Black Rock French Quarter
The French Quarter is the oldest neighborhood in Black Rock City, established in 1718 when the Black Rock Desert was first colonized by the French Queen River Company. Black Rock City was originally centered on the French Quarter, or the Vieux Carre ("Old Square" in French) as it was known then, but as the city is recreated at a different location each year, the relative location of the French Quarter to Center Camp and other landmarks sometimes moves. The French Quarter is situated on the highest ground in the Black Rock Desert, and is the only location on playa that is not underwater during the rainy season.
A catastrophe in the early days of the Burning Man festival destroyed most of the structures built in the French Colonial style, during the time of Spanish rule over Black Rock City. As a result, the most famous structures in the French Quarter were actually Spanish Colonial style built in 1788, following this catastrophe. In 2022, a returning French Quarter space colony began replacing the Spanish Colonial architecture with buildings in the Offworld Modern style.
The Black Rock French Quarter is a camp at the Burning Man festival. The camp is composed of various teams, each of which is devoted to a particular immersive experience, such as mixing cocktails, performing live music, baking breads and pastries, doing massage and bodywork, making and storing wine, crafting custom soaps, homebrewing beers, roasting coffee, cooking gumbo, or practicing meditation. The teams share these creative experiences with visitors, in an effort to transform visitors from consumers of gifts into participants in the creation of those gifts.
Teams within the Black Rock French Quarter aim to be between 2 to 6 members, to keep the things intimate, and ensure that everyone feels personal responsibility for making their team successful. Some teams eventually grow beyond this, so we split them into smaller teams, that work together to create larger structures or experiences. This process of splitting as a part of growth ensures that no group ever becomes so big that the members feel anonymous. In addition, members are encouraged to form new teams and groups within the camps, to create new experiences, and try new ways of doing things...rather than expecting their leaders to plan out everything for them.
The Black Rock French Quarter is proudly a volunteer effort, in every sense of the word. Every member is expected to participate in every aspect of the camp, without being forced to do so. We do not recruit members just to have enough bodies to staff the camp or enough money to fund it, and we do not accept groups without getting to know and accept every individual within that group. Everyone should expect to spend a few solid days before the event helping with preparation, half their time during the event helping run experiences and services within the camp, and a few solid days after the event helping to clean and wrap it all up. There are no task masters setting your daily schedule or forcing you to do this work, but our community is aggressive in weeding out anyone who is not excited to contribute to our collective success. You join our camp because you want to be part of it, and there is no place for you unless you are enthusiastic about doing your share.
Members are able to join the Black Rock French Quarter from September (right after we return from the previous Burning Man) through the start of August (when we leave for the next Burning Man). Your responsibilities to your community and to your self are core in determining whether our camp is the best fit for you. If you would like to join us, please fill out this form...
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