The Green Light Project was started by the Yale Humanist Community, a 501(c)(3) that provides connection for the non-religious at Yale University and the Greater New Haven Community, grounded in ethics and respectfully bridging philosophical divides through understanding. This initiative to create a light-based art installation is a gift to all people, seasonally displayed on the Green in the heart of the Greater New Haven area. Symbolizing “people united by values rather than divided by beliefs,” the hope and beauty of the human spirit is captured in this sculpture that complements the Christmas tree, menorah, and manger scene, which adorn the New Haven Green annually. During the coldest and darkest season of the year, this piece of public art will go up annually to celebrate our ability as human beings to come together and create light and warmth, and share a message of unity across lines of difference.
This project is being created for the community and by the community. If you’d like to support the costs of displaying the sculpture each year, refurbishing it as the years go by and opening the time capsule in 2135, please consider making a donation below:
About The Sculpture
After a lengthy process, open to all interested artists whose designs and approaches were thoughtfully considered, Edwin “Ted” Salmon was chosen to create the Green Light Project sculpture. Mr. Salmon is a metallurgical sculptor with a fabrication studio in East Haven, CT. His work graces the Marriott Hotel in downtown Brooklyn, NY, is on permanent display at the Ellison Center for the Arts in Duxbury, MA and is available at Green Gallery in Guilford, CT.
The sculpture is a galvanized steel, aluminum and poly-material obelisk with nine sides representing the original nine squares of the New Haven Colony. It stands 12 feet high and is reminiscent of a lighthouse, which represents the strong tie across the Greater New Haven community to the shoreline. The panels of the obelisk showcase engraved images of the natural, architectural and humanity aspects of our community. The sculpture currently splashes light as if a universe is evolving. The future goal is to make the light interactive where it will glow warmer as more people gather around it.
The Time Capsule
Did you know a time capsule was uprooted from the New Haven Green when the Lincoln Tree was blown over by Superstorm Sandy in 2012? The Green Light Project brings a time capsule back to the Green. This time capsule includes messages of goodwill and reflections on what is best about community. The messages come from you and other members of our local to global community.
The time capsule is intended to be opened in 2135 in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the founding of the New Haven Colony.
The New Haven Green is a focal point for the entire Greater New Haven area. A gathering space for major events including the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, public entertainment, the annual Jazz Festival, political rallies, and more. It has been the go-to destination for centuries to the immediate surrounding towns of Bethany, Branford, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Milford, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, West Haven, Woodbridge, and beyond. We have worked closely with the City of New Haven and the Committee of the Proprietors of the Common and Undivided Lands in New Haven, and this universal sculpture, whose light will touch people of all faiths and philosophies equally, will be displayed on the New Haven Green during the winter months.
Greater New Haven has more than 500,000 permanent residents, 40,000 college students and 2.8 million visitors per year.
We accomplished raising the funds needed for the steel, aluminum and poly-material sculpture. Making it interactive with motion sensors and lights that change when more and more people gather around it will increase the cost by an additional $15,000. Getting the word out to everyone in the community so that all may have the opportunity to enjoy this community initiative, participating in more than 30 community-wide events and festivals celebrating community and art, covering necessities such as transportation, insurance, installation, time capsule message archiving, and initial funding of a small endowment to cover annual display expenses and storage brings the total budget to $103,500.
Please click on one of the donate buttons on this website and make a financial contribution to this very special project. Thank you.
We hope you enjoyed one or all of these celebrations and all the GLP events:
Artist Talk – New Haven Museum
Westville – Artwalk
Celebrate the Hill
Celebrate Our Fair Haven
Celebrate Our Dixwell
International Festival of Arts & Ideas
Savin Rock Festival
Art As Social Justice and Gallery Showing
This project was made possible in part by a grant from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.
We also gratefully acknowledge the following volunteers and contributors of goods, services, and ideas, and all those who are helping to make this endeavor a success!
101 Art Threads
The Arts Council of Greater
Breakfast Lunch and Dinner
The Connecticut Coalition
Committee of the Proprie-
tors of the Common and
Undivided Lands in New
The Devil’s Gear Bike Shop
Professor Drew Days
Carlos de la Torre
Elm City Games
Elm City Vineyard Church
Melissa Gonzales and
Greater New Haven Saint
Patrick’s Day Parade
Kathleen and Mitchell Green
The Happiness Lab at The Grove
Hartford Area Humanists
Humanist Association of
Humanists and Freethinkers of
International Festival of Arts
Kari Henkelmann Keyl
John Lago, III
Long Wharf Theatre
The Mark Twain House and
New Haven Department of
Parks, Recreation and
New Haven Museum
Edwin “Ted” Salmon
Richard and Carol Siddall
Rabbi Steven Steinberg
Under 91 Project
United Church on the Green
Museum of Art
Yale University Chaplain’s
…and many others!
There are several opportunities for philanthropists, corporations and other major sponsors to fulfill community relations goals by supporting this project. Acknowledgement plaques of major donors will be incorporated into the obelisk, and event sponsors will be given recognition including through media releases, signage and during presentations.
When the Green Light Project was just beginning,
here’s what people were saying…
“The group is also planning to launch a campaign to erect a sculpture celebrating human values during next year’s holiday season.”
“There’s a push in New Haven to light more than the tree on the Green. The Yale Humanist Community kicked off the Green Light Project last night. The group is encouraging people to celebrate the joy of the season even if they aren’t religious. They are working to create an art project to add to the Green to show that people can come together.”
YHC is spear-heading this community-wide initiative in collaboration with the many people and organizations you have read about on this website. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all donations toward the Green Light Project are used for that endeavor. To see how those funds are used, please refer to the budget section above. All funds remaining will go toward the endowment to cover the annual costs of assembling the obelisk each winter season, taking it down at the end of the season, transporting it, storing it, and the on-going insurance and maintenance costs.
Public art feeds our spirit, and donations feed public art!