from trees. We encourage artists to practice “radical self-suspension” and provide a support structure if your art is designed to be suspended.

Burning Art and Flame Effects

For grant applications involving art that is built to be burned or that features a flame effect such as a propane poofer, extra information must be provided on safety plans, storage of combustible material, and other special considerations.

PDF’s Fire Team will be involved in the Art Grant process and must sign off on all projects involving fire of any kind. Applicants may have to provide additional information about safety concerns or 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 about burning art can be found in the Burning Art Guidelines.

Review and Selection Process

The Playa del Fuego Art Grant committee evaluates applications and selects recipients of art grants. The committee is made up of a team of volunteers of community members, including one member of the Board of Directors.

The Committee considers each project based on criteria such as creativity, feasibility, interactivity, and budgetary considerations.

If anyone who is part of the Playa del Fuego Art Grant committee applies for an art grant or is an immediate family or household member to (or even 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 pdf-arts@firepony.org.

Project Funding

The total grant budget is TBD, but as of 2022, 25% of the current event’s ticket sales are allotted to funding art thru grants.

Depending on the number and scale of applications in a given year, applicants might be offered partial funding so that we may fund as many projects as possible.

The payment of granted funds to the artist will vary from project to project. A separate schedule of payments is developed for each project. The initial disbursement after contract signing but before the event will range from 0 – 50%. A performance deposit of at least 50% will be withheld from all grants until after the event to ensure contract requirements are fulfilled.

If an artist does not deliver their project to the event, they may be denied future funding requests, and we may request that any grant funds issued are 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 event.

Taxability of Funds

Art grant funding is taxable. 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 must report the money to the IRS. Grant recipients of over $600 will have to submit a W9 form and will receive a 1099 form at the end of the tax year.

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.

Artist Reserve Tickets

Each grant recipient will receive up to two reserved tickets, which will be available for purchase during the Reserve round of ticket sales. Additional reserved tickets may be allocated at the discretion of the Art Grants Committee (AGC).

Please be advised these are not free or complimentary tickets. 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 the full cost of a ticket could prevent you from attending and you would like to request a reduced-cost ticket, please fill out a Ticket Aid Application.

Artists under 18

Minors are able to apply for and receive art grants, but only with the permission and signature of a parent or guardian. Minors can not enter into a contract with FirePony Creative Society, so a parent or guardian must act on their behalf for all legal and financial matters.

Early Arrival for Setup

Depending on the nature and size of your art you may be granted early arrival, which will allow you to arrive before the gates open on Thursday afternoon.

Early arrival can be requested thru the art grant application, or by communicating with the Art Grant Coordinator, but must be pre-approved before arrival, and include all ticketholders who will be arriving early.

Check out the Early Entry FAQ for more information.

Go to: Art grant deadlines and applications

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