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Connie Cahlil: Burning Man Ephemera


Summary Note

Connie Cahlil was a Burning Man participant from 2004 through 2014, as well as one of the organization’s critical financial advisors. This archive consists of personal memorabilia from her times on the playa. Materials include Black Rock City maps, What When Where Guides, Survival Guides, BRC Tip Sheets, stickers, decals and other Burning Man ephemera.

Biographical Note

Connie K. Cahlil is a Bay Area CPA and financial advisor who was instrumental in helping Burning Man survive severe financial stress during the 2000s, and to make its transition into non-profit status. She served as Chief Financial Officer of Catch.com, Inc. and as a Partner of Tatum CFO Partners, LLP in Northern California. She is a Co-Founder and Principal of FLG Partners, LLC (formerly Financial Leadership Group, LLC). She has over twenty-five years of finance and business experience, including serving as Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Finance, and Treasurer for a variety of organizations during her career. Prior to joining Tatum, Ms. Cahlil assisted various companies by providing Chief Financial Officer financial expertise in diverse situations. Ms. Cahlil served as Chief Financial Officer of San Jose Medical Management (SJMM). Prior to SJMM, she served as Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer of System Industries Inc. Prior to that, she served as Assistant Treasurer of Seagate Technology, where she participated in negotiating Seagate's purchase of Imprimis. Prior to Seagate Technology, Ms. Cahlil consulted to real estate investment firms, and prior to that she held various accounting and audit positions in manufacturing companies. She began her career in the San Jose office of Arthur Andersen LLP. She became a Certified Public Accountant early in her career, and has also held licenses with the California Board of Real Estate and the NASD. Ms. Cahlil holds an MBA from Harvard University, and graduated from California State University, Chico with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business (Accounting).

Scope and Content

Connie Cahlil was a participant in the annual Burning Man festival from 2004 through 2014, as well as one of the organization’s critical financial advisors. This archive consists of personal memorabilia from her times on the playa.

Burning Man is “an annual art event and temporary community based on radical self-expression and self-reliance.” The festival is held annually during the last week of August on the Black Rock Desert playa one hundred miles north of Reno. Attendance has grown from the low hundreds in the early 1990s to more than 75,000 in 2015. The roots of the event began with the burning of figures on the summer solstice by sculptor Mary Grauberger, a friend of Larry Harvey’s girlfriend, on San Francisco’s Baker Beach in the early 1980s. In 1986, Harvey erected a 9-foot tall wooden figure. In 1990 the then 40-foot figure was drawing so many attendees for the burning of “The Man” that police outlawed the event. A separate event had been planned by members of the Cacophony Society on the Black Rock Desert for that year, “Zone Trip #4, A Bad Day at Black Rock,” which was billed as a Dadaist and Situationist performance happening. Harvey joined forces with the Cacophony Society and the first burn of the Man was held on the playa in 1990.

Burning Man began to acquire legal BLM permits in 1991, and in 1996 created a formal partnership to own the name. The event now has a standing Public Works Department which creates a semi-circular street grid to facilitate traffic of emergency vehicles, and which operates sanitation for the event. A seven-mile-long trash fence surrounds the event, and participants clean the playa after the event in order to meet stringent BLM permitting requirements. In 2011 Burning Man began its transition into a non-profit organization known as the Burning Man Project. Cahill was instrumental in keeping the organization fiscally viable during the transition.
Materials include Black Rock City maps, What When Where Guides, Survival Guides, BRC Tip Sheets, stickers, decals and other Burning Man ephemera.


The Connie Cahlil: Burning Man archive is organized into 11 folders by year.

