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Meet Colin Jemmott of San Diego Collaborative Arts Project

Today we’d like to introduce you to Colin Jemmott.

The San Diego Collaborative Arts Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit supporting the San Diego Burning Man community. SDCAP’s two main projects are YOUtopia, the San Diego Regional Burning Man event and Colab, a meeting and art build warehouse in Mission Valley.

YOUtopia is San Diego’s official Burning Man regional event—a 3,000 person 4-day camping and arts regional “burn” celebrating the culture and principles of Burning Man. YOUtopia takes place at the La Jolla Indian Campground. While Burning Man only happens once a year, burner culture is alive and well year-round. Burning Man regional events are held all over the world and are based on the Ten Principles, empowering burner ethos to thrive far and wide. YOUtopia is part of a long tradition of bringing the magic of the playa to the rest of the world while also celebrating the vibrant creative and communal elements of San Diego and the surrounding areas.

Colab is a collaborative workspace created to build community by providing a useful and comfortable place to hold meetings, organize events, and build art projects. Current and past build at Colab include the YOUtopia temple, the Shrine of La Santisima Muerte, the Journey, and more. Build space is provided free of charge to these projects, and on-site tools include a CNC router, laser cutter, and more.

Finally, SDCAP offers year-round funding opportunities for collaborative art and civic engagement projects including past support for Maker Faire, San Diego Burning Man Community Pride Parade float, Art Around Adams (Music & Art Walk), Figment San Diego (one-day art festival) and more.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
SDCAP supports the San Diego Burning Man community, which is large, diverse, and, ummm, high spirited. Finding common ground between all of the different subcommunities isn’t always easy, but we have Burning Man’s ten principles as our common touchstone, which makes it possible.

It is also a delicate balance between encouraging the kind of creative chaos that we hope to foster and meeting our legal and fiduciary responsibilities.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about San Diego Collaborative Arts Project – what should we know?
SDCAP supports art that is either large-scale, interactive or preferably both! Much of our art is designed to be climbed on, for example.

But I think the thing that really sets us apart is that YOUtopia doesn’t book acts or provide entertainment. SDCAP doesn’t build any of the art, and what happens here is up to you! There is no corporate sponsorship. You are entering a “decommodified” space that values who you are, not what you have. You are expected to collaborate, be inclusive, creative, connective and clean up after yourself.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Our large and passionate community is the singular key to our success.

Would you believe that our build warehouse, annual camping event, art builds and the organization itself are 100% volunteer run? That’s right, nobody gets paid. We do this because we love it.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Aaron Truax

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