From Burning Man with Love. Burning Man, 2017, Black Rock City, Nevada
Walking through the doors at Media Mecca in Black Rock City is always a real treat for me. Aside from that group of amazing people who are so helpful and supportive of this project and so many others, I’m always guaranteed to meet some truly fascinating and wonderful people. One such chance meeting was with Jonathan Greenberg. It was a windy and dusty day on the Playa at BRC so the shelter of Media Mecca’s structure was a welcome break for everything from my cameras to my lungs. I sat down near some other photographers and writers and was greeted with a smile, handshake, and introduction from Jonathan. He asked me what my project was all about and we started down an inspiring road of sharing thoughts and ideas on journalism, art, human nature, and of course, Black Rock City, our home away from home. After some fantastic conversation, he asked if he could interview me about the project, my gift to the playa. I thought, “wait, that’s what I do…I’m the one who interviews and photographs people! What do I do with this table turning gesture of kindness?” Next thing I knew I was standing in front of the camera and talking about the Caravan of Souls and the portrait project. I’d say we became instant friends and we stay connected to this day.
What I didn’t know about this guy that I got a great vibe from, in a dusty tent 120 miles Northeast of Reno, at this crazy, magical place place called Burning Man was that Jonathan Greenberg is one of the most accomplished good guys I’ve met in my years of travels. He was so humble, I didn’t initially realize how impactful his work was and what he was bringing to the world.
Jonathan’s nearly 40 year career as an award winning journalist, media executive, and professional media entrepreneur has spanned the width of the country and several industries from his 1996 web 1.0 startup, Gist Communications, through his current endeavor to create a better world by “Informing to Empower”, the name of his new media platform and the non-profit organization he founded in 2015 which publishes both the Sonoma Independent and Maui Independent.
As a graduate from New York City’s Stuyvesant High School, he continued his education earning a Bachelors of Arts in rhetoric and literature from the State University of New York at Binghamton and a Masters in Law degree from Yale Law School.
From the dust to the “default world” as Burners Call it, Jonathan is a guy with a mission to make a difference. I’ll raise a glass and cheers to that.
If you'd like to learn more about this great and humble human, here are some links to his work.