Sophia Dalpiaz-Brown

Qualifying Statement

Dear Gateway community,

I am grateful to have served our community as a board member since 2014 and I would be proud to serve on the Board of Directors for this next term should the community see fit to elect me again. 

My personal philosophy going forward in this community is:

  • To maintain open communication and transparency between Board, ECs, Departments Leads and our community
  • 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

My goals for 2020 (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. The goal would be to move away from our reliance on Facebook for communication and organization
  • To continue supporting and/or coordinating the annual Heartland Regional Safety Third training in an effort to foster collaboration with other regional Burning Man organizations and bring unified safety training to our shared community in order to promote much needed volunteers in these departments for neighboring regional events.
  • To broaden the reach and scope of the Gateway Art Grant programs to encourage more local and regional Artists to utilize this program to create more robust artistic expression at Gateway 2020 and in the St. Louis Community.

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.  

  • Live art and auctions for Artists Abroad program through Art Dimensions in partnership with the St. Louis Artists Guild 2010
  • The Annual Fire and Ice fundraiser 2014-2017 partnering with Arch Reactor 
  • Joy Rita fundraiser for People’s Joy Parade 2014-2016
  • Kickstarter for People’s Joy Parade 2011-2014

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

  • 2012 Collaborated in writing Regional Arts Commission grant application for Community Arts and Movement Project  
  • 2013-2014 Gateway Art Grant Co-lead
  • 2019 Collaborated in writing Regional Arts Commission grant application RAC Grant for St. Louis Artist Parent Co-op

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
  • Coordinating St. Louis Parent Co-op

Relationship with the local burner community:

  • Attended Gateway Burn 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Attended Burning Man 2012
  • Coordination/Planning committee Fire & Ice 2013-2017
  • Co-Lead the organization of 2014 Recompression party collaboration with Yuri’s Night pub crawl at Bad Dog Bar and Grill 
  • Co-Lead the organization of 2014 Decompression “Roald Dahl” at Bad Dog Bar and Grill 2014
  • Coordinated collaboration between St. Louis Fringe, Shakespeare Festivals Shake38 and Gateway Burners Recompression party 2015, “Lose Your Head Extravaganza”
  • Attended Burning Man Global Leadership Conference San Francisco 2015
  • Created and Lead the HQ! Department in Collaborative team with three other HQ! Leads and coordinated with all Safety Gateway Departments 2019

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 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. Finding the right balance between structured systems and rules while nurturing community members unique contributions has been an important focus of mine, policy is meant to help and not hinder our goals. 
  • 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 community and the default world intersect we enhance our culture and community.  

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

  • 2014-2019 Gateway Board of Directors (non profit 501c-3)
  • 2011- 2019 Community Arts and Movement Project (non profit 501c-3) past Secretary, past president of the board of directors.
  • 2017-2018 Secretary for 17th Ward Democrats community organization
  • 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 Gateway Burners Art Grant Co-Lead

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