Summer 2017 Update

Hello from the Precipitation Northwest Board of Directors!

We hope you are having a fantastic summer. Despite the heat, we’ve been keeping busy. Below are some highlights about what we’ve been working on since our last update back in May. (Click here to see our previous update)

Tax Exempt Nonprofit Status Has Been Acquired!: Precipitation Northwest was established as an Oregon nonprofit corporation back in February 2016. Since then, we’ve been working on getting systems and policies in place in order to submit the necessary paperwork to the IRS applying for 501(c)3 federal tax exempt status. On August 1, 2017, we submitted our application to the IRS for consideration, and effective August 9, 2017, Precipitation Northwest is thrilled to announce that we have officially been granted tax exemption as a 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit! We will be rolling out information regarding tax-exempt gifts and what this means for our ongoing operations as well as SOAK and BurnOut in the coming weeks.

New Logo Has Been Finalized & Will Be Announced Soon: As a result of our open call for artist portfolios, we selected an awesome graphic designer Ka(Ren) Green who has graciously donated her time and talent to develop our organization’s first logo. We have worked closely with her over the last few months and will be unveiling our new logo soon - we can’t wait to share it with you!

BurnOut 2017 Location Secured: Our region’s annual post-Burning Man decompression event BurnOut has been under the management of SOAK LLC for the last several years and has been produced by Xandra (Ice Queen), one of our region’s Burning Man Regional Contacts (RC)s. Starting in 2017, Precipitation Northwest will assume ownership of the event from SOAK LLC and will work closely with Xandra to help produce this year’s event. We already have a new location booked, and the date set: mark your calendars for Saturday, October 7th at the North Warehouse! (Facebook invite coming soon.)

SOAK*2017 Final Wrap Up: As we close the books on SOAK*2017, we want to take moment to share some final thoughts on this year’s event.

  • Our final population count was 1,566 --- making 2017 our biggest year ever!
  • We received some feedback from the community about some of the language in our Art Grant contracts, and as a result, will be making some slight adjustments to address these specific concerns for 2018. We will be working with artists in our community to ensure the language included in our contracts works for everyone.

We want to take a moment to thank our fantastic volunteer team for their tireless efforts to make this event happen. THANK YOU to:

  • @pparatus and SOAK LLC for sponsoring the event
  • The Justesen family for being gracious hosts and longtime supporters
  • Our fabulous Event Producers, Starfish and Honeybee
  • Production Assistant and Cartographer, Hero
  • Our Regional Contacts (RCs): Porn Star, Ice Queen, and Ghostess
  • All of our Volunteer Department Leads:
    • Ambassador Leads: Choo Choo & Touchy; Artist Liaison: Sepia;
      Box Office Leads: Pantsless & Chew Toy; D’Corps Lead: Rally;
      DPW Leads: Hatchet & Cupcake; Fire Safety Lead: Dapper;
      Conclave Shin: Sabrina; Gate Leads: Bubbles & Nipple;
      Hospitality Lead: Ruby; Ice Lead: Ice Queen;
      LNT Lead: Tusk; MBS Leads: Jinx & KosherBacon;
      Media Leads: Browse & Space Cadet; Medical Lead: Honey Badger;
      Parks & Wrecks Leads: Cabin Boy & Coco; Pathlighters Leads: Alisa & JJ;
      Placement Leads: BlindSpot, Ceres, & Joshy; Ranger Leads: Sinamox & Hazelnut; Power & Comms Leads: Brandon & Not-A-Cop; Sanctuary Leads: Me2 & Juliana

  • All of the volunteers, artists, and participants who helped make this event wonderful!


We are so excited for this next phase of our organization’s growth and are grateful to each and every one of you who have reached out lately offering your support and love --- it means the world to us! Anyone who has ideas, suggestions, or questions for us are encouraged to get in touch via or send us a message or comment via our Facebook Page.

In service,

Your Precipitation Northwest Board of Directors,
Amelia, Becca, Julia, Ariel, Adrian, Ryan, and Tomcat

Spring 2017 Update

Hello from the Precipitation Northwest Board of Directors!

This is the first of what will be regular quarterly updates about what our organization has been up to lately. We will be posting these updates on our website and also on social media, so make sure youfollow us on Facebook for the latest news.

As a quick reminder, Precipitation Northwest was founded in January 2016 with the goal of adopting ownership and management of SOAK and other Portland regional Burning Man activities from the event's previous owners (and founders), SOAK LLC. We incorporated as an Oregon nonprofit corporation in March 2016, and that year, we administered the SOAK*2016 Art Grant program with a budget of $6,000. We established a strong working relationship with SOAK LLC, the SOAK Production Staff, and Regional Contacts to ensure a smooth organizational transition. We are currently in the process of seeking our federal 501c3 tax exemption, and have been working hard behind the scenes to get our business up and running. (In case you missed our last update on January 23 or our Town Hall presentation, click here to get caught up).

