Introducing the Temple of Tranquility

The Temple of Tranquility project is a community-driven response to the collective traumas and grief experienced throughout the Boulder community following the tragic events and aftermath of March, 22 2021, the Covid-19 pandemic, the Marshall Fire, and associated challenges of the last several years. The Temple serves as a non-denominational space for contemplation and reverence. This setting for participatory experience is designed to foster community healing, personal expression, catharsis and new beginnings.

Members of our advisory committee, and many among our volunteer corps have experienced how the power of civic artistic creation, most notably in Burning Man’s annual temple project, can help the community express and process trauma, loss, grief and forgiveness. Our team strongly feels the call to share this healing experience and opportunity for renewal with the Boulder community.

Temple of Tranquility Objectives

Our community’s Temple project involves five core principles:

  1. A structural safe-haven and sanctuary experience which are free to the public and easily accessible for planned visits or serendipitous discovery.
  2. Collaborative participation in the creation of the ephemeral Temple structure and artistic elements. This project is inspired by Burning Man and guided by experienced members of the Burning Man community with decades of combined experience in community building and art project management.
  1. A broadly inclusive experience of the completed Temple as a fully participatory space. There is no “audience” for this project. Rather, we invite participants to leave written thoughts, inspiration, mementos, photos, or art that reflects what they wish to express.
  1. The release of the Temple in a publicly witnessed event through a ceremonial closing event and disassembly. The symbolic destruction of pain and trauma is a cathartic step for healing and renewal. The destruction of a piece of art that’s collectively created over many months’ time reminds us of impermanence, and the importance of being present with one another in this moment.
  1. The Temple project emphasizes public safety as paramount from build effort to public access to Leave-No-Trace site restoration.

Similar Projects in Other Communities

(The Temple of tranquility will not include fire)

Advisory Committee

  • Caroline Kert — Regional Contact to Burning Man for Boulder, member of the Boulder Arts Commission, Principal Attorney at Art.Biz.Life (Boulder). Responsible for permitting and acting as a liaison to the City of Boulder.
  • Rachel Cain — Regional Contact to Burning Man for Denver (Denver), long-standing arts professional in the Denver area. Provides general project management to the Temple project.
  • Lawrence Phipps — Co-Founder of Apogaea, Colorado’s regional burn event, Creative Director of the Fantastic Hosts, principal strategic marketing consultant at Centriciti.
  • Steve Maruska — Regional Contact to Burning Man for Southeastern Colorado, former Chair of the Castle Rock Arts Commission (Castle Rock)
  • Laurence Renzo Verbeck — Principal of Verbeck Design Studios Inc, Architect for the 2020-2022 Empyrean Temple at Burning Man’s Black Rock City (Boulder), Architect of the Temple of Tranquility for Boulder.
  • Danielle Farley — Apogaea and Art in Community, Inc. Board Member. Fundraising lead for the Temple of Tranquility. (Louisville)
  • Andrew Brislin — Boulder artist, filmmaker, projection artist, and designer. Design and media support for the Temple of Tranquility. (Boulder)
  • Julieanna Donley — Freelance Photographer, Leave No Trace Coordinator for Boulder Burning Man Decompression, Administration and Volunteer Coordinating experience with various Medieval Combat groups, Volunteer Coordinator for this Temple project (Westminster)
  • Lauren Pass Erickson — Somatic trauma therapist in private practice, and board member of Art in Community Inc. Mental Health Program Coordinator, Coordinating and organizing calendar of local trauma-informed, expressive arts therapeutic programming to be offered to the public in conjunction with the Temple of Tranquility. (Boulder)