Naming the Lost: A Big, Slow, Majestic Covid Memorial


May 3rd – June 3rd, 2024

person at fence memorial installation
Credit: Erik McGregor

“Everyone is holding so much grief right now, and it’s so hard, but it’s kind of created this bigger, slower, majestic space to be real with what’s going on and organize from that space.”
– Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, The Future is Disabled 

NAMING THE LOST Memorials and City Lore, with a grant from the Mellon Foundation, present A BIG, SLOW, MAJESTIC COVID MEMORIAL, a community public art memorial at The Green-Wood Cemetery. Created with help from twenty-two New York City community partners, the memorial will be on view from May 3–June 3, 2024 along the fence at Green-Wood’s Main Entrance at 25th Street and Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn. The public is invited to a memorial activation and dedication ceremony on Sunday, May 19th at 4pm at Green-Wood (scroll down for details).

From May 2020–June 2021, NAMING THE LOST Memorials (NTLM), a small team of volunteer artists, activists, and folklorists, curated memorial sites in New York City to name and remember victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. The memorials consisted of tens of thousands of nameplates with personalized drawings and photos, created by the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones to the virus. With a grant from the Mellon Foundation, NTLM, in collaboration with City Lore, will continue its work from 2023-2025. Green-Wood will be home to new memorials each spring. 

This year, A BIG, SLOW, MAJESTIC COVID MEMORIAL will be displayed along the Cemetery’s historic wrought-iron fence near the Main Entrance. Packed tightly from top to bottom on the fence, it will stretch horizontally for 200 feet. The memorial will be on view from May 3–June 3, 2024 to honor the over 1.2 million people in the United States, including more than 83,000 here in New York City according to the CDC, who have lost their lives to COVID-19. During this time, the public is encouraged to create and add their own nameplates to the memorial. There will be dedicated space on the memorial for public participation.


Sunday, May 19, 2024 from 4-5 PM

We ask the public to join us for the dedication and activation of the memorial in front of Green-Wood’s Historic Chapel. The ceremony will bring together the NTLM team and community partners for an evening that will include a procession, second line, traditional singers, and a participatory ritual of remembrance. We welcome all to join us in commemorating those who died of COVID-19 and remembering them together. 

The activation ceremony will be livestreamed on City Lore’s YouTube channel.

For access needs and covid harm reduction information, visit


Juan Aguirre, director of Mano a Mano
Sandra A. M. Bell, artist and producer
Elena Martínez, folklorist and producer
Megan Paradis Hanley, theater artist and educator
Eva Pedriglieri, City Lore staff
Seth Schonburg, City Lore archivist
Jenny Romaine, artist, organizer, and educator
Steve Zeitlin, City Lore co-directors


BAAD/Health & Hip Hop, Inc., Bronx Documentary Center, Casa Yurumein, University Heights High School, Vishnu Mandir Hindu Temple

The Bklyn Combine, Come Forever Mutual Aid + Health Resources Center, Guyana Cultural Association, Parent Child Relationship Association, Project Reach Youth, Purelements Evolution in Dance, West Indian American Day Carnival Association, Women’s Empowerment Coalition of New York

Yaffa Cultural Arts

Bangladesh Institute of Performing Arts, Epicenter NYC, Jews of Jackson Heights

Staten Island: 
La Colmena

Archive Based Creative Arts, Healthcare and Care Workers Workshop, Long Covid Justice, New Moon Sisters


We thank these funders for their generous support:
The Mellon Foundation