Matt Mullenweg Donates $1.5 Million To Bay Lights Project

WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg has stepped up and donated the remaining 1.5 million dollars to the Bay Lights project in San Francisco, California. Talk about generosity! Thanks to his donation, the project will be able to go through with its planned 2-year run. Now I have one more reason to view the bridge when I attend WordCamp San Francisco.

View of the Bay Lights in action

9 responses to “Matt Mullenweg Donates $1.5 Million To Bay Lights Project”

  1. Ted Clayton says:

    It appears that Bay Lights is one of those people who can’t say ‘Good Morning!’, or get a hot cup o’ Starbucks … if you tie their hands behind their back.

    ‘Prefer’ videa, sure. ‘Recommend’ video, fine. ‘Default’ to the flick, okay. Break without the video? Fail flat on their face, without the moving pitchers?

    Bummer … but that does appear to be the deal.


  2. Mkhuda says:

    Wow.. its great Matt ! I like wordpress and Matt so much much.. :)


  3. Ted Clayton says:

    @Ted Clayton
    Ah – Wikipedia has an entry for The Bay Lights, for those who need words:

    The Bay Lights is a site-specific monumental light sculpture and art installation on the San Francisco Bay Bridge designed to commemorate the 75th anniversary of its opening. The installation by light artist Leo Villareal will include 25,000 individual white LEDs along 1.8 miles (2.9 km) of the cables on the north side of the suspension span of the bridge between Yerba Buena Island and San Francisco. The installation will be controlled via a computer and will display changing patterns that are not meant to repeat. The opening ceremony was held on March 5, 2013.

    I have seen this on the news. That’s right; it’s a public art piece. In Russia, the strobing light-array would be aimed at the drivers on the bridge, and all vehicles crossing the span would be required to have “dash-cams” installed, to record theirs & others (mis)adventures in traffic.

    (Dash-cams captured about 2 dozen different views of the action, when the asteroid streaked in & exploded over their rather small city.)

    San Fransisco is more-redeemable city-wise than most. I lived there for several years, stationed at various navy bases. The weather gives it a rare familiarity, since I am from the hardcore maritime temperate rainforest, further north. (Forks, actually. Vampires & werewolves are the least of it.)

    I learned to body-surf at Stinson Beach … finally getting good enough to be pile-driven to the bottom & tumbled in the wash-cycle for it seemed 100 yards. The beach kept my Timex, but I was allow to retrieve my swimming trunks from around my ankles.


  4. Flick says:

    I had to LOL @Ted Clayton‘s last comment… agree with Jeffro’s question re: budding author (or best-selling author) ;)


  5. Jeffro says:

    @Ted Clayton – That’s cool that you lived in San Francisco for awhile. Any food recommendations you can pass along?


  6. Ted Clayton says:


    Any [San Francisco] food recommendations you can pass along?

    Seafood is an old & important theme of “The City on the Bay”. San Francisco is perched on craggy terrain, inhospitable to agriculture. It turned to the sea, early, and its cultural milieu is still heavily oriented toward the maritime, and fishing.

    This is just a quick ‘general’ response, but of course the main thing is going to be, ‘How should attendees at next months 10th Anniversary WordCamp try to work in a suitable & memorable culinary experience, while at this historic convention’?

    Well, though fishing no longer plays a dominant role in the economy of the city, the fisheries & docks & waterfronts remain near & dear to the heart & soul of this place. Just earlier this year, I saw a flap there over a development that would displace older, lower-key traditional/cultural situations & activities, along a waterfront. People were getting a little hot, that casual & popular uses of the old-style maritime scene are giving way.

    There is a lively sport fishing charter industry, and there are small-time commercial fishers going out into the fog, and returning with the catch-o’-the-day.

    Look at the lead image on Wikipedia’s entry for The Bay Lights. In the foreground of this image of The Bay Lights at night, are the stumps of old wooden dock-pilings. Very much the roots of modern San Francisco, and it looks like a conscious decision of the photographer, to include them.


  7. Harry says:

    Shame that this money goes to a local vanity project.

    Matt could also have replaced over 200,000 toxic kerosene lights by solar-powered LED lights for the same money, saving people in developing countries millions per year and prevent diseases and deaths and promoting education.
    If he or anybody else is interested, they can contact me.


  8. Ted Clayton says:


    Charities etc are always in competition among themselves for a bigger piece of the available dollar. Or to put it another way, anyone can quickly find good causes for all the available funding … and urgently solicit for more.

    It kinda goes with the territory, that one person’s priority is another’s indulgence. Lung cancer addresses a much larger problem, but breast cancer is a very popular cause.

    There isn’t any percentage, in a charitable entity sniping at what another receives.

    Don’t miss The Anointing of Jesus, for a 2,000 year old version of this very lament, straight out of the Classics. (Admiring women pours year’s wage worth of precious oil on Jesus’ feet, to which critics object that the money could have gone to the poor, etc. Sound familiar?)

    This is the Tenth Anniversary of WordPress. San Francisco is an important business & cultural center for it. This is the city near Silicon Valley. Sniff if you like, but the world is what the world is.

    The beloved Golden Gate Bridge is a profound tourism-draw, but it’s been hard to get a bigger slice of the attention shifted to The Bay Bridge (where the lights are). This is also a very picturesque structure, and in time will also be something people will go out of their way merely to ‘experience’. That’s a big part of what the lights are about.

    Public art does attract controversy, but that’s probably more a feature, than a bug.

    The expenses that this contribution defrays will come due incrementally over the next 2 years, and this can play out in favor of the contributor’s resources.

    In terms of public relations and the intangibles of the WordPress brand, The Bay Lights funding is a wise move, and will only improve over the life of the project.


  9. @Harry – artworks are often bought as mere commodities for a lot more than 1.5 million and then stowed away in a private collection!

    Personally, I think addressing world poverty is something that must be done on a Governmental level.



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