Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Regional Community

The BurningSNOW Center for the ExperiMENTAL Arts (a program of the Institute For Thought Incorporated), is located in Milwaukee, and serves as regional contact center for Wisconsin. Nearby cities include Madison, WI and Chicago, IL. We interact with the regional contacts from Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Canada and others. We organize Snowflake Village at Burning Man, a meeting place for Midwesterners. In addition to our regular monthly meetings, we hold regional urban burns on the Solstices and Equinoxes which are attended by people from all over the region. We also offer hooping, fire spinning and poi instruction year-round.

2016 –

  • On the third Sunday of each month, we had “Monthly Gathering” meetings at the BurningSNOW Center for the Experimental Arts in Milwaukee, which included Newbie acculturation.
  • On February 9th we organized the Riverwest Mardi­ Gras Parade of the Arts, with people parading in costumes, carrying puppets and beads, spinning fire, playing musical instruments, whooping and hollerin’, etc. Four local venues participated as “stops” along the way.
  • In April RC Eric G. attended the GLC on the West Coast and presented at one session. 
  • In June, RC Wulfgar again designed the laminates that Staff and Volunteers wore at Lakes of Fire, Michigan. Wulfgar also submitted a design to Burning Man for their official sticker to be handed out at the Gate to the  main event.
  • Throughout the summer, RC Wulfgar held Saturday morning Flow Jams which welcomed everyone who wanted to play with Flow Toys such  as hula hoops, poi, staff, etc. These were held at the lakeside, South Shore Park Farmers Market. A wide variety of poi classes were held at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, The Girl Scouts of Southeastern Wisconsin, Senior Centers, and the Medical College of Wisconsin.
  • On July 17th we held an official Newbie Night where we gave out lots of information for people going to Burning Man for the very first time.
  • At Burning Man we ran Snowflake Village and were back on the Esplanade! We had a very successful year with great camps in our village, more decoration and interactivity than ever before. After the event, we were written up in a Chicago online newspaper when a Chicagoan found our Milwaukee signage in front of the village and sent his photo to the paper.
  • In September we again attended Maker Faire and had a Wisconsin Burning Man booth. We answered many questions about the event, got more signups for our Announce list, and made friends with more local creative people. We won an award for having one of the best booths at the event.
  • On October 1st  we had our annual Decompression event. So many people from Snowflake Village came back to relive the desert and even brought their interactive performance pieces! Edgar Allen Cash performed beautifully, woefully, magical music along with Roni Allwaise. Games were played, gorgeous costumes worn, effigy was burned, and great food and drink was had. All in all, one of our best Decomps yet.
  • On December 17th we held another Saturnalia event, to celebrate the shortest day of the year. Unfortunately, a huge snowstorm blew in on that evening and virtually canceled the event. For the brave folks who made it through the weather, we did play games and had great conversation about Burning Man and what the Wisconsin Region can accomplish in 2017. We didn't  get to burn our giant effigy, so we instead burned a teeny tiny one, complete with a miniature fire conclave show.

Other things that continue year­ round:

We continued to produce Brain Box TV, a 1⁄2 hour TV show seen Thursdays at 10pm and Saturdays at 11pm on Milwaukee cable TV. The show often features segments from Burning Man and our local events.

We continued to facilitate the legality of local fire­spinning performances in State, City, and County parks and at civic events.

2015

Every Sunday, we had “Open House” meetings at the BurningSNOW Center for the Experimental Arts in Milwaukee, with larger official meetings one Sunday a month. These include newbie orientations, build parties, and art production meetings.

On February 17th we organized the Riverwest Mardi­ Gras Parade of the Arts, with people parading in costumes, carrying puppets and beads, spinning fire, playing kazoos, etc. Four local venues participated as “stops” along the way. It was 8 degrees outside, but we did it anyway.

In April RC Eric G. attended the GLC in San Francisco and presented at several sessions and brought back a whole lot of information for debriefing. 

In May, after learning we were receiving an art grant to build a large scale project at the Midway of Burning Man we began holding weekly meetings of artists, engineers and builders. In June our project really got underway and we began building electronic components, wooden frames, and large painted surfaces. The project was divided roughly into two halves, one half being done in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the other half in Madison, Wisconsin. In August two expeditions brought the two halves of the project to Burning Man and together we assembled them there where they were on display for the duration of the event. In September we brought our Midway project back to Milwaukee to display at Maker Faire, where we had a Wisconsin Burning Man booth. We answered many questions about the event, got more signups for our Announce list, and made friends with more local creative people. A week later we had our annual Decompression event, which was attended by people from Maker Faire. We had many old and new Burners attend. Many generous people brought a ton of food and drink treats we ran out of room on the tables. After that, it returned to the BurningSNOW Center where it is currently on display.

In June, people from Wisconsin participated in the Lakes of Fire official Regional event in Michigan. RC Wulfgar designed the laminates for Staff and Volunteers.

In the run­-up to Burning Man we conducted a number of Newbie orientation sessions, hosted a ride ­and ticket matching board that allowed several new people to attend, and welcomed newbies to our Wisconsin camp within Snowflake Village.

On December 19 we repeated our Saturnalia event from last year, to celebrate the shortest day of the year. There were games, people in togas and other Roman costumes, platters of grapes and figs, the poetry of Sappho of Lesbos, and the Ben Rousseau Band performed. We burned a giant Yule log spouting 3 fire tornadoes. Lots of volunteers brought the party to life with their gifts of food, drink, effort, games, costumes, and revelry!

Other things that continue year­ round:

We continued to produce Brain Box TV, a 1⁄2 hour TV show seen Thursdays at 10pm and Saturdays at 11pm on Milwaukee cable TV. The show often features segments from Burning Man and our local events.

We continued to facilitate the legality of local fire­spinning performances in State, City, and County parks and at civic events.

To help further the fire arts in Wisconsin, we did extensive research and updated our Safety Protocols to accommodate new fire tools and human­ safe fire breathing fuels. Our affiliated Fire Troupes that follow our standard protocols did dozens of fire performances across Wisconsin, with unprecedented levels of safety and legality.

2014

Every Sunday, we had “Open House” meetings at the BurningSNOW Center for the Experimental Arts in Milwaukee, with larger official meetings one Sunday a month. These include newbie orientations, build parties, and art production meetings.

We held a variety of repeating, weekly Poi classes and glow spin jams.

On March 4 we organized the Riverwest Mardi­Gras Arts Parade, with people parading in costumes, carrying puppets and beads, spinning fire, etc. Four local venues participated as “stops” along the way and the last venue provided us with a live band.


From April 3-­6 Eric G. attended the GLC, and presented at a panel discussion on Civic Responsibility and permits.

In June we combined our summer event with Lakes of Fire in Michigan.

On July 25­-27 we held an outdoor camping event at Hartman Creek State Park in Central Wisconsin. This made it easier for our far­flung members to find an event closer to them. We built a small Effigy out of local materials, and we went inner­tubing down a river the next day.

In the run­up to Burning Man we conducted a number of Newbie orientation sessions, hosted a ride­and ticket matching board that allowed several new people to attend, and welcomed newbies to our Wisconsin camp within Snowflake Village.

On September 27 and 28 we had a Wisconsin Burning Man booth at the first­ever, official Maker Faire. We answered a lot of questions, got more signups for our Announce list, and made friends with more local creative people.

On October 16 we hosted a showing of Many people we met at Maker Faire attended, and we had a 15­ minute Q & A session afterwards with many intelligent questions.

On November 8 we held our Decompression Event. Our Effigy this year was decorated by volunteers who did a spectacular job, and we had many old and new Burners attend. We even started making plans for the 2015 burn. Many generous people brought a ton of food and drink treats we ran out of room on the tables.

On December 20 we repeated our Saturnalia event from last year, to celebrate the shortest day of the year. There were games, people in togas and other Roman costumes, platters of grapes and figs, the poetry of Sappho of Lesbos, ancient musical instruments were played, and the fabulous rock band Uncle Larry performed to great acclaim. Our Effigy for this year was designed by a truly wonderful and artistic volunteer, who created a sculpture almost too magnificent to burn. We had so many, many volunteers step up to take on roles such as Greeter and Ranger, that we were very touched by their spirit of giving.

We also built bridges to other communities, like the Maker community. Other things that continue year­round:

We continued to produce Brain Box TV, a 1⁄2 hour TV show seen Thursdays at 10pm and Saturdays at 11pm on Milwaukee cable TV. The show often features segments from Burning Man and our local events.

We continued to facilitate local fire­spinning performances in State, City, and County parks and at civic events.

To help further the fire arts in Wisconsin, we did extensive research and updated our Safety Protocols to accommodate new fire tools and human­safe fire breathing fuels. Our affiliated Fire Troupes that follow our standard protocols did dozens of fire performances across Wisconsin, with unprecedented levels of safety and legality.

 

01.23.17 21:50 UTC

Connect:

Get involved and find out about local happenings by signing up on our Announcement list, chat with other Burners on our Discussion lists, or follow us via your social media of choice - but definitely come out and get involved!

Announcement List:

The Wisconsin - Milwaukee Announce list is a moderated announcements-only list for events of interest to local Burners. Recipients get regular updates, event listings, and Burning Man news from this list.

To subscribe, send a blank email to:
wisconsin-announce+subscribe@burningman.org

Discussion List:

Wisconsin Burners on Google Groups

Regional Contact Email:

wisconsin@burningman.org

Regional Contacts:

Russian Wulfgar
burning since:
1997
personal quote:
Burning Man changed my life and I wish everyone in the world would go JUST ONE TIME. Just go, and then I'll stop bugging you about it.
Blazer
burning since:
1997
personal quote:
Forget Paris. Go to Burning Man. It's one of the world's centers of innovative design. You will see more astonishing things in a day than you will ordinarily see in a year. People from the Midwest can especially benefit from this. To contribute to this connection is a privilege.