Board Election- Sophia Dalpiaz- Brown

Sophia Dalpiaz-Brown

Dear Gateway community,


It has been a privilege to serve our community as a board member since 2014. I would be honored to serve on the Board of Directors again for this next term.


My personal philosophy going forward in this community is:

-to maintain open communication and transparency

-to continue growing our local community in a measured and responsible way to ensure sustainability

-to promote outreach to other organizations in the St. Louis area

-to build and support art locally to benefit St. Louis city, county and our region.


My goals for 2019 (if elected)

-to facilitate improvements to the Gateway Burners website that could eventually be functional for creating events, calendar, blog and information sharing and repository.

-To continue supporting and/or coordinating the annual Heartland Regional Safety Third training in hopes of continuing collaboration with Midwest Burners and other neighboring regional Burning Man organizations.

-To facilitate more local community gatherings and workshops to give opportunity for artists and makers from our community to share skills with each other.

-To broaden the reach and scope of the Gateway Art Grant programs to encourage more of the community to utilize this program to create more robust artistic expression at Gateway 2019 and in the St. Louis Community.


Here is a summary of my experiences related to the qualifications requested for a board member:

Event planning and/or fundraising experience:

  • – Assisted with the organization of several fundraisers utilizing various methods including kickstarter, membership campaigns, product sales and community/business partnerships.

Experience in administrative aspects of grant processes (grant writing, grant distribution, application review, etc.)

  • -Collaborated in writing Regional Arts Commission grant application for Community Arts and Movement Project 2012
  • – 2013-2014 Gateway Art Grant Co-lead

Relationship with the local arts community:

  • Co-director of People’s Joy Parade on Cherokee street St. Louis
  • Coordinator “the game Life on Cherokee” street art project
  • “May these changes make us Light”
  • Director of Art Dimensions Art Rotation Program
  • Event Coordinator for project “Area 314” installation for The Burb’s Fest 2017

Relationship with the local burner community:

  • Attended Gateway Burn 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • Attended Burning Man 2012
  • Coordination/Planning committee Fire & Ice 2013-2018
  • Co-Lead the organization of 2014 Recompression party collaboration with Yuri’s Night pub crawl at Bad Dog Bar and Grill as well as 2014 Decompression “Roald Dahl” 2014
  • Coordinated collaboration between St. Louis Fringe, Shakespeare Festivals Shake38 and Gateway Burners Re-compression party 2015, “Lose Your Head Extravaganza”
  • Attended Burning Man Global Leadership Conference San Francisco 2015

Personal understanding of the 10 Principles of Burning Man.

  • I find that many of the principles resonate with my guiding philosophies. I respect very much the concepts of personal responsibility and human authenticity that are reflected. I believe the principles have been crafted to allow our community to be guided toward a general ethos but still provided the burning man community much needed space to grow and evolve during transitions of culture and time. I believe in a practical transparent and egalitarian implementation of these principles for guiding our community.
  • My interpretation of the principles has brought me to a new vision for what I would like to bring forth from our community to our default world. I like to call this “experiential proselytization”. This is in essence that we be the change we would like to see in the world. Using religion to define one’s vision of the world has never resonated with me, however I do recognize the power and purpose it has fulfilled for us. I believe we as burners have re-defined a place in culture that moves beyond “religion”, while fulfilling our needs as spiritual and emotional beings. Many of us discover acceptance and fulfillment in participation, hard work and hard play. We value open communication while practicing to be thoughtful and careful as we work through the challenges we face. I believe when we demonstrate this way of engaging with the default world and push the boundaries of where our burn and our default intersect that it welcomes burn virgins to our community with the best attributes to enhance our culture and community.


Experience with governance or upper level management, preferably in a volunteer driven organization.

  • 2011- 2018 Community Arts and Movement Project (non profit 501c-3) past Secretary, past president of the board of directors.
  • 2011-2013 President for Art Dimensions (non profit 501c-3) board of directors
  • 2007-2010 CAMP Zoe Amphitheater Fantasy Festival production director
  • 2014 Gateway Burners Executive Coordinator
  • 2014-2017 Gateway Board of Directors (non profit 501c-3)


A board member must be able to communicate and collaborate effectively with fellow board members, EC’s, and the community at large, conducting him or herself with decorum, in a manner befitting a leader of the organization.

  • I believe my interpersonal communication, diplomacy and mediation skills are well suited to our communities needs and I am personally very fulfilled in practicing these traits and sharing in these deeply human experiences with my community.


Thank you for considering me.

sincerely with love

Sophia Dalpiaz-Brown