Here are some highlights from the last few months:

Officer Elections: In addition to re-electing Adrian Thomas-Eikmann to a full three-year term and bringing on two new board members (Ariel Rigney and Ryan Krellwitz) in January, we also elected new officers. While board members serve for three year terms, officer positions are re-elected every year. Your 2017 Precipitation Northwest officers are:

  • Amelia Lamb - President
  • Becca Priddy - Vice President
  • Julia Betts - Treasurer
  • Ariel Rigney - Secretary

SOAK*2017 Art Grants: We are proud to share that Precipitation Northwest successfully administered the SOAK*2017 art grants program for the second year in a row. Our budget was $6,000, and we funded 28 projects. We would like to send a heartfelt thank you to our generous donors who funded this year's art grants budget: SOAK LLC and an anonymous donor from the Portland regional community.

  • Special thanks to the hard work of your volunteer Art Grant Administrators, Sepia and Phuz, for making it all happen - we couldn’t have done it without you!
  • Look for new “Funded Art Project” signs at SOAK this year to identify which projects were funded through the Art Grant Program.
  • Check out Sepia’s awesome slideshow of funded SOAK*2017 Art Grant Awardees.

Logo Project: On March 27, we launched a logo contest that was met with some criticism from working artists in the community. The criticism was well-taken. We cancelled the logo contest and instead launched a logo project that addressed the concerns that were raised and better communicated our love and respect for our artist community. For more details about our logo project, please visit the post in the News section of our website or by clicking here. We hope to have a finished logo and share our new brand identity with the community by early summer 2017.

Meet & Greet at SOAK: We can’t wait to see everyone in just a few short days at SOAK! Please join us for our Precipitation Northwest Meet & Greet at SOAK. Come mingle, share your ideas, and help us get to know you better. A light brunch will be provided for you to nosh on. BYO cup, plates, bowls, utensils. Join us at Business Casual (located at AC on the SOAK*2017 map, or just look for the office cubicle) from 11:30am-1:00pm on Saturday.

Members of the board will be working closely alongside Event Producers and the Operations Team throughout the entire event to support them and help make sure it’s a huge success, and we will all be serving Peer Security shifts throughout the event. Come say hi!

In closing, we’d like to thank you, our community, for your continued support and patience. Building Portland’s brand-new burner nonprofit business from the ground up is a lot of work, and don’t forget, we are not only community members just like you, but we are also all volunteers! We’re honored and grateful to be able to support our local community through our organization, and encourage you to reach out to us with ideas, questions, and comments at

Amelia, Becca, Julia, Ariel, Adrian, Ryan, and Tomcat
Board of Directors, Precipitation Northwest

Logo Design Project

Update: The application deadline has passed for artists to submit their portfolio. Thank you for your participation!

Precipitation Northwest is having a logo design competition! We are seeking individuals (not companies) to design our very first organizational logo. The design should be recognizable and reflect the three primary components of Precipitation Northwest's missionparticipatory art,volunteerism, and civic engagement.

(4/17/2017) - Based on feedback we received from the community, Precipitation Northwest has canceled the logo competition announced on Monday March 27th in favor of a more collaborative process for logo development. While the initial contest was intended to open up this process to the community and invite more participation, we acknowledge and apologize that our approach had the opposite intended effect and upset the very artists we meant to engage. We’re grateful for the guidance from those who reached out to us, and hope that our new approach presented here more effectively communicates our love, gratitude, and respect for the talented artists in our community. We value open and honest feedback, and thank the community for their ongoing support and grace as we continue to grow, learn, and establish ourselves as a new nonprofit organization.




Concept: Precipitation Northwest was created by and for the community, based on the core ideals of participatory art, civic engagement, and volunteer leadership and training. It is in the spirit of communal effort that we are issuing an open invitation to individual artists who are willing to donate their time, talents, and expertise to help us create our nonprofit organization’s first logo.


Process & Selection: Any artists who are interested in participating in this project are invited to contact us directly via email by the open call deadline. The Precipitation Northwest Board of Directors will then review the submissions and will ultimately invite one artist to work with us to actually produce a final logo. The Board may ask interested artists to submit either a quick sketch or share their idea via a written narrative in order to help with our decision-making. As logo development is an iterative process, all interested artists should be prepared to dedicate time to engage with us via phone, Skype, or in-person) to develop a final logo, make revisions as needed, and be able to provide multiple versions of the final logo for us to work with. While it would be ideal if a final logo would be produced in time to unveil at SOAK*2017 (May 25th), we realize this may be unrealistic and will work with the designer to develop an appropriate timeline.