Inclusive Dates


Bulk Dates


Quantity / Extent

.5 cubic feet



Related Archive Collections

  • CAE1503: William Binzen: Desert Siteworks
  • CAE1305: Michael Mikel: Burning Man
  • CAE1313: Dusty Mikel: Burning Man
  • CAE1408: Michael Light: 100 Suns at Burning Man
  • CAE1607: Will Roger Peterson: Burning Man
  • CAE1701: Burning Man Contributors
  • CAE1702: Black Rock Solar
  • CAE1704: Gregg Schlanger: Waterway for the Black Rock
  • CAE1706: Crimson Rose: Burning Man

Related Publications

A Voyage of Growth and Discovery. Produced by Mike Kelley and Michael Smith. N.S.W., Australia: ArtPix, 2011. DVD.

Aqua Burn: a 2002 Burning Man film. Directed by Bill Breithaupt. Novato, CA: Adrenaline Network Studios, 2008. DVD.

As the Dust Settles: a Participatory Documentary Shot at Burning Man. Produced by Mike Hedge. United States: Trigantic Productions, 2013. DVD.

Blank, Herrod. Art Cars. Douglas AZ: Blank Books, 2002.

Bowditch, Rachel. On the Edge of Utopia: Performance and Ritual at Burning Man. New York, N.Y.: Seagull Books, 2010.

Bruder, Jessica. Burning Book: Two Decades of Burning Man. New York, N.Y.: Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 2007.

Burn Baby Burn: a film about the 2001 Burning Man Festival. San Francisco, CA: s. i., 2001. DVD.

Burn on the Bayou. Directed by Matt Leonard. San Francisco, CA: Black Rock City LLC, 2008. DVD.

Burn: The Burning Man Arts Festival. Directed by David Secter. San Francisco, CA: The Movie Secter LLC, 2000. DVD.

Burning Man 1998. Directed by Jim Babichuck. San Francisco, CA: Black Rock City LLC, 1998. DVD.

Burning Man: Beyond Black Rock. Directed by Damon Brown. Austin, TX: Gone Off Deep Productions LLC, 2006. DVD.

Burning Man: Where's the Fire? Directed by Fernando Velasquez. Los Angeles, CA: Seventh Arts Releasing, 1999. DVD.

Cash, Julian. The People of Burning Man: Portraits of Revolutionary Spirits. United States: ThePeopleOfBurningMan.com, 2011.

Chen, Katherine K. Enabling Creative Chaos: The Organization Behind the Burning Man Event. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2009.

Christians, Karen. Jewelry of Burning Man. California: Self-published, 2015.

Cohen, Scott. The Life Cube Project: The Journey from Burning Man to Downtown Las Vegas. Santa Rosa, CA: Global Interprint, 2014.

Confessions of a Burning Man: Experience the Journey. Directed by Paul Barnett and Unsu Lee. San Francisco, CA: Windline Films LLC, 2006. DVD.

Das Burning Man Projekt. Directed by Johannes Beckermann. Praha, Czech Republic: Art Cam Film Fernseh Production, 1996. DVD.

Diehl, Ronny. Burning Man: The American Frontier Revisted in Acoustic Space. Berlin, Germany: Grin Verlag, 2010.

Doherty, Brian. This is Burning Man: The Rise of a New American Underground. Dallas TX: BenBella Books, 2006.

Dust Devils. Directed by Dearbhla Glynn, Woodbury, MN: Purple Productions, 2003. DVD.

Evans, Kevin, Carrie Galbraith, and John Law. Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society. San Francisco CA: Last Gasp Publishing, 2013.

Falco, Edward. Burning Man: Stories. Dallas, TX: Southern Methodist University Press, 2011.

Fall of Man: Burning Man 99. Santa Barbara, CA: East Beach Productions, 2001. DVD.

Five Themes of Burning Man. Directed by Mark McGothigan. Oakland, CA: Steam Power Video, 2002. DVD.

Folding Time and Space at Burning Man 2. Directed by Robert Henrikson. Hana, HI: Panmagic.com, 2005. DVD.

Folding Time and Space at Burning Man. Directed by Robert Henrikson. Hana, HI: Panmagic.com, 2004. DVD.

Folding Time. Directed by Robert Henrikson. Hana, HI: Panmagic.com, 2003. DVD.

