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Apogaea (meaning "far from Earth") is an annual collaborative outdoor arts and music festival held as a Colorado regional counterpart for the Burning Man event. Typically held in late spring (scheduled for June 7-10 in 2018) in southern Colorado, Apogaea ("Apo"), establishes a temporary autonomous zone where radical self-expression, inclusiveness, and self-reliance are the hallmarks of its participants. Like the Burning Man event, Apogaea includes art installations, performance art, DJ-music, live music, camps, and theme camps. Apogaea has a Creative Grants program that provides financial assistance for artists wanting to create visual art, performances or events, workshops, art vehicles, or theme camps for Apogaea; this grant cycle generally begins in January. In past years, nearly 50% of Apogaea's operating budget was given out as creative grants. In 2009 a second grant cycle (the "Bonus Round") was added to allow projects that didn't need as much time or money to complete to receive grants. As of 2018, Apogaea is one of the most art-centric of North American Regionals with art grants for 2014 totaling $50,000. Theme camps at Apogaea have included the cowboy-themed Dome on the Range, the hillbilly-themed Smokin' Bones BBQ and Blues, the cat-themed Purrfectly Pink Pussie Palace, the Green Screen Project, Hula Hideaway, Xpat Alien and The Lair of the TWRG. Like many Burning Man-inspired events, fire art plays a large part, and includes performance art, such as fire dancing, as well as stationary art that incorporates propane or wood fires. Apogaea typically features a central "effigy" that burns on the Saturday night of the event. However, all fire at Apogaea is subject to local or regional fire bans in dry or dangerous conditions. In 2006 and 2012, Apogaea was under such a ban and had limited propane fire art and no effigy burn. Since moving to its new location in Valdez in 2016, the effigy burn has been limited to propane-fueled ignition of an effigy designed to produce no burning embers. No ember producing fire is allowed at this new site.
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