The Alterverse is a family-friendly and free December-long Celebration of Poetry & Light centered in the heart of Golden Gate Park. Its purpose is to foment a culture shift, whereby the people of San Francisco transform their city every December with themes of poetry and light. This is our first year. No matter where you live, we welcome you to be part of it.

The Alterverse is the brainchild of Illuminate, the SF-based arts nonprofit behind many of San Francisco’s most beloved and iconic monumental works of public art.

Illuminate is working in partnership with San Francisco Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin who has assembled a curatorial crew of poets from around the bay to help populate The Alterverse with live readings throughout the month. Meet the curators and poets.

We are collaborating with an abundant set of partners, including the SF Public Library and Friends of the SF Public Library, The SF Recreation and Park Department and the SF Parks Alliance, the California Academy of Sciences and the de Young Museum, The Museum of the African Diaspora and the National AIDS Memorial Grove.

The Alterverse exists within the context of the Winter Lights event in Golden Gate Park, which offers a free, safe, and family-friendly afterdark experience. Starting with the lighted McLaren Tree by the McLaren Lodge, park visitors will be able to walk along JFK Drive, which is closed to cars, and explore a series of illuminated installations. This includes Entwined by Charles Gadikin in Peacock Meadow, Photosynthesis by Illuminate on the Conservatory of Flowers, special ambient lighting among trees and ferns by the SF Park Alliance, and the activation of the Music Concourse, including many evenings of live readings and musical performances in the newly revived Golden Gate Bandshell. See the listing of events here.

The Alterverse is made possible through the culture of generosity and is entirely funded through private philanthropy.