Fox, William L. Playa Works: The Myth of the Empty. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press, 2002.

Fox, William L. The Black Rock Desert. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 2002.

Fox, William L. The Void, the Grid & the Sign: Traversing the Great Basin. Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah Press, 2000.

Fraunfelder, Mark. et al., The Happy Mutant. New York: Riverhead Books, 1995.

Gifting It: A Burning Embrace of Gift Economy. Directed by Renea Roberts. Cerrillos, NM: R3 Productions, Inc. 2002. DVD.

Gilmore, Lee, and Mark Van Proyen, eds. AfterBurn: Reflections on Burning Man. Albuquerque, N.M.: University of New Mexico Press, 2005.

Gilmore, Lee. Theater in a Crowded Fire: Ritual and Spirituality at Burning Man. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2010.

Glade, Philippe. Black Rock City, NV: The New Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man. San Francisco, CA: Real Paper Books, 2016.

Glade, Philippe. Black Rock City: The Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man. San Francisco CA: Real Paper Books, 2011.

Goin, Peter. Black Rock. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press, 2005.

Guy, NK. Art of Burning Man. Köln, Germany: Taschen, 2015.

Huang, Vincent. Burning Man. Japan: Self-published, 2001.

Jones, Steven T. The Tribes of Burning Man: How an Experimental City in the Desert is Shaping the New American Counterculture. San Francisco CA: Consortium of Collective Consciousness, 2011.

Juicy Danger Meets Burning Man. Produced and directed by David Vaisbord. Vancouver, B.C.: Herkules Productions in association with d-Network Pty. Ltd., 1998. DVD.

Kreuter, Holly. Drama in the Desert: The Sights and Sounds of Burning Man. San Francisco CA: Raised Barn Press, 2002.

Krukowski, Samantha, ed. Playa Dust: Collected Stories from Burning Man. London: Black Dog Publishing Limited, 2014.

Kuehn, Karen. Cargo Cult. ROGUE Publishing, 2014.

Kuehn, Karen. MetropoLOVE: Art and Love on The Playa. Peralta, NM: Self-published, 2012.

Kuehn, Karen. My Eyes are Burning. Peralta, NM: Self-published, 2010.

Loewy, Tomas. Radical Burning Desert: Burning Man Photography 2004 – 2010. Self-published, 2011.

Nash, A. Leo. Burning Man: Art in the Desert. New York, N.Y.: Harry N. Abrams, 2007.

Neurotic Burns: Johnny Does Burning Man. Produced by John Mendel, Curt LaFurney, Brian Stuart Hanish. Hollywood, CA: Upside Down Tv, 2006. DVD.

Pendell, Dale. Inspired Madness: The Gifts of Burning Man. Berkeley, CA: Frog Books, 2006.

Post, George P. Dancing with the Playa Messiah: Neon, Fire & Dust: A 21-Year Burning Man Photo Album. Richmond, CA: Dragon Fotografix, 2012.

Priestley, Joanna. Burning Man Eyes Open. Self-Published: 2016.

Priestley, Joanna. Children of Chaos @ Burning Man. Self-Published: 2017.

Raiser, Jennifer. Burning Man: Art on Fire. New York, NY: Race Point Publishing, 2014.

Roberts, Adrian, ed. Burning Man Live: 13 years of Piss Clear, Black Rock City's Alternative Newspaper. San Francisco, CA: RE/Search Publications, 2009.

Sensation: A Trip to Burning Man. Directed by Laurent Le Gall. San Rafael, CA: Free Run Pictures, 2003. DVD.

Spark: A Burning Man Story. Directed by Steven Brown & Jessie Deeter. Woodside, CA: Spark Pictures, 2014. DVD.

Spinelli, Frank. Burning Man: Into a 21st Century Utopia. Littlehorn Press: 2014.

Substance TV. Produced by Mike Wilson. Austin, TX: SubstanceTV Inc., 2002. DVD.

The Burning Man Festival. Directed by Joe Winston. Chicago, IL: Ow Myeye Productions, 2001. DVD.

