Category Archives: Art

Illuminate has crossed the funding threshold it needed to actually kick off the project of bringing the Bay Lights back to San Francisco, as Heather Knight writes for the New York Times. The upgraded lights will be visible not just from San Francisco but also in Oakland, Treasure Island, Berkeley… all across the Bay. It’s felt like the lights have been the lumen-physical embodiment of San Francisco’s struggles: sparkling and inspiring at the start, then facing troubles, a trough of darkness, and now hope for something better sparked and on the horizon.

I’d love to get as many citizens and addresses in San Francisco as donors, however small, to round out the last bit of the funding, so that as many people as possible can feel the ownership and pride of making the city better. Back in January when I promoted this last it was on a terrible platform, it’s now been re-done by the GiveWP team to be totally native WordPress and a slick donation experience, easy to do on mobile and with Apple Pay. (Major kudos to Devin Walker there!) Please share the link to your friends, especially ones that see the bridge from their home, for $10 it’s the cheapest pro-social dopamine boost you can have every time you look at the bridge.

Bookend Gifts

The news came out this weekend on Mercury News and the Chronicle, so it’s worth addressing here: The Bay Lights, a public art project that uses San Francisco’s Bay Bridge as its canvas, is a project I’ve supported since I first heard of it and the idea captured my imagination. I was happy to make the first monetary donation when the project got started, and as of last week I was able to make a closing bookend donation for the remaining amount they needed, a bit above $1.5M. It was an honor to chip in along with the thousands of other supporters who have already donated to make the project a reality.

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. — Pablo Picasso

My hope is that over the next few years, and perhaps beyond that, the lights brighten people’s experience of San Francisco whether they see them every night or they’re one of the 16 million that visit the city every year. Hopefully that effect, however small, spreads to their other interactions long after the lights are off and the sun comes up. There are countless good causes around the world, some which I support regularly are listed on my about page, and I hope to have the opportunity to support many more in the future, but this close-to-home gift to a city that has given me so much seemed like the right thing right now.

If you haven’t seen them yet, here are the lights in action, more on the tech fixes happening to the lights on TBL, and photos I took climbing the bridge a few months ago: