The Emperor's Bridge Campaign

TO HONOR THE LIFE + ADVANCE THE LEGACY OF EMPEROR NORTON

RESEARCH • EDUCATION • ADVOCACY

Filtering by Category: Projects

Campaign Receives Major Pledge to Help Fund Limited-Edition Compilation Album of "Emperor Songs"

On the eve of a crowdfunding campaign in support of its project to produce a compilation album of “Emperor songs” — songs about, or in some way inspired by, Emperor Norton — the Campaign has received a pledge of $3,000 for the project — which represents one-half of the projected $6,000 needed to pay for all costs associated with producing and distributing the album, including engineering, design, vinyl pressing, shipping materials and postage.

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Herb Caen's "Norton Bridge" Campaign of 1947 (And the 1960 Letter from Berkeley That Watered the Seed)

Did you know that the longstanding call to name the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge after Emperor Norton traces part of its pedigree to legendary San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen?

Exactly 70 years ago — in what may be some of the earliest published statements of the idea that a San Francisco Bay-spanning bridge should bear the name of the Emperor — Caen, with some persistence, called for a planned "second Bay Bridge" to be named the "Norton Bridge." 

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Write a Letter Today to Make It the Emperor Norton Bridge in 2018

Next year is the 200th anniversary of Emperor Norton's birth on 4 February 2018. And, we can't think of a better bicentennial birthday present than — finally! — naming the Emperor's bridge for the Emperor! 

But, making this a possibility means that three groups of people — (1) state legislators, the ones who would have to authorize "Emperor Norton Bridge" as a parallel / honorary name for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge; (2) those in local and state government and media who have influence with these elected officials; and (3) the close friends of all these people — need to hear from California supporters of the Emperor Norton Bridge naming — and hear from them a lot! — between now and early 2018.

To assist California supporters with this outreach, The Emperor's Bridge Campaign has prepared a model letter that includes all the key messages that the Campaign has been using to advocate on this issue.  

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The Emperor's Bridge Campaign Contributes Four Rare Emperor Norton Films to the Internet Archive

The Emperor's Bridge Campaign has contributed four rare Emperor-themed films to the Internet Archive, the nonprofit library that collects published works and makes them available in digital formats. 

These films are rarely seen outside the domains of film screening societies and, occasionally, subscription cable television — and sometimes not even then.

The Campaign is delighted and grateful to have the Internet Archive as a partner in making these films available for viewing by a broader audience — both via the Internet Archive and via the Campaign's own ARchive of Emperor Norton in Art, Music & Film (ARENA). 

This collaboration with the Internet Archive includes the Archive's new high-resolution scan of the Campaign's 16mm copy of a 1936 theatrical film short that appears to feature the earliest dramatic portrayal of Emperor Norton extant on film.

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Naming of Meadow in Golden Gate Park Would Set a Helpful Precedent for Emperor Norton Bridge Effort

There is a proposal afoot to name the Sharon Meadow, in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, for the late comedian and actor Robin Williams. The rationale being used strengthens the case for naming the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge for Emperor Norton. 

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A True San Franciscan, or, What Tony Bennett and Emperor Norton Have in Common

Today, in celebration of his 90th birthday, Tony Bennett was on hand in San Francisco to receive a well-deserved tribute: the unveiling of a larger-than-life statue of him in front of the Fairmont Hotel, where he made his San Francisco debut in 1954 — and where he introduced his immortal signature song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," in 1961.

Bennett was given the tribute because — although he wasn't born in San Francisco, and although he never lived here — he was a true San Franciscan.

Emperor Norton is another gentleman who — like Tony Bennett — became a true San Franciscan by loving the city and being loved in return.

It is long past time for Emperor Norton to be honored with a tribute that rises to the level. A tribute that recognizes the Emperor for setting out the original vision for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and for being one of the earliest champions of the values of openness, tolerance, fair play and the common good that came to be identified with San Francisco, Oakland and the Bay Area — and that celebrates him for doing all of this with the whimsical and irrepressible style that is the hallmark of his adopted city. 

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An Evening of Artists in Conversation About Emperor Norton

At a special event on Thursday 13 October, titled My Emperor, My Muse, The Emperor's Bridge Campaign will bring together an eclectic and interesting mix of people — artists who've created specific Emperor-themed works and others who have thought deeply about Emperor Norton — for a conversation about the Emperor's abiding cultural import as an avatar of whimsy, openness, tolerance and fair play.

We'll learn why Emperor Norton moves these people; how he has shaped their projects; why they think the Emperor remains a cultural touchstone; and the role that they think art can play in shaping and polishing the stone.

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The "Emperor Norton Bridge" By 2022

The Emperor's Bridge Campaign proposes that the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge be additionally named for Emperor Norton in 2022 — the 150th anniversary of when Emperor Norton set out the original vision for the Bay Bridge in 1872. On 10 May 2016, Campaign president John Lumea sent to Campaign supporters and followers a letter outlining the bridge-naming proposal and options for pushing it forward. 

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Campaign Awarded Grant to Publish Book of Norton Proclamations

The Emperor's Bridge Campaign is pleased to announce that the nonprofit San Francisco History Association, as part of its Research Gift program, recently awarded the Campaign with a lead grant to develop and publish a book of selected Proclamations of Emperor Norton.

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