Community Safety Issue: Help us find and fix our missing stairs

We are the members of Austin Artistic Reconstruction, LLC, the legal entity that produces Burning Flipside.

There was an influential essay titled The Missing Stair written in 2012. If you haven’t read it, it’s one page long and worth a look.

The author likens the missing stair to a known predator within any community (social, work, religious, club, etc.). Everyone knows about the problem with the staircase, so new community Members are informed / warned. “Oh yeah, I almost forgot to tell you, there’s a missing step on the unlit staircase with no railings. But it’s okay because we all just remember to jump over it.”

This is obviously not a good way of dealing with a problem, even in a small community, but it’s completely unworkable when applied to the Texas Burn Communities, including Flipside’s Community.

One problem is that not everyone in this community knows about the missing stairs. There are many thousands of people participating in burn events in Texas throughout the year, including new Community members who have never been to an event. Burning Flipside has more than 2,000 attendees alone annually.

Additionally, no single person in the Texas Community knows all the broken stairs across Texas. So even if someone is known to you, your circle of friends or another event’s organizers, they’re not known to every event and everyone in the larger community. Predators take advantage of this.

Lastly, you may think, since these problems are known to those around you, that a report has already been made. You may think “everyone talks about what a problem that person is, surely someone has made a report already.” Unfortunately, that’s not likely. And even if you know someone made a report, AAR welcomes multiple reports about the same person.

We need your help.

The members of Austin Artistic Reconstruction, LLC do not take action based on rumors or hearsay. If you had the misfortune of “missing a stair” or witnessing a person having this experience, AAR will not know about it until someone tells us. We want to fix it, but we can’t until we know about it.

We recently published our Interpersonal Incident FAQ, which describes the process.

The process always begins with a firsthand report.

To make a report, contact us via e-mail <> or speak to us one-on-one.

Thank you,

Patrick Boyd
Cooper Crouse
Katrina Decker
Noreen Long
Adam Rice