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Remembering Dennis Zografos; Community Grief Resources

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Remembering Dennis Zografos

It is with heavy hearts we share that long-time participant, Art Cluster Lead, and Firefly Board member Dennis Zografos passed away at the age of 35 on August 4th 2023, at his home, after struggling for the past three years with an epilepsy diagnosis.

A member of the Firefly community for more than a decade, Dennis created VJ, projection, and LED art at Firefly and beyond, founded theme camp Virtuality, and grew dedicated to the growth and management of Firefly’s art grant process, which quadrupled in budget during his time overseeing Art Grants.  He became Art Cluster Lead in 2016, supervising and organizing all of Firefly’s formal art activities, and joined the Board of Directors in 2021.

Over the past two years Dennis was enthusiastic about instigating and supporting plans for Firefly’s continued growth and maturity, including being instrumental to the creation this year of Nuthatch Collective to provide sustainable stewardship to part of the land that Firefly occupies for our yearly event.

We will miss his energy and commitment to building upon what our community has created over the past 20 years, and seek to follow through with our collaborative plans in his memory.

A full obituary can be found here, and his family will announce a Celebration of Life at a later date.

Community Grief Resources

Our community has seen more than its share of pain this year: Dennis Zografos this last week, Ian Denhardt’s untimely passing on Burn Night, early art grant leader and former board member Sean Stevens’ ongoing battle with cancer, the loss of Rocio “Rossy” Elliott (Ranger Penguin) earlier this year, and other public and private challenges and sorrows. 

As we continue to come together to support each other, here are some additional tools and resources organized for us by Burning Man Project:

  • Grief Resources Starter Page – An index of online and phone resources for immediate assistance in a crisis, professional and peer support groups, and resources on how to understand, navigate, and cope with grief and loss.
  • Grief Counseling Resource Guide – A handbook by the New York State Office of Mental Health developed as a guide for both individuals who are grieving as well others who wish to help.

If you are feeling personal trauma from these, or other, community or personal events, you are not alone.  Please reach out to the resources in these guide documents, as well as to our community and friends.  We will share more information about community support gatherings as it becomes available.

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