About Us

By dedicating a light in honor of a friend, family member, special occasion, in memoriam, or simply as a way to connect to art history, you are joining ILLUMINATE’s movement of awe and wonder. Your tax-deductible donation will help us create new and inspiring works of radically accessible public art. And your dedication, like The Bay Lights, will become a permanent fixture of the Bay Bridge, shining for years to come. For more information about future projects, our mission and partners, go to illuminate.org

ILLUMINATE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that aims to alter the arc of human history through the creation of transformational works of public art. Our mission is to produce contemporary art with civic impact, social activation and global reach to stimulate a culture of generosity and collaboration.

ILLUMINATE’s flagship project is The Bay Lights, one of the largest pieces of public art in history. Conceived and permitted as a two-year installation, the original artwork shone nightly from the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge from March 5, 2013, to March 5, 2015.

The artwork, created by internationally renowned artist Leo Villareal, became a global sensation. It was deeply beloved and witnessed by 50 million Bay Area residents and visitors, with a billion more experiencing it in the media and online.

ILLUMINATE successfully led the effort to have The Bay Lights return as a permanent installation. Thanks to the generous support of our community and successful negotiations with state and local officials, on January 30, 2016, The Bay Lights will return with all new and more durable hardware, this time as a permanent fixture of The Bay Bridge.

During 2016, ILLUMINATE will announce the recipients of it’s 2016 Annual Luminary Awards, honoring 8 people who have courageously inspired us to see the world and it’s possibilities in new ways.

Original Donors

The original donors shared thousands of messages for The Gift of Light as part of The Bay Lights original two-year run.

Frequently Asked Questions

Read our frequently asked questions for help with personalized lights and donations.