How Streetlight Came to Be . . .


I never slept on the streets.  Nor did I beg for money. 

But I started hanging out downtown.  I began to realize that the real personality of a city is reflected on its streets.

The movers and shakers in town might live in the suburbs, but they congregate and work downtown.  There is an “air” in the heart of a city--a candor between people, a freedom to  be oneself, an atmosphere of creativity. 

“Downtown-ness” started getting under my skin . . .


So I pulled together a few lights, some music, a few stories, and started doing 8-by-10-foot paintings in Moore Square.  I did the work on vinyl, so every painting was washed off to make room for the next one.  All that was over ten years ago.  It was very primitive, but very real . . .  and very downtown.

I wanted Raleigh to be a cool place to visit, and
a cool place to live.  That meant that the streets of our city needed ART!  So in the spring of 2002 I started
building "The World's Largest Portable Art Kit"--2000 pounds of painting equipment, an electric generator, lights, sound, musical instruments, a stage, a rain cover, and an 8-by-11-foot canvas.  I got permission from the City Council to perform on Fayetteville Street---back when it was a pedestrian mall. 

My art and my act have changed quite a bit over the years, but most of all, I have come to realize that we need to develop a culture of street performing in downtown Raleigh. And that is how Streetlight Productions, came to be an organization designed to:

Cultivate Public Space to

Promote the Arts,

Strengthen Community,

and Enrich Downtown Business.

Streetlight Productions is a 501(C)(3) organization. All contributions are tax deductible.


Streetlight Really Started . . .

When Dan Nelson Became a Street Person