The Green Light Project was started by the Yale Humanist Community, a 501(c)(3) that works to build community at Yale and beyond, as an initiative to create a light-based art installation that will serve as a gift to the city of New Haven. Symbolizing the hope and beauty of the human spirit, this sculpture will complement the Christmas tree, menorah, and manger scene that adorn the New Haven Green annually, but serve as a nonreligious expression of human potential, representing our shared humanity. 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 the sculpture, 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 will be an aluminum and Plexiglas obelisk with nine sides representing the original nine squares of the New Haven Colony. It will stand 17 feet high and be reminiscent of a lighthouse, which represents the strong tie across the Greater New Haven community to the shoreline. The bottom panels of the obelisk will showcase water-jet words that depict the essence of community. The top panels will display images of the natural, architectural and humanity aspects of our community. This interactive light sculpture 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 will bring a time capsule back to the Green. This time capsule will include messages of goodwill, reflections on what is best about our community and much more. The messages come from you and other members of our local to global community.
What do you love about the Greater New Haven community that you want to be sure is not forgotten? Maybe it’s a particularly beautiful tree or meandering stone wall. Share these thoughts. Share stories of how a neighbor anonymously makes your street nicer with potted plants displayed on the curb or anything that contributes to making our community what it is.
The time capsule will be opened in 2138 in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the founding of the New Haven Colony. When the time capsule opens, messages will be displayed in yet another work of art – a mural. You are invited to include an optional personal identifier such as a birth date so your descendants might recognize your time capsule message.
Your perception of New Haven or community will be inspiring to those who read your words in 2138, including your own descendants! Submit your message right now by clicking the time capsule button below.
To be sure that messages are preserved, the New Haven Museum will archive a digital copy of all messages in the event the physical copies in the time capsule do not survive 122 years of time capsule storage.
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.
The cost of the basic steel and Plexiglas sculpture is $40,000. 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 include a message in the time capsule and 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 all else that completes the project brings the total budget to $103,500.
This remarkable testament to the beauty and connectivity of people, nature and places within the Greater New Haven area will last more than 122 years and effectively cost less than $930 per year to create. Still, we need to find the grand total funding this year.
The Green Light Project successfully launched with a crowdfunding campaign that raised more than $17,000. We have received outright donations and are applying for grants. We are greatly encouraged, but there is a long way to go!
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:
Westville – Artwalk Saturday, May 7, 11a – 4p, Edgewood Park
Celebrate the Hill Saturday, May 28, 1p – 5p, Trowbridge Square Park
Celebrate Our Fair Haven Monday, May 30, 2p – 7p, Columbus Family Academy
Celebrate Our Dixwell Saturday, June 4, 12p – 5p, Scantlebury Park
International Festival of Arts & Ideas – Maker Mania Saturday, June 11, 1p – 5:30p, New Haven Green
Savin Rock Festival Sunday, July 31, 12p – 5p, Savin Rock Park, West Haven
Art As Social Justice and Gallery Showing – October 23, 2016. A panel discussion with seven of Connecticut’s renowned artists.
Humanity Calamity – November 13, 2016. Featuring Treehouse Comedy Productions and the music of Lamont Hiebert.
Area Pastors talk about the Green Light Project
We 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!