The Burning Man Project: Renewal Cut. Directed by Bill Breithaupt. Novato, CA: s. i., 2000. DVD.

Traub, Barbara. Desert to Dream: A Decade of Burning Man Photography. San Francisco, CA: Immedium, 2006.

Uchronia Community. Uchronia Community: Message Out of the Future. Belgium: Uchronia Community, 2006.

Wieners, Brad, ed. Burning Man. San Francisco CA: Distributed to the trade by Publishers Group West, 1997.

Container Listing:

  • CAE Box 82

    • Folder 1 1 2014
    • Folder 2 2004
    • Folder 3 2005
    • Folder 4 2007
    • Folder 5 2008
    • Folder 6 2009
    • Folder 7 2010
    • Folder 8 2011
    • Folder 9 2012

Additional Materials

    CAE Box 77 Small Objects

    • 1#3 Flaming Lotus Girls (3), Button, undated
    • 1#4 Flaming Lotus Girls (4), Metal Necklace, undated
    • 1#12 Ambient Drummers, Necklace, undated
    • 1#13 Black Rock City Dept of Emergency Services, Bracelet, undated
    • 1#14 Burning Man, Earrings, undated
    • 1#15 Burning Man, Necklace, undated
    • 1#16 Burning Man Clay Heart, Necklace, undated
    • 1#17 Burning Man Rainbow Heart, Necklace, undated
    • 1#18 Burning Man Wood Logo, Pendant, undated
    • 1#19 Create Venerate Hydrate, Snap Bracelet, undated
    • 1#20 Cultural Collaborator, Bracelet, undated
    • 1#21 This is my BURN!, Button, undated
    • 2#5 Burning Man Vault of Heaven, Matchbook, 2004
    • 3#2 Psyche 2005, Necklace, 2005
    • 4#5 Green People, Matchbook, 2007
    • 6#9 Burning Man Yellow Logo, Plastic Pendant, 2009
    • 6#10 Missing Link, Button, 2009
    • 7#9 Kidsville, Medallion, 2010
    • 8#2 Burning Man 2011, Earring (missing one), 2011
    • 10#9 Flaming Lotus Girls Xylophage (4), Pink Metal Necklace, 2013
    • 10#15 A Fan of Burning Man, Button, 2013
    • 10#16 Burning Man 2013, Earrings Set, 2013
    • 10#17 Burning Man 2013, Necklace, 2013
    • 10#18 Burning Man 2013, Pin, 2013
    • 10#19 Burning Man, Metal Necklace, 2013
    • 10#20 Burning Woman, Pin, 2013
    • 10#21 Burning Man and Woman, Clay Pendant Set, 2013

    CAE Box 155 Small Objects

    • 4#4a Kidsville ID Band (1), Bracelet, 2007

    CAE Box 188 Objects

    • 1#22 Burning Man, Key Chain, undated
    • 1#23 United Porta Potty, Toy, undated
    • 4#4b Kidsville ID Band (2), Bracelet, 2007
    • 4#4c Kidsville ID Band (3), Bracelet, 2007
    • 6#11 Evolve ‘09, Pendant, 2009
    • 6#12 Evolution 2009, Drink Koozie, 2009
    • 7#10 Early Arrival Entry Band, Bracelet, 2010

    CAE Flat File F15 Oversized Items

    • 2#3 Vault of Heaven, Foldout City Guide and Map, 2004
    • 4#3 The Green Man, Foldout City Guide and Map, 2007
    • 5#4 American Dream, Foldout City Guide and Map, 2008
    • 6#4 Evolution, Foldout City Guide and Map, 2009
    • 7#4 Metro, Foldout City Guide and Map, 2010
    • 9#2 Fertility 2.0, Foldout City Guide and Map, 2012
    • 10#4 Cargo Cult, Foldout City Guide and Map, 2013
    • 11#4 Caravansary, Foldout City Guide and Map, 2014