Gratitude: We are grateful to the artists who choose to donate their time and talent to this project. We can offer public credit to the final artist on our Facebook page and our organization’s website. We can also provide professional references and/or testimonials as requested. We can also give the final artist a tax deduction for their gift-in-kind contribution. (This tax deductible gift is contingent upon our organization being approved for 501(c)3 tax exemption; details about this process will be discussed privately with the selected artist.) We are disappointed we can’t offer any direct monetary compensation for the final product, but artists are encouraged to suggest non-monetary opportunities for us to demonstrate our gratitude for their generous donation.


Open Call Deadline: Sunday, April 30th, 11:59pm


Instructions: Send an email with the title “Logo Project Artist” to, and include the following information in the body of your email:

  1. Your first and last name (and burner name if you have one)

  2. A brief explanation (2-3 sentences) about why you are motivated to participate in this project with us

  3. A brief explanation (2-3 sentences) about your experience with logo development. Previous experience is not required in order to be considered, but will be helpful.

  4. Your portfolio. This can be sent either as a link to your online portfolio or as a single PDF document attached to the email that represents your body of work (multiple pages within the single PDF document are allowed).

  5. Suggestions for non-monetary acts of gratitude that would be meaningful to you in exchange for your donation of time and talent to this project, if you were to be selected as the final artist


Please contact us with any questions or concerns by emailing us at Thank you!

Joint Public Statement to the SOAK Community



Greetings friends,

It’s been just over one year since the board of Precipitation Northwest (PNW) was created to help transition Portland’s Regional Burn SOAK into a nonprofit model. We’re excited to share with you the progress we’ve made over the last year, challenges we’ve encountered, milestones we’ve accomplished, and next steps. 


Initial Start-up Activities. In early 2016, the PNW board was kept busy with holding our first board meetings, establishing meeting schedules, setting up communication channels, formalizing officer elections, and setting up to-do lists. Our goal from the outset was to establish the business according to best practices, ensure efficient collaboration, and make our new systems inheritable.

Integrated 2016 GLC Leadership Conference Learnings. PNW representatives attended Burning Man’s Global Leadership Conference at Burning Man Headquarters in California in April 2016, where we learned about the work and efforts of other regional organizations and events like ours. We networked with other community leaders, and learned a lot!

Established Administrative Systems. PNW board members completed critical training in board leadership, legal requirements, human resources, and Quickbooks accounting that have helped prepare us to efficiently, effectively, and responsibly take on the management of our new organization.  

Expanded Board with Addition of Two New Members. After a self-assessment of our skills and capacity limitations, PNW identified a need for an expanded board specifically in the areas of finance, legal, and human resources. We are proud to announce two new board members as of January 2017: Ariel Rigney and Ryan Krellwitz. Ariel brings extensive administrative, fundraising, and event planning experience, as well as a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management. Ryan brings expertise in entrepreneurial startups, accounting, and staff supervision, as well as experience with facilitating collaborative performing arts shows.


January 1, 2016 - First PNW Board Meeting

February 14, 2016 - First public announcement of PNW at Town Hall 2016

March 31, 2016 - Formally incorporated as an Oregon nonprofit

March 31-April 3, 2016 - Attended Global Leadership Conference at Burning Man Headquarters

May 26-30, 2016 - Supported SOAK LLC’s management of the SOAK*2016 event - 1,500 attendees; PNW facilitated nearly $6,000 in art grants via PNW’s first major private donation

July 18, 2016 - Began regular Operations team meetings to coordinate on policy development, event planning and management of the Burner Barn

January 15, 2017 - Welcomed two new board members: Ariel Rigney and Ryan Krellwitz


Corporate Form. PNW was established as an LLC prior to January 2016, and we were initially assured that this was the correct legal structure for us to utilize. Unfortunately, upon further investigation, we discovered that the organization had been incorrectly set up and would need to be reestablished as a nonprofit corporation. PNW researched corrective action and in just eight weeks we successfully filed our bylaws and the other proper legal paperwork with the State of Oregon to formally establish PNW as an Oregon nonprofit.

Asset Donation Between SOAK LLC and PNW. PNW and SOAK LLC have been engaged in ongoing, detailed negotiations to arrange the donation of assets and the timing of the donations relative to two things: 1) PNW’s pending 501(c)3 non-profit status and 2) SOAK, LLC completing its tax filings for all prior years of operation. SOAK, LLC has filed 2012 and 2015, and is currently catching up on filing taxes for years 2013 and 2014. Following those filings will be 2016. It would unfairly expose SOAK, LLC to potentially substantial tax liability to donate the source of revenue to pay its taxes before those filings have been accepted by the IRS. It would be ideal if that donation could all be made after PNW has been granted its nonprofit status, but that takes substantial time and effort as well. Since we are dealing with the IRS for our tax filings as well as our nonprofit status, some aspect of the timing of this transition are not in the control of either entity. Both entities are dedicated to ensuring that PNW and SOAK, LLC are protected from tax liability resulting from our community events and operations. While both parties are working diligently to complete this transition as soon as possible, including meeting and communicating on a regular basis, all of this remains a tremendous amount of work.

