Faculty Book: Katherine K. Chen

Katherine K. Chen

Enabling Creative Chaos: The Organization Behind the Burning Man Event
(University of Chicago Press, 2009)


Founded on a commitment to free expression and community, the first Burning Man Arts Festival began in San Francisco in 1986 with a group of twenty participants. It has since grown into a countercultural phenomenon that draws upwards of forty thousand annually to its current location in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Enabling Creative Chaos examines how the original Burning Man members transformed themselves into Black Rock City LLC, an unconventional corporation with a ten-million-dollar budget and a pool of over two thousand volunteers. Katherine K. Chen, sociologist and festival organizer, illustrates how Black Rock City LLC experimented with different management models, learning how to recruit, motivate, and retain volunteers, as well as how to respond to various regulatory agencies and the media. Katherine K. Chen (City College) is assistant professor of sociology at the Graduate Center.

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Submitted on: SEP 1, 2009

Category: Faculty Books | Sociology