Thursday, May 8, 2014

Memorial Lanterns: invitation to participate

UPDATE: Deadline to send in your memories EXTENDED through Sunday, May 25th!

On the last day of May, paper lanterns will be appearing in trees in Golden Gate Park, one of the most beautiful public spaces in San Francisco. These lanterns are a little bit special: they'll be made from memories. Every glowing light among the leaves will be the story of a moment of joy someone shared with a loved one who has since passed on.

I would like to invite you to add your words to our illuminated forest. If you have a memory of a moment you shared with a loved one that still lights you up inside, I would love to make it literally luminous by turning it into a lantern.

The How: Sending in your memory for lantern-ing is simple. You can write about a single memory of a moment of joy with someone you've lost, or multiple moments, or go wild with the concept and write whatever the heck feels like it matters. Use a quote from someone else if it fits your feelings better. It can be a friend, family, a partner, anyone who mattered to you, a recent loss or one from long ago. All that matters for this project is that you shared a moment with them that still glows inside you somewhere.

Send your words via email to That's it! You can also send a picture (jpeg files only, please) and and a name and dates too if that feels important to you.

(If you'd like a visual on what the lanterns will look like, they'll be something like this.)

The When & Where:
Send in your words by May 20th, 2014. The lanterns will be hung the evening of May 31st, 2014 in a spot in Golden Gate Park to be disclosed closer to the actual date. Everyone who sends a memory will receive an email with the exact location.

We will be attempting to take photos worthy of your memories to create a virtual version of the illuminated grove of lanterns as well for anyone who can't actually be there in person.

The Who:
Memorial Lanterns is the May event for The Museum of Joy, a San Francisco-based arts organization that creates monthly art "happenings" to foster and celebrate joyous experience in public space.

The Why:
Because the moments of joy we share give us something to hang on to when we're in pain. Because our cities can always use a few more reminders of what makes us human. Because the people we love illuminate the dark times in our lives. Because we all need lights in the dark sometimes.

Please feel free to get in touch with any questions, and share the info with anyone you feel might like to participate. All are welcome. The more lanterns, the better.

with thanks & love,

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