Proposal - Ten Principles for The Sideshow

Please read the following and leave your thoughts in the comments. This is a proposal for the adoption of principles which would guide the participants of The Sideshow. It is adopted and modified from similar principles used at participatory art events around the world, including the Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, Nevada. While already doing most of these things actively, it answers some of the questions we get as to why we do what we do.

Ten Principles for The Sideshow

Radical Inclusion
Anyone may be a part of The Sideshow. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.

The Sideshow is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting is mutually consensual, and does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value. We encourage all to share their gifts of creativity, and give from the heart.

In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

Radical Self-reliance
The Sideshow encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.

Radical Self-expression
Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.

Communal Effort
Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction. We encourage all participants to involve others in the creation of their art, space, and music, and to involve themselves in the creations of others!

Civic Responsibility
We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state, federal, and international laws.

Leaving No Trace
Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.

Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.

Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.

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