Capacity Limitations, especially during Burning Man event season. Our volunteer PNW board has worked hard to manage balancing the time requirements necessary for building a new nonprofit organization with other personal and professional commitments. Burning Man season specifically was a challenge for productivity from July-September 2016. PNW will proactively strategize ways to minimize loss of momentum during the flurry of this period of the year moving forward. The addition of two new board members will directly help mitigate the issue of capacity as well.


Submit the legal paperwork required to gain our 501(c)3 nonprofit tax exempt statusAfter we submit the paperwork, it can take up to one year for it to be approved, however assuming we are approved, the IRS’s grace period for startup nonprofits will grant us retroactive tax exemption all the way back to our date of incorporation. We are hopeful that the IRS will respond to and approve our application by the end of 2017.

Finalize the donation of assets from SOAK LLC to PNW. We appreciate the due diligence and mentorship provided by Apparatus (the owner of SOAK LLC) as well as the hard work and inspiring precedent set by the SOAK & Burnout volunteer staff and Regional Contacts as we work through this complex process.

Begin recruiting volunteers who want to support PNW’s growth and activities by serving on board committees. We are initially interested in recruiting people to serve on our Program and Finance Committees, and will be considering creating additional committees in the near future. We are looking forward to developing plans to expand programs outside of established events like SOAK and BurnOut to support broad civic engagement across, within, and between the diverse communities of the broader Portland area.

Attend Burning Man’s 2017 Global Leadership Conference in March 2017. This annual event is vital for us to continue to network with other regional community leaders from across the world, as well as helping us stay up to date with the latest best practices and happenings.

Contribute to a successful SOAK*2017 via art grants and event management support. PNW will continue to work closely with SOAK LLC for event management of SOAK, provide ongoing support to event staff and volunteers, and maintain a robust art grant program for the talented event artists.

As we look forward to 2017, we want to express our deep gratitude for the support we’ve received thus far from the community. We recognize that transparency is a critical mechanism of trust and goodwill, and therefore a major theme in 2017 will be to improve communications over last year. We plan to make more regular updates to our website (, and also welcome questions and feedback any time by contacting us We will also keep you informed of the process to resolve the tax burden and when that is complete we will share plans for recouping any associated costs.

We look forward to sharing more details about our progress and future plans at the upcoming Town Hall Meeting on February 12th, where you will also have the opportunity to meet new and returning board members, ask more questions, and find out how you can get involved.

Best regards,

Amelia, Tomcat, Becca, Julia, Adrian, Ariel, and Ryan

Board of Directors, Precipitation NW


Manager, SOAK LLC

A new beginning!

Dear Friends and Community,

If you recall, several months ago, a steering committee comprised of current volunteers, community members, RCs, and consultants was formed to help develop a new entity which would take over assets and management of projects and events formerly produced by SOAK, LLC.

We made this decision because both the events and the community they serve have far outgrown the organizational structure that was created more than a decade. After quite a bit of research, planning, and discussion, a new LLC - Precipitation NW - has been formed as a transitionary step toward applying for non-profit status. There was a consensus among the steering committee that this would be the best way to manage the events with participation from the community. Learn more about the new organization and what the steering committee has accomplished so farPrecipitation NW here:

What's next?

A mission statement has been developed, and the steering committee is now actively seeking participation from [you!] the community for board membership. We encourage you to consider who amongst your fellow community members would be ideal for board membership. The initial board will be comprised of 5-7 individuals with qualities that can be found here:

Nominations will remain open for a short period of time. The initial board will be selected by Dec 15th. Nominations for board membership will be accepted in perpetuity as we will always need to identify talented and committed individuals.

Now is the time to take action to form the organization you have always dreamed of. Are you ready? Get set...go!

With love and respect,

Your Precipitation NW Steering Committee

How do you find people you don't know exist?

As we seek nominations for the board - we have a very common problem. Most of the nominations are coming from "the usual suspects".  This makes sense - the people who are most involved all know each other and know who's who.  But that leads to a lack of diversity - both in gender, race, lifestyle, and philosophy.

So.... how do correct for that?  WE can't.  WE need YOU.  Spread this message far in the community.  Think about those people you know.  Do they hold these values dear?  Are they smart, reliable, and trustworthy?  Can they represent the community and set their ego aside?  Can they work with a very diverse group and not loose their cool?

Then nominate them!

Or nominate yourself!  If you nominate yourself - list someone who can vouch for you.