Naming the Lost Memorials Favorite 

In May 2020, a team of artists, activists, folklorists, and people who lost loved ones to Covid-19 came together to make monthly memorial sites in New York City to remember victims of the Covid-19 pandemic. They continued installing memorials around New York City every month during the summer of 2020.

Made from simple resources, a grassroots memorial is a common gesture of mourning and remembrance that can carry deep meaning and resolve. Memorials are a flexible folk art form for expressing grief. This tradition accommodates change. It evolves according to human need.

The first Naming the Lost memorials were installed in each of NYC's five boroughs over Memorial Day weekend, as the death toll from Covid-19 reached 100,000 lives lost in the United States alone. The memorials were installed at:
Ridge street & Broome (LES)
25th street & 5th Ave (Sunset Park)
EMS station at Jacobi Hospital (Bronx)
Verrazano Nursing Home (Staten Island)
Corona Plaza (Queens)

The July memorial, an altar dedicated to essential workers who had died of Covid-19, was installed at the Fund Excluded Workers action on July 16-17, 2020.

The August memorial was installed outside the Isabella Center in Washington Heights, mourning the more that 6,600 lives lost among nursing home residents and workers in New York State.

The September memorial action, called "A Labor of Mourning," invited individuals nationwide to install personal memorials in their neighborhoods and offered templates and resources to help.

The project continues in 2021, and individuals interested in making their own memorials can visit for a toolkit and templates.

Posted by Megan Hanley on

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