“One of Golden Gate Park’s oldest structures received a meaningful update this week. It now carries a new message, but one that’s actually as old as the band shell itself.
Hundreds of people gathered at the park’s Music Concourse on Wednesday, Dec. 1, to watch the unveiling of the installation “Lift Every Voice” by the nonprofit Illuminate the Arts. The 4-foot, 3-inch high bronze-coated letters were illuminated atop the 120-year-old Spreckels Temple of Music as Bay Area musicians — vocalist Martin Luther McCoy and the Robin Hodge-Williams & Friends Gospel Choir — performed a song by the same name against the backdrop of a gradient sky.
The light installation, which will be in place for two years, is a nod to the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” written by civil rights activist James Weldon Johnson. In May, Mayor London Breed proposed “Lift Every Voice” to accompany another piece — “Monumental Reckoning” by Oakland artist Dana King, which was unveiled in June — at Golden Gate Park to honor Black lives and African American history, and to commemorate Juneteenth. “
Opening Night – The Alterverse
Wednesday, December 1st @ 4:30 – 7:30 pm
Golden Gate Bandshell, Music Concourse
Be there for the Opening Night celebration when James Weldon Johnson’s soaring words “Lift Every Voice” from the Black National Anthem are elevated and illuminated atop the revived Golden Gate Bandshell. Hear sculptor Dana King discuss Monumental Reckoning, her powerful installation which sits directly across the Music Concourse from the Bandshell. Meet SF Poet Laureate Tonge Eisen-Martin as he frames the night and month of poetry ahead. Enjoy live music with SF’s Martin Luther McCoy. Also, see the unveiling of “de Truth,” an exhibition of scrolling poetry lasered across the entire 450-foot façade of the de Young Museum and the public opening of “Circle of Life” in the nearby National AIDS Memorial Grove.
Featured Poets – James Siegel and Greg Pond
Live Music – Martin Luther McCoy and Robin Hodge Williams Ensemble