City of San Jose and Burning Man Project Announce Partnership to Bring Art from “Playa to Paseo”

Downtown San José will feature Burning Man-inspired temporary art pieces San José, Calif. – The City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs and Burning Man Project are proud to announce the launch of the “Playa to Paseo Project,” an innovative partnership that envisions a city-tocity exchange bringing temporary art installations stemming from the annual Burning Man event to downtown San José. The series of up to four temporary, interactive projects will connect people with each other and with San José’s vibrant urban, technology-rich environment.

The partnership with the City of San José is intended to call forth to the San José artist community and invite participation in imagining the way that temporary art can invigorate public spaces across San José’s 180-square-mile landscape. This project will be part of a larger initiative to develop art from within the San José art community that can both go to Black Rock City and be situated in San José, thus completing the circle from Playa to Paseo to Playa.

Through this partnership, up to four projects will be sited in downtown San José as part of Phase 1, with the first installation planned for October, 2017. Selected projects will aim to advance innovation, maker culture, and a progressive civic commons through cultural participation.

“We believe in the role that creative expression can play in advancing the quality of life for residents of San José,” says Mayor Sam Liccardo. “The dynamic art installations that will be realized through this exciting partnership will not only enhance the downtown urban experience, but connect people to San José and its sense of place.”

The City of San José’s downtown is increasingly evolving and is the urban heart of Silicon Valley. Within the downtown are a series of well-used paseos, plazas, and parks which offer opportunities for a dynamic display of public art. San José offers a special footprint to bring art projects from the playa to the downtown to provide increased exhibition opportunities for artists and to animate the downtown’s cultural vibrancy. The Burning Man organization provides more than $1.3 million in grant funding to artists, and approximately 300 projects are sited at the event each year.

“The Black Rock Desert has long been a blank canvas that draws creative prototyping and artistic expression,” Burning Man Project CEO Marian Goodell said. “Creating opportunities for people to interact with these artworks in urban areas is a priority for Burning Man Project, and by engaging citizens and artists through art, the City of San José is introducing fresh strategies for facilitating community connection.”

About Burning Man Project
Burning Man Project, a nonprofit organization, is best known for its annual cultural event in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. A temporary home to tens of thousands, each year “Black Rock City” is built by the people who live there and has given rise to a global cultural movement rooted in self-expression and participation. For more than 30 years, this “experiment in community” has fostered innovations at the crossroads of art, technology, design, and “DIY” ingenuity-based culture. The results have yielded remarkable creative interventions that utilize collective art processes and generate connectivity in public space.

Burning Man Project’s mission is to extend and facilitate the culture that has risen from the annual Burning Man event into the world. It achieves this through its global events, regional networks, learning conferences, arts and civic engagement initiatives, and a special emphasis on activating citizenship that co-creates positive impact opportunities in the world. The organization has an extensive artist network, of which approximately 25-35% of the artists with whom it works are based in Northern California. Visit www.burningman.org.

About the San José Office of Cultural Affairs
The City of San José recognizes that the arts and culture are essential elements in the character and quality of life in a vibrant community and seeks to ensure that San José is an effective hub of a wide array of arts and cultural opportunities throughout Silicon Valley. The Office of Cultural Affairs, a division of Economic Development in the City Manager’s Office, is the lead City of San José agency for stewarding a vibrant arts sector. It achieves this mission through public art and placemaking, arts funding, special event coordination, creative entrepreneur work-force development, cultural facility stewardship, and, among other items, cultural policy. Visit www.sanjoseculture.org.

About the City of San José
San José, Capital of Silicon Valley, is the largest city in Northern California and the 10th largest city in the nation, with an ethnically diverse population of more than one million. San José was founded in 1777, once served as the state capital of California, and encompasses 180 square miles. The City’s website is sanjoseca.gov.

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