Board Election- Andrew Townesmith

Andrew Townesmith

I would be honored to serve on the Gateway Burners board of directors.  Gateway Burn is very important to me and I hope help guide it to continuing success. Burning has been a big part of my life since I first attended Burning Man in 2006.

I’ve been involved with the St. Louis burner community since 2007. I served as Earth Guardian lead for Gateway from 2009-2012.  I believe that most of the people who will be voting for the Board of Directors know me and can judge my suitability for this role

I have a solid understanding of the 10 principles. I can name them all, and recognize the complexities they entail. I recognize them as ideals describing the culture of burns, rather than rigid rules. As such, they may at times appear to be in conflict (e.g. somebody choosing to forgo an opportunity for immediacy and participation in a cool experience in order to arrive at a scheduled volunteer shift on time in service of civic responsibility and communal effort).  No principle trumps another; it’s up to the community to determine their vision of the culture in which we participate, with the principles as a rough framework.  Ideals not explicitly expressed in the principles (e.g. consent) also play a role in the evolution of burner culture. The 10 principles aren’t sacred; the ideals of burner culture could be presented with different words or a different number of principles.

My relationship to the local arts community is mostly expressed in my participation in Artica.  I know my contributions there are valued, and I enjoy the relationship the burner community has with the Artica community.  I welcome further collaboration with other local artistic effort such as Fringe, as a way for us to have a greater positive impact locally and potentially attract new people to our events.

My experience with event planning, fundraising and the grant processes is almost entirely in the context of Gateway Burners.  I have participated in our fundraisers, received multiple grants from GWB, and sat in many event planning meetings.

My primary experience in governance and management has been serving on the Gateway Board the past two year (2016-2018).

As a long-time member of this community, I am committed to its future.  If  I am selected  for this role, I will do my utmost to ensure the organizational success of Gateway Burners.