CC Meeting Minutes – March 28, 2022

Attendees: Sam, Tina, Clovis, Puzz, Eva, Topaz, Problem, Adam, Prost, Han

Facilitator: Prost
Stackinator: Sam
Scribinator: Prost

ACTION ITEM: Board to discuss among themselves, and with Area Facilitators, what accessibility support they might be able to provide this year.

ACTION ITEM: Sam/Tina will reach out to the Leads and Area Facilitators for feedback on having a Town Hall or Volunteer Fair.

ACTION ITEM: Prost to raise Combustion Chamber renaming on the Combustion Chamber list.


LLC Update

Adam – Signed paperwork to become nonprofit. Filing with IRS soon. Process still takes several months. Have bylaws, letter of intent. Still need to figure out how to transfer assets, etc.. Operationally not much will change. Better liability protection for volunteers.

Topaz – Does it make things like accounting less complicated?

Adam – No. In the old days, as an LLC, we had to figure out our individual tax liability as members and then get reimbursed. Several years ago switched to an S-corp. Simplified taxes, but required better accounting.

Sam – What’s the new name again?

Problem – Catalyst Collective.

Problem – Registration open. Do all the things. Mid-April deadline for theme camps and art. Art cars deadline week before event. Volunteer!

Adam – Safetyside this weekend.

Tina – Registration for Safetyside closes today.

Prost – Shrunk the event?

Adam/Problem – Around 2500, much lower demand this year.


Area Facilitator Update

Tina – Volunteer for all the things.


Regionals Update

Clovis – George moved, will no longer be an Austin regional contact. We will be looking for a replacement soon. Almaburn this weekend. Unbroken Spring happened. Burning Man still on, ticket sale is this Wednesday. Only 10K in open sale, most sales were directed sales. More low income tickets this year.

Prost – I attended Unbroken Spring, Engulf.

Clovis – Love Burn happened, I think without any Covid restrictions.

Prost – Unbroken Spring required registration/vaccine verification with VaxYes; Engulf required vaccinations but only needed to show vaccine card.

Topaz – Who are current Combustion Chamber members?

Prost – Bean, Bill B., Breezy, Clovis, Effie, Henry, Izzi, Mika, Prost, Sam, Turtlebunnie


Mobility/Accessibility Services

Eva – Stand-in name for proposed department: Radical Inclusion Through Accessibility (RITA). Work to become hub for accessibility. Make sure everyone can enjoy the event. One point of contact for access. Can come to RITA and coordinate access for everything, even portos. Talked to people running programs now, current system is carts pick up people when available, with no guarantee of return. Could be stuck at effigy for hours with no way home, no way to portos. Mobility problems fall through cracks. Not just making sure have carts driving around, but also help getting out of tents, safe paths, making sure tent entrances are not blocked, etc.. Even though we have first aid kits, the event also has PETS. Need a department that can focus on these accessibility issues. Bean and I are proposing a group of people to provide assistance, an email address for communication, and to make arrangements prior to site. RITA could contact shaven apes, help with onsite landing and setup. So nobody has to suffer, be uncomfortable, encounter danger.

Problem – One issue you mentioned. Misplaced/blocked tent problems are really a Ranger issue. What would RITA provide that improves that? Do you need mediation training?

Eva – Hoping to head off problems before it becomes a Ranger issue.

Problem – We have problems with people moving City Planning flags.

Eva – Yes, it happens. Can escalate a Ranger if needed, but hoping to plan, flag, etc. to protect a mobility-challenged person’s spot.

Problem – I think Rangers and Shaven Apes can already mediate these tasks.

Eva – Another possible idea is to set up an accessibility open camping area closer to center, closer to portos, etc.. Easier to keep an eye on a specific area, have a specific place to help. Work with City Planning, get people registered for the place. Could have a bus stop at the area for easier access.

Adam – What is the bar for qualification?

Eva – No qualification, just ask. If you say you need help, you need help. If 300 sparkle ponies get a ride and only 15 truly needed, then 15 people got help who truly needed it.

Adam – Assuming want to run 24×5.

Eva – Need enough people to run the cart, need someone to sit at Mobility HQ. Would really like people with accessability issues to be the people who volunteer, run the department. Lets the mobility challenged participate, volunteer when they might not be able to do elsewhere. People have stopped coming to FS because of mobility issues. They need something to help them mobility-wise, willing to volunteer in these positions to make this go. Guessing 12 volunteers per day.

Adam – Could we put your chair in a cart?

Eva – Yes. Chair is about 60 lbs.

Adam – So you would need some volunteers able to put it in the cart. Talked with Bean about this in the beforetimes, earlier proposals would be anywhere/anytime, volunteer needs would have been astronomical. We try to avoid making Flipside, brought to you by Flipside. E.g., having Lamplighters. If someone wants to bring Lamplighters, bring it, don’t make it a department, prove it can stand on its own. You could register an open spot now for accessibility needs through the current theme camp process. Currently carts are busy, but available, if going the right direction. Maybe we need to educate current volunteer force to make sure they are offering rides to those to need them.

Eva – Yes, could just make it a theme camp. Still think it should be a department, bigger than a theme camp. Want to make sure we get the organizational support needed, e.g., Shaven Apes. Even if you’re camping within a theme camp but need help, want to make sure Shaven Apes find it; also need help tearing down, after Shaven Apes have stopped.

Adam – Not saying it’s a bad idea, just asking what we can do with existing structure.

Topaz – What does it take to start a new dept? What is the threshold? Departmentss vary in sizes, resource needs. As a department, it could be a lead with an email address and a radio, who could call for carts, Shaven Apes, etc.. Or it could be as grand as lots of carts and bus stops.

Adam – Some departments can be one person. Area Facilitators can create those at will, with no budget. But this could be relatively high overhead. One cart, one radio, 1K for whole event.

Problem – Probably around $500 for one cart, one radio.

Topaz – So then it would a matter of volunteers. Could keep it small this year and then expand it next year.

Problem – Typically at the Area Facilitator debrief in summer, we might move around, create departments. Have consolidated, created, removed departments in the past. At some point in the past, a proposed mobility department got rolled into Volunteer Assistance Services (VAS).

Adam – During my time coming to Flipside, we have seen a theme camp (Recycling) turn into a department, and then disband itself because it was abused/overworked.

Topaz – What are biggest issues?

Problem – Budget, an Area Facilitator to support it. Kind of goes cross-area, which makes it difficult to place it. Have to staff it. Would need to communicate it.

Adam – Would have to identify and educate a new lead. Just had the Leads All Hands where we do the education.

Topaz – Do you feel like it’s out of question for this year?

Adam – Think we can accommodate this year with limited support but not yet a department.

Tina – Think VAS could cover some of this. To Eva, do you really want to segregate mobility challenged into a separate accessibility camping area.

Eva – Not really, but think we need an accessibility spot in Parking. Having an accessibility camping area may be a touchy subject. Would want to ask if anybody wanted that. But would want to make sure that people could camp near to portos, accessible paths, etc..

Tina – If 15 people who need it are served makes you happy, what is the magic number? What if there are 100 who need cart services, but only 15 get services because of sparkle ponies, and 85 don’t.

Eva – Sparkle ponies need to make space on the cart. Signs on cart to make this clear. Cart drivers make this clear before people get on. Saw this work at Lakes of Fire.

Tina – Needs to be planned really well. People can be agro when they’re tired. Already requested 2 VAS carts this year, maybe with 3 we could cover it with bus stops and try it out.

Puzz – Used this service at Lakes of Fire 2019, learned more about it. Had good volunteer turnout because people love to drive carts. Lakes of Fire started with shuttles for anybody for Parking. Got overused when open to everybody, decided to focus on people with mobility needs. They do have an excess of carts, 40 for whole event. Lakes of Fire trying to make sure accessible portos are more widely available. Think we should start with an email address and see where this goes. Needs probably will go up, aging population, more injuries, long covid, etc..

Problem – 2 yrs since last event, but 2 mos till next event. Limited in what we can do. Things we can probably do: email address, radio to contact departments, signage at crossroads and such to make bus stops, let volunteers know to stop for people waiting there. All of that fairly doable without last-minute budget impact. This year maybe we have a dozen using the service, could grow in users and size later.

Eva – Right now think we need to start process, plant the seed. Don’t even know if we’re going to be on this land for next 10 yrs. Get it started, it can evolve as we go along. For it to work, we have to work as a community.

Problem – Next steps: we need to take it back to the whole board, to the Area Facilitators.

Clovis – Glad topic introduced, Area Facilitators need to chime in on this. Which area does it go?

Adam – Point of information, Flipside in the past, theme camp asked about private porto. Didn’t want to do it, so we asked what problem are you solving? Problem was many members were plussized. So we put a larger porto next to them.

Eva – Concerns like this could be handled if there was an accessability contact.

Adam – If you’re in a theme camp, wouldn’t it be better if there was a spot on the theme camp registration to denote any accessibility needs and send it straight to City Planning?

Eva – RITA contact would be better placed to understand accessibility needs and describe them to City Planning. Are times when you need mediaries. RITA group could also participate in flagging, etc., to keep an eye on mobility needs. Can take some things off City Planning plate specifically for mobility needs. RITA can take on the extra work so existing departments don’t have to.

Han – Instead of configure city around accessibility stops, could the mobility-challenged get early entry to pick spots they need? Could people use their phones to signal needs at Flipside? Could we coordinate with Shaven Apes for a Monday shift for breakdown?

Topaz – Once you start entering disability issues, need to look into ADA and other disability law.

Han – Need a special cart for wheelchairs?

Eva – Not sure about early entry, would need another meeting. Early entry adds more time onsite experiencing the difficulties that the differently-abled face. Not sure about phone services, maybe loop in FUTelekom in the future (though think won’t be there this year as theme camp). Re: Shaven Apes for breakdown, already hard to get enough volunteers, not a shift at present. Want to have a signup sheet for specific times.

Tina – Might want to include chair needs.

ACTION ITEM: Board to discuss among themselves, and with Area Facilitators, what accessibility support they might be able to provide this year.


Town Hall

Prost – Do we want one?

Clovis – Not sure about a post-SXSW surge.

Problem – 3 open weekends left in April.

Clovis – Think we shouldn’t have one.

Prost – Think it could add some energy, great opportunity to recruit vols.

Adam – So you’re proposing something like a Town Hall Lite?

Prost – Yes, more like a Volunteer Fair, social event, no meeting per se.

Adam – To Volunteer Coordinator Tina, would an event with 200-300 people be good for vol recruiting?

Tina – Only 40 signed up for Safetyside, would enough people show up to get that many vols? Are people gonna come? People already opting out from big events. Wouldn’t mind having one, but don’t want it if it’s not attended. Can go back to leads and ask them if it’s a good idea.

Clovis – When would we have it? Only a couple of free weekends in April.

Sam – Think we should have it on April 23rd.

ACTION ITEM: Sam/Tina will reach out to the Leads and Area Facilitators for feedback on having a Town Hall or Volunteer Fair.


Combustion Chamber Business

Combustion Chamber Renaming

Prost – We need a new name for this body to avoid confusion with new nonprofit, will discuss on Combustion Chamber list.

ACTION ITEM: Prost to raise Combustion Chamber renaming on the Combustion Chamber list.


Topics – TBD