Inspired by their love of the tenets so widely celebrated by those who attend the Burning Man Project, Burning Hearth was a dream given form. A visionary wave of hope and community in a world thrust into indefinite isolation.
Though officially founded in February 2020 by Jack Rubinson and Dennis Domondon, the core members who created Burning Hearth began as a small group of people united in their love of the Playa. Each person simply walking through life with a genuine desire to help and care for one another. Their hope is to build a nationwide network of passionate souls. Each one ready and willing to participate in ways that honor the 10 principles that made everyone fall in love with the Man in the first place.
Choosing to Take Action
Always looking for new ways to help their immediate community, the founders of Burning Hearth are passionate about food and enjoy cooking for fellow burners in need. But when the pandemic brought our nation to its knees, that very need blossomed forth with unprecedented speed as more and more people were forced to choose between food and rent. Driven by an inherent desire to support one another, Jack and Dennis chose to take matters into their own hands.
They reached out to their community, calling on burners from all walks of life. In a remarkably short period of time, these friends and fellow burners managed to secure volunteers and Regional Nest locations in six major U.S. cities. The founders, united in common cause, welcomed them in with open arms, and Burning Hearth was born!
United in common cause, the founders, board members, and staff of Burning Hearth found an opportunity to make a real and immediate difference to their community. But as the virus continued to infect more and more people, it quickly became apparent that they would not be allowed to make deliveries of food and supplies without sufficient access to PPE… so they made some of their own!
Beginning with a modest collection of tools and resources, they reached out to those who knew how to make quality PPE, invested in their own equipment, and production commenced.
While each of our Nest Leads worked to acquire and deliver boxes of food and supplies, Alex Soria (SLO Nest Lead) led the way in the designing and manufacturing most of the Hearth’s signature PPE. Specializing in the creation of masks, face shields, and a variety of other useful things. By the end of Summer 2020, he helped Dennis and friends produce over 1,900 articles of custom PPE, which were donated to essential workers in addition to their own delivery crew.
Plans for the Nests
Although their primary focus has been to supply their immediate communities with much-needed food and supplies, the Nest Leads have been keeping a weather eye on the horizon for ways to build and grow as a community. Thanks to the creation of this virtual network, Burning Hearth hopes to elevate and empower as many makers, dreamers, and creatives as possible.
What they really desire is to create a new home away from Home. A place to come together as a community. And as much as some might love for it to suddenly come to fruition, the truth is that dream begins with the individual cultivation of each of our Nests. Most do not have a physical location with which to call their home base just yet, but a few of our Nest Leads are working to remedy just that.
Through patience and careful planning, Nest Leads like Alex (SLO Nest) are working hard to prepare for the not-so-distant reality of welcoming creatives to join their community. From 3D printers to sewing machines, laser-cutters and carpentry supplies, to the primary task of supplying food and common goods, our Nest Leads are working to acquire whatever they can to furnish their future workshops and community pantries.
When Denver Saunders (Sacramento Nest Lead) volunteered to interview Alex about his progress, he admitted that the ability to start projects can often be the most important part of the process. “Essentially, it’s just the practice of radical self-reliance,” he said, rather pointedly. “Giving our community access to the tools, showing them how they’re used, and helping them bring their visions to reality.” He hopes to create a safe space where makers and dreamers might eventually gather to explore the art of creative self-expression.
This is just an example of what the Hearth hopes to do moving forward. By investing into each of their Regional Nests, the founders hope to encourage their team to take initiative, help each other, and contribute to the cause by riding this visionary wave to a better future.
A Brighter Future Is on the Horizon
Burning Hearth was a network created by burners for burners. Now, they hope to support makers, dreamers, and artists of all kinds. With so many working artists being left with little to no government assistance, Burning Hearth is willing to help when no one else can.
Together, they are answering the call. To work toward the dream of building a new home away from Home in every city that desires the presence of such a place.
No matter what the future holds, Burning Hearth is ready. Ready to build. Ready to encourage and develop each of our Regional Nests so they may better support their communities. No matter how long that takes.