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Morgan Hill
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November 25, 2020

Volunteers have ‘bright idea’ for amphitheater stage

A group of hopeful local leaders has a “bright idea” to illuminate a local public entertainment facility as their contribution to the Morgan Hill community.

The Leadership Morgan Hill Class of 2015 is currently raising money for the project, a “permanent, state-of-the-art stage lighting system” for the Morgan Hill Downtown Amphitheater, according to class member Lisa Washington. The amphitheater is located adjacent to the Community and Cultural Center, 17000 Monterey Road, and is the venue for the Chamber of Commerce’s annual summertime “Friday Night Music Series” and other special events.

“We expect to enhance the experience of residents and out-of-town guests at this year’s (FNMS), and broaden the appeal of the amphitheater for additional events such as concerts, ceremonies and lectures,” Washington said. “For the city of Morgan Hill, this will translate into upside potential for revenues from new renters.”

The class is looking to raise $25,000 to design, build and install the ambitious volunteer-, nonprofit-funded project, which they have titled “Bright Idea.” They are currently halfway toward the fundraising goal, Washington said. They hope to have the lighting system installed by the time FNMS starts June 5.

Specifically, the project would add six lights onto each of two existing light poles, pointing at the stage from the edge of the audience lawn. Another 12 lights will be installed above the stage, pointing onto the performance area for down lighting, backlighting and angling to light up the dance floor, Washington explained.

“The LED light fixtures will be weather and UV resistant with wireless controls and a spectrum of colors—red, green, blue and white,” Washington added.

The Morgan Hill City Council approved the “Bright Idea” concept at the April 15 meeting, and will take up the matter again as it gets close to installation by the end of this summer. The city of Morgan Hill owns the amphitheater and CCC property, and charges fees to the public and nonprofits such as the Chamber to use the facilities.

Chamber board Chair Rich Firato, who also chairs the committee that runs the annual FNMS, said the “Bright Idea” lighting will enhance the music and dancing experience at the venue.

“It will bring an upscale experience to concert goers and performers for night-time events at the amphitheater,” Firato said. “Plus, it will streamline production of our live music program this summer, since we’ll no longer have the hassle of setting up and taking down temporary lighting each week.”

FNMS begins June 5 at the Downtown Amphitheater, and will continue most Friday nights through the summer.

LMH Class of 2015 is offering recognition opportunities to donors who make generous contributions to the fundraising effort, from “Bronze” to “Platinum” levels, Washington said. Sponsors will be features in event promotions.

LMH is a training and development program “created to inspire future leaders to community service,” according to the LMH website. Each class goes through a year-long program, and is required to complete a hands-on project that benefits the community in order to graduate from the program.

For more information about the project and to make a donation, visit or check out the Facebook page titled “LMH Class of 2015 – Bright Idea Project.”

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