Rotary Club of Fisherman's Wharf

San Francisco

Founder/CEO of Illuminate Shares His Vision

Posted on Oct 01, 2017

Our speaker Sept. 28 was Ben Davis, founder and CEO of Illuminate, who shared his vision to transform San Francisco into the “city of awe.” Illuminate's mission is to rally large groups of people together to create impossible works of public art that, through awe, free humanity's better nature. The Bay Bridge Lights were created by Illuminate.

Ben said the "summer of love" project at the Conservatory of Flowers turned the ornate white building in Golden Gate Park into a nighttime canvas of light.  More than 20,000 visitors came at night, and many returned during the day, boosting public awareness of the Conservatory.

The Harvey Milk project, at the corner of Castro and Market, will feature rainbow lights and a neon sign with a Harvey Milk quote: "Hope will never be silent.” “Harvey’s Halo” will open November 8th on the 40th anniversary of Milk's historic election.    

Illuminate’s“Lightrail” will beam lights above the heads of pedestrians along Market Street. Another project will beam lights under people's feet at BART stations.

Ben, who biked from his home in Glenn Park to our Rotary meeting, said he sees the Sutro Tower on his daily morning run. He has proposed creating a light rendering of artwork inspired by Keith Haring's pink triangle, “Silence Equals Death” to hang from Sutro Tower. His talk was punctuated by several short and beautiful videos of the proposed art projects.