San Francisco Neon
historic sign network
Welcome to Neon Speaks 2019! What to expect: neon talks, demos, case studies, restoration tips, shop tours, walking tours, book signings, films, and action items for creating a future where neon survives and thrives…
1–4 PM Friday April 26 2019
Part art exhibit, part science fair. Drop in to see amazing neon artifacts, old signs, and working models presented by a roomful of neon experts. Satisfy your neon curiosity! Details and single event tickets.
6:00–9:30 PM Friday April 26 2019
Join us for the opening reception for Neon Speaks at the historic Verdi Club in San Francisco. This evening will be filled with Bay Area, LA, and Las Vegas neon designers and dare-devils of spectacular neon signs. Followed by
a screening of a documentary film on Polish neon presented by Kate Widdows. Light fare and drinks during reception. Details and single event tickets.
10 AM–3:30 PM Saturday April 27
The Saturday Symposium at the historic and ornate Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. This will be a day-long informal and spirited event presentations and panel discussions, complete with lunch, coffee, and dessert. A rare gathering of hard-working members in the network of the national neon preservation movement.
Bonus: Will Durham will be displaying Reno's famous neon "M" of the Mapes Hotel cowboys, plus other neon signs the he has preserved via the Nevada Neon Project. Have your photo taken with the Mapes cowboys!
Details and single event tickets.
PETERSON NEON, OAKLAND
Timed Tickets Sunday April 28, 2019
with Shawna Peterson and special guests
What does it take to create a work of art fabricated from neon-filled glass tubes? Watch it happen with neon artist/tube-bender deluxe, Shawna Peterson plus special guests. An ongoing afternoon event with timed tickets for an hour-long demo. Details and single event tickets.
4:30-6pm Friday April 26,2019
A special curated tour of the Letterform Archive's stacks for anyone fascinated by the history of lettering and signage. Book early, space is limited. Details and single event tickets.
NEON WORKS, OAKLAND
2-3 PM Tour
Sunday, April 28 ,2019
with Jim Rizzo and Amy Palms
Back by popular demand—if you missed this shop tour last year, here is your second chance! Jim Rizzo of Neon Works in Oakland has been rescuing and restoring Bay Area neon signs for decades and he only opens his shop for tours once in a blue moon. This is your chance to see his vintage neon collection and experience how neon, glass, and fire combine to make glowing art. Jim is a master sign-maker and he's letting us into his 17,000-square-foot workshop to explore the art and craft of neon signs. This tour sold out last year.
Details and single tickets.
7-8 PM Sunday April 28 2019
with Devi L. Dahl, Eric Lynxwiler, Al Barna,
and Randall Ann Homan
Take a twilight walking tour of the beautiful neon signs in the historic city of Alameda . Book early, space is limited. Details and single tickets.
Photo: Dydia DeLyser
Photo: Al Barna
Photo: Peterson Neon
Images: Lettterform Archive
Photo: Al Barna
Photo: Devi L. Dahl
The San Francisco Neon/Historic Sign Network produces the Neon Speaks Festival and Symposium, fiscally sponsored by the Tenderloin Museum. Grants were generously provided by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and San Francisco Heritage from the Alice Ross Carey Preservation Fund in 2019.
We are grateful to our sponsors, and to the supporters who encouraged us to create a venue for champions to share challenges and success in preserving historic neon signs. Others have shown their support by promoting Neon Speaks events on social media and other channels. Interested in becoming a sponsor or supporter? Let's talk!
Special festival room rates available for a limited time at the Carlton Hotel, an historic boutique
hotel with a vintage neon blade sign.
Photo: Randall Ann Homan