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“Bay Lights” Set to Dazzle Again on Labor Day Weekend 2023?

After almost two months of going dark, the “Bay Lights” have raised $7.5M. Only a “few” million to go and the lights are back on?
By - posted 4/26/2023 No Comment

Thanks to The SF Standard for sharing the good news that the “Bay Lights” might be returning soon with $7.5 million raised out of $11 million fundraising goal.

Back in March, the “Bay Lights” went dark after 10 years as part of a planned shutdown to repair it and make it brighter to hopefully have a big and bright return on Labor Day Weekend 2023.

The non-profit Illuminate, led the $11 million fundraising and has planned to turn the lights back on in 6 months with double the LED (nearly 50,000) if goal is achieved. It wasn’t looking well when the fundraiser started but now, they’re happy to announce that $7.2 million has been raised in major pledges and $360,000 from crowdfunding.

“I have absolute confidence that it’s going to happen. I don’t think it’s a matter of ‘if.’ It’s just a matter of ‘when.’”  – Ben Davis, Illuminate Founder

The Bay Lights turned on for a little while just a week after its planned shutdown due to a glitch. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the 1.8 mile long LED light sculpture is “so broken that even the off switch doesn’t work.”

The Bay Lights Fundraiser

Widely considered one of the world’s great public art projects, The Bay Lights’ current system of LEDs is failing at a rate faster than can be repaired. They must be replaced with a new system that is custom engineered to perform in the harsh environmental conditions of San Francisco Bay. On March 5th, on the 10th anniversary of its initial Grand Lighting, the artwork will go dark. 

Donate to the cause – As of 4/26/23, $363.6K has been raised via crowdfunding.

In total, $11M is needed for their return. We are raising ten $1M gifts from major philanthropists. This crowdfunding campaign seeks to raise $1M in smaller gifts, allowing everyone to participate. 

The good news: with your help, The Bay Lights by artist Leo Villareal will return more magically than ever. The number of programmable LEDs will double to nearly 50,000, making the artwork visible to communities around the Bay. And for the first time, we seek to have the lights be safely visible to drivers on the Bay Bridge, creating a world-class nighttime public art portal into San Francisco.

The San Francisco-based art nonprofit Illuminate is leading this effort. Please join us in helping return this public art masterpiece. Your gift of any size will help. We will do this collectively, one dollar, one hundred dollars, or $1M at a time.

Read more on The SF Standard.


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