Castro Light Installation Honoring Harvey Milk Set For Next Month

To mark the 40th anniversary of Harvey Milk's election to the Board of Supervisors—making him California's first openly gay elected official—Illuminate The Arts and Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza will unveil two light displays honoring the LGBT icon next month.

The public art installation coincides with the ongoing redesign of Harvey Milk Plaza, which recently announced the final three designs for the space.

Former Bank of America building, now Soulcycle. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

Above the former Bank of America Building, now a Soulcycle, "Harvey's Halo" will light up the night's sky as a "colorful beacon of equality above into the sky above Harvey Milk Plaza," Illuminate wrote.

"Harvey's Halo" is a temporary installation that will be visible for seven nights over two weekends. The 15 colored beams, each powered by 350 watts, a will be visible all the way down Market Street to the Ferry Building.

Hope Will Never Be Silent. | Image: Illuminate

A neon lights display called "Hope Will Never Be Silent" will immortalize Harvey Milk's words on the facade of Soulcycle, where the Bank of America sign once was. This neon sign will serve as a permanent greeting to all those that call Castro home.

"The art is designed to honor the life and legacy of Harvey Milk through light’s power of attraction," Illuminate founder and CEO Ben Davis told the Chronicle.

Aftermath from White Night Riots on May 21, 1979. | Photo: Max Kirkeberg/SFSU

 "Harvey Milk Plaza is sacred ground for the LGBT civil rights movement, and people come from all over the world to make a pilgrimage," Andrea Aiello, the president of Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza, told the Chron.

"The public art that Ben [Davis] has created will show to the city what is possible for this sacred space," she added. 

Illuminate and Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza are also seeking donations to help cover the cost of installing the two pieces of public art. As of press time, the campaign has raised about half of its $60,000 goal.

The dedication and celebration event will take place on November 8th at 6pm in Harvey Milk Plaza.


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