Join NAMING THE LOST Memorials in NYC from 2023-2025

#NamingTheLost Memorial Installation at Green-Wood Cemetery in May 2020. (Photo by Erik McGregor)

Since May 2020, Naming the Lost Memorials, a small team of artists, activists, and folklorists, has been curating memorial sites in New York City to name and remember victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. The memorials consist 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.

The Mellon Foundation has now announced a major award that will allow three additional years of support for NAMING THE LOST Memorials (NTLM), sponsored by City Lore and NTLM and our partners Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders, Great Small Works, and Green-Wood Cemetery. The New-York Historical Society will acquire selected memorials from the five years of the project.

To make the memorials, we will collaborate with a total of forty different community groups whose constituents have been particularly impacted by Covid-19. Previous participants have included groups such as Mixteca Mexican Community Organization, La Troupe Makandal (Haitian), Hebrew Tabernacle, JouvayFest Collective, and Flushing Town Hall.

The next memorial is scheduled to open in May 2023 with a ceremony at Green-Wood Cemetery including performances and prayers. The month-long display of memorials lining the fence along the Fifth Ave main entrance of Green-wood will be on view until the end of May. October programs will follow as part of Mano a Mano’s widely attended Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) memorials at St. Mark’s Church -in-the -Bowery.

Some pieces from these ephemeral memorials will be archived at the New-York Historical Society for future exhibitions, public access, and research into the impact of the pandemic. We are currently working on an updated, interactive NTLM website. To learn more about the project and get involved, please feel free to reach out to us at

Naming the Lost Memorials invites you to join a nationwide network of memorial-makers to name and honor our neighbors, family members, and friends lost to Covid-19 in the United States.

Want to learn more? Join our google group by clicking the sign-up button below, or write directly to We send occasional e-mails and will not share your information with others.

Please find below resources for memorial makers:

Thank you for coming together in this moment. Please feel free to reach out to us if we can help, and send us photos of your work anytime.

2023-2025 NTLM Planning Team: Juan Aguirre, director of Mano a Mano; Sandra A. M. Bell, Lead Community Liaison; Elena Martínez, folklorist; Megan Paradis Hanley, theater artist and educator; Jenny Romaine, artist, organizer, educator; Kay Turner, folklorist and performer; Steve Zeitlin and Molly Garfinkel, City Lore Co-Directors .

2020-2021 NTLM Planning Team: Alexa Aviles; Elena Martínez, folklorist; Lyra Monteiro, public artist, scholar, organizer; Megan Paradis Hanley, theater artist and educator; Jenny Romaine, theater artist, organizer, educator; and Kay Turner, performer and